I’ve been a runner for more than 20 years. I love running. I’m not even very good, but I still love going out for a nice, hard run in the morning.
But, after 20+ years, all the articles I read about the dangers of running and the importance of cross training got to me. Eventually I got to the point where I would mix weight lifting, spinning, and other activities in with the running. I was religious about my workouts.
I would put together an awesome, 6-day plan for a “well balanced” workout, tape it to my wall, do one or two days, skip a week, binge eat, and “start again on Monday”.
I have heard all sorts of wonderful things about HIIT, Cross-fit, P90X, Insanity, walking, weight training, Zumba, and every other workout regime out there. And since other people clearly know what’s better for me than I do, I stopped running and tried them all.
Then I cried and went on a run.
The same is true for dieting. Whole 30, Real Food Revolution, Keto, Weight Watchers, blah, blah, blah.
I’ve heard it all. I’ve tried it all. Cried all the cries.
I remember when I did Whole 30 a few years ago. Actually, it was more like “Whole 8” because that’s as long as I lasted. I was in one of the many Facebook groups and forums dedicated to the cause, when an argument broke out about whether buying non-organic or grass-fed beef was equivalent to injecting high fructose corn syrup straight into you veins.
I hightailed it out of there (since the pizza was ready), and started counting calories again. I’m not always consistent, but it works when I do it and it doesn’t make me cry.
It was about that time when I realized at everyone was full of it. And I discovered the very best diet and exercise plan ever invented.
The one I will do.
Yup. It’s that simple.
The most effective, nutritious, and earth friendly plan out there won’t do me a lick of good if I don’t do it. So, I don’t care if Jillian Michaels scoffs when I put my favorite ice cream in my grocery cart. As long as I have the calories in my bank, and only have one serving, I’ll still lose weight. And also I’ll be happy because of the magical ingredients in that ice cream.
The variety of diet and exercise plans available doesn’t need to confuse or discourage us. This isn’t a tug of war for our eternal souls. It’s a potluck of ideas. Just take the ones that work for you, and leave the rest.
There is no “right” way. Just the most effective way for YOU!
The best diet for me is calorie counting (I try to keep it around 1200-1500 a day) because if Mama doesn’t get her ice cream and pizza, Mama gets cranky. So I eat whatever I want! I just eat less of it. I’m a grown woman. I CAN stop.
The best type of exercise for me is running, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Muay Thai (don’t you dare ask me to lift weights or do lunges).
What kind of exercise do you like?
And way more! Surely you can find ONE kind of exercise that you enjoy! If you haven’t found one yet, keep looking. Keep trying new things. Keep finding new ways to do it.
I love BJJ. It looked fun and after trying it for a few weeks I realized I liked it as much as (if not more) than running. Same with Muay Thai. Not only are they a KILLER workout, but they reduce and anxiety stress like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It’s good for me and makes me feel strong. So I found the time and money to do it. I never would have realized I had this passion in me if I hadn’t tried it.
So, keep trying new things. You may hate it, but you may LOVE it! And it may change your life.
But Courtney, I don’t have time! I have little kids at home and I just don’t have time/money/energy.
Sorry, Honey. I’m going to call you out on this one. I know what it’s like to have a ton of kids home with you all the time, but I promise you still have options. You don’t do it because it’s not a priority.
And there is NOTHING wrong with that! It’s totally ok to say, “you know what, this is not the time nor the season to worry about losing weight”. I’ve done it myself on occasion. But intentionally choosing to prioritize other things is not the same as not having the resources to do something.
If you are in a time in your life where you have more important things to worry about, then that is totally cool! But if you dread exercising or “clean” eating, it’s not because of your situation. It’s because you haven’t found something you love to do yet. So that is your challenge. Find something you love that IS within your means and I promise you will MAKE the time to do it! BTW, I totally dread clean eating.
Monday morning I am starting an 8 Weeks to Awesome Challenge and I’d LOVE for you to join me. It’s just a bunch of cool people, doing their own thing, trying to lose weight and be healthier and cheer each other along during the process. Click below to sign up and you’ll get a free diet/exercise plan (one that I made up), and be part of this amazing community of ladies (plus one dude so far).