Friday, January 13, 2012

Fat Loss: It's as Individual as You Are

What an odyssey this fat loss quest is becoming.  I seem to respond to the siren call of any new plan that promises rapid change.  I have learned over and over that rapid change requires a plan that fires on all cylinders as far as exercise, nutrition, and motivation are concerned.  That's all fine, but the mistake I have been making is that when a plan offers rapid change the techniques involved usually end up running counter to what has worked in my own experience and observation.

I still get seduced by the promise of almost immediate rewards if I can just be perfect for a brief period of time.  There is a part of me that just wants to hand over my will and check my instincts at the door so that I can get what I want.  Now.  Or tomorrow at the latest.

On Wednesday night I went to jazz class after a long hiatus, and one of the young women I used to dance with had lost what looked like at least 40 pounds.  She blogs about her transformation as well at:  What astonished me when I read her post was that her thinking on fitness is so different than mine, but it has been equally effective.

It really made me stop and think.  The goal is to find your way of eating and moving over time.  Your way of getting to goal and staying there.  No one can think, eat, or move for you. Yes, it helps to learn new techniques and take direction, but you are the one who has to lift that barbell, or that fork.

This week, I started teaching Zumba again.  I have my very own classes now in studio space that I rent from a friend.  Last year I was trying so hard to figure out what the people who were attending my class wanted, that I forgot to use what I had learned in my training, relax, and have a good time.  What a difference.  How many times have I said that one of the main keys to maintenance is to find a way of moving that you truly enjoy?  I was so stressed about not training wrong and increasing my cortisol production, that I stopped having fun in my training: thereby increasing cortisol production, and my appetite for that matter.  Last year, while I was stretching after a resistance training session, it occurred to me that we trainers have to find a way to make exercise as fun as eating.

Now I admit, you may not be able to "Play" your way to less than 18% body fat if you're female, but there are thousands of trainers who could run circles around me when it comes to getting clients to fitness model levels of body fat anyway.

What if I finally started to listen to my own internal wisdom by integrating what I've learned from my A.C.E. and Zumba certifications, with my real life experience and observations?  What if I took a deep breath, and returned to an eating plan of real, healthy whole foods, with an occasional indulgence in treats that haven't triggered "eating out of bounds" in the past.  Ultimately, we all have to grow up that last little bit, and choose how we'll handle our health and fitness.

So let me ask you.  What has worked in the past?  At what point were you eating and moving in a way that made you feel great, and truly enhanced your life?  It is time to stand up for what I have learned on this odyssey.  I have to accept that my way won't be right for everyone, but if I don't stand up for my genuine convictions then my training won't be right for anyone.

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