A friend sent me a link to an article about why so many people fail at weight loss goals they set. It had a lot of great information including:
- not eating the right amounts of food and trying to starve
- not making a lifetime commitment to a lifestyle change
- falling for gimmicks with big promises that are usually short lived
But one of the reasons listed made me gag!
"shooting for a reasonable size 6 instead of a dream size 2 is a reason most people never reach their ideal size."
Have you ever been overweight and struggling with depression? do you know what it is like to hang onto those size 6 pants and hope that you will one day fit back into them?
I am trying to remember if I was ever a size 2 after 3rd grade. and the answer is ... uh, no. nope, never. I ran track, played basketball, danced, cheered and worked my tushie off as an aerobics instructor before giving birth to 6 kids and the smalles I ever was at that time 6th grade thru college years was a size 6. shooting for a size 2????? unthinkable!!!!! and depressing!
So I am standing with the ladies that are taller that 4'll" and want to be healthy and athletic. I am with you!
I was upset that so many people were reading this article on a well respected fitness website about what ideal size they should shoot for.
I had to actually come to terms that I would never be a size 6 again. I had to face the facts that my hips had actually changed after giving birth to an 11 pound baby and my size 6 jeans I had been hanging onto will only fit me with some surgery shaving off my hip bone. Sorry, not that desperate to be the size ideal that articles like the one mentioned, Hollywood and the general media put out there for us women to fall prey to.
I got curious and decided to do some research. I knew the answer to the question but decided to ask again: "what is the ideal size for a woman?"
the answer I knew was: there should not be an ideal size, just a fitness level to have a healthy heart and physique. sizes are so dependant on a variety of factors and for anyone to tell me what size I should be is just wrong. Now ask these questions:
- are you diabetic and can it be changed by exercise and diet?
- can you run a mile without getting winded?
- can you talk a walk or play in the park without getting tired?
- can you pull up your own body weight in an emergency?
- do you have a heart condition that can be fixed with diet and exercise?
- do you have any other health conditions that can be fixed with diet and exercise?
- do I crave food that are healthy to my body or am I addicted to high fat, sugary, sweets, and junk food or sodas?
- Do I look forward to active play? DO I get excited about getting out and getting fit?
- Do I feel good in my own skin? Or can I look in a mirror and feel confident about what I see? (within reason, there are those that will never like their body - this may be a mental challenge to approach for those trying to get "too skinny" or anorexic, so be cautious about being overly critical)
keep asking these questions until you receive the answers you are needing on all of them while working out and eating right.
toss out the goal size. track measurements just for the fun of watching inches come off. but if the inches are no longer coming off and you are following a clean diet and working out every day and the answers to these questions are all where they should be. quit taking measurements and wieghing in and just keep going because it feels good!
If sizes and measurements and getting to a goal size are keeping you from feeling great about making a lifestyle change - toss it all out!
I was reading more on my question about ideal sizes. There are 2 basic points of view I found to be most "vocal"
the first is one I disagree with.
1 - I found a lot of information put out there by popular fashion magazines, sexy websites for people trying to find a perfect match, and just general public opinion message boards on the topic of ideas size. the general consensus was that the ideal woman was a size 2-4 and that size 6 was too big. HOOO boy! I had to either laugh or cry since I tossed out my size 6 jeans. none of these sources mentioned a height, bone frame or fitness level. just boobs, butts, and hips and that girls should be skinny, skinny, skinny! (but not a size zero, that was taking it too far) Oh thanks - from a satisfied size 8 that used to be a 14 - you are so kind.
the second opinion was the one I agree with:
2 - this was found in medical journals, doctor's blogs, nutrition and fitness experts, etc...
Toss out the ideal size! none of them mentioned what size you should be! imagine that? the experts on health are telling you to forget shooting for an ideal size (because there are too many factors playing into that) and just get healthy and physically fit. your body will change to a smaller size if you are too big and it will change to a bigger size if you are too small (and yes, there is such a thing)
I had a size 2 client once. she was a beauty queen, very pretty, very skinny, but very unfit. when she came to workout with us she insisted that she worked out in the gym, did her aerobics and could do a pro-level bootcamp. a coupld of minutes later she asked if she could join the Rookie level instead because she couldn't handle the other workout. Her body lacked the strength because she was focused on being skinny instead of healthy.
during the rookie workout she could not keep up with our clients that were size 14 and 16. she nearly passed out. I asked her what her workout and meal plans were like. She eats only a big salad once a day and diet coke the rest of the day and works out 3 times a week in her aerobics classes. well, that can kill you as slowly as eating too much and never working out.
She missed nourishing her body, strength training and focusing on health rather than being that size 2.
instead of shooting for those size goals put out there by the general public, ask yourself a few questions for the day:
1 - what is the purpose of this fitness plan?
2 - what are the benefits of exercise and a good diet plan?
3 - If I am seeking to lose wieght, why do I want to be smaller? what are the benefits?
4 - How long am I willing to commit to doing the plan I am looking at?
5 - do I tend to fall for a quick fix and then stop after reaching close the my goal only to balloon back up again?
6 - am I a yo-yo-er in weight loss?
7 - could I benefit from being stronger?
8- could I benefit from having better endurance?
9 - could I benefit from learning to try different types of foods that fuel my body better than my old stand-bys?
these might seem like simple questions and obvious to some. But I hope we can change the tide of the public view on size and health.
where do you stand? how do you feel about your size and health?
feel free to leave comments.
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