I was ruffling through some old pictures when I found what’s above. This was my first homecoming ever – freshmen year. And what you can’t see are my dyed-to-match-fushia-colored-heels, from Leeds Shoes.
Have you ever looked back on an old prom dress or hairstyle from the past and wondered, what the hell was I thinking?
Can someone please remind me why perms were so popular?
I’m also wondering how much my monthly supply of aqua net was costing my mom?
Wow, times really do change.
Just like fashion trends and hairstyles our lives are in constant flux. The only thing constant is that things are always changing.
Our beliefs and perspectives grow and evolve too.
So I was inspired to write about 8 fitness beliefs I out grew, just like these bangs. Ha!
8 Outdated Beliefs Around Fitness
1) Lifting weight makes you bulky
Yes, there was a time in my life that I thought that lifting heavy was only for extreme bodybuilders. And that indeed it made you look bulky and manlier.
Back then I didn’t understand how hard it is for women to gain muscle because we don’t have the same hormonal profile as men. To get the “toned” look I was after, I didn’t realize it comes from building lean tissue (muscle) and shedding the fat in those areas. It’s a two-step approach and can take a few months (at minimum) to achieve.
Muscle also plays a vital role in the fat loss equation. Having more lean mass (muscle) will drive your metabolism up and over the long run create a very efficient fat burning body, helping you shed even more fat.
No need to be worried – get after those weights ladies.
If you’re someone that feels like you get bigger or huskier with heavier weights, it is most likely a diet issue and I advise looking into your nutrition. You may need to adjust your total daily caloric intake or macro breakdown.
2) Long cardio sessions are essential for weight loss
I used to go to the gym and spend hours on the treadmill or in spin class. I thought this was the best way to drop fat. You definitely burn calories this way, but it’s not very time efficient. You can burn even more calories in a shorter amount of time by upping the intensity of your workout.
HIIT or metabolic weight training are two very effective and efficient ways to get the most bang for your buck. You’ll also kick-in the after burn effect called EPOC, which means you continue to burn an even higher amount of calories throughout the rest of the day.
Another problem with long bouts of cardio is that it can increase one of the stress hormones, cortisol. If you already have stress in your life, adding more through long exercise sessions can make shedding fat difficult. You may benefit more from giving your body a break. Yoga, meditation, or a walk in nature are great restorative activities.
3) If I could lose this last ten pounds then I can finally get into maintenance mode
Don’t we all wish it worked this way?
Unfortunately, many diets and exercise programs would have us believing that it does.
When you drop weight quickly, often times you have to follow extreme exercise and nutrition protocols that can never be maintained long term. As soon as you’ve finished the program and aren’t able to maintain the strict rules, you gain all the weight back, and even worse, sometimes more. A perfect example of this is the reported fact that 85-90% of the participants on the hit TV show The Biggest Loser end up gaining all their weight back.
The biggest flaw in these types of protocols is that you never have the opportunity to figure out how to eat and exercise in a way that works for you. Instead you rely on the program and muscle your way though it with will power and determination. But now left without the program for guidance, you don’t have the self-trust, healthy habits, and understanding of what your body needs to actually maintain your weight.
It’s time for an individualized approach based on exercise that brings you joy (#lovethewayyoumove). By accessing your Active Passion you can create a sustainable and healthy lifestyle that works for you. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept you can read about it here and here.
4) I don’t have time to cook and eat healthy
My entire adult life I never really cooked anything except eggs and steamed broccoli. I didn’t have much experience with cooking and the entire process intimidated the heck out of me.
I had friends who could just whip up the yummiest meals out of seemingly nothing in their kitchen. I thought it was a gift that you either learned from your mom or didn’t. But now I finally know better.
Cooking doesn’t need to be hard or a time consuming process to be healthy and tasty. With a few simple planning strategies and a little knowledge you can go far in the kitchen.
Check out our Meal Prep Guide here for tips on tasty, simple, and healthy meals.
5) You can get toned from Tracey Anderson workouts and Pilates
I think both Pilates and Tracey Anderson popularized the term “long and lean muscles”. I remember thinking if I did either of these types of workouts I could lengthen my muscles, and in time it would give me the model look I was after.
What I didn’t realize is the length of your muscle fibers is determined by your genetics and there isn’t much you can do to change it.
You can definitely stretch tight muscles through Pilates, but you’re still limited by your genetic makeup. This “long and lean” idea that is heavily marketed doesn’t come from stretching or lengthening of muscles. The real way to get a toned body is through building muscle and decreasing overall body fat. That is the only way to create the “toned” look.
6) If I eat only 1200 calories I can lose weight
I used to think skipping dinner or drastically restricting my calories was the best way to drop pounds before an upcoming beach vacation. Boy was I wrong.
While your total calorie intake does matter, using only calories as a determinant of what you should and shouldn’t eat can be problematic. Getting 50 calories from an apple is different then getting 50 calories from jelly beans or even a slice of turkey.
Different foods turn “on” and “off” different hormones in your body and use different metabolic pathways. This impacts many things including fat loss, satiety and satisfaction.
The biggest issue with calorie counting is you end up outsourcing your nutrition to a number. Sustainable, healthy eating comes down to knowing your body and having the awareness to know what it needs, when you’re full, etc. By only focusing on calories you are neglecting the innate wisdom of your body.
Nowadays, I focus 80% of the time on eating whole, real food like veggies and lean proteins. I allow and fully enjoy the other 20% of the time eating some of my favorite foods like dark chocolate or red wine. The key is not to restrict yourself from anything (or you’ll instantly want it) and instead savor it in moderation.
7) Once I finish this diet, I can go back to eating the way I want
I used to think if I can just get through this next 2 weeks, I can go back to eating “normally”.
I didn’t realize if you want to have a healthy and fit body there is no start and end date. The only way to have a healthy lifestyle is through practicing healthy habits day in and day out. That means you can’t have french fries, ice cream, and doughnuts every day. You have to do the work and be open to change. But you don’t have to embrace an all or nothing mentality. You can learn to make moderate choices and focus on getting the nutrients you need to stay energized and feel good. And you can still have those doughnuts from time to time, I mean, who doesn’t like a doughnut?
When you start to change your mindset around how you think about eating, love the way you move, and access your active passion, it becomes much easier to sustain your healthy lifestyle.
8) Happiness is a place you arrive
I used to think if I achieve x then I will be happy. Have you ever thought that? It is so easy to fall victim to this type of mind trap. Ever thought if I could just lose this last 10 lbs of weight I’ll be happy? If I could just find a guy, I’d be happy? If I could just (fill in the blank), then I’ll be happy.
This type of thinking is an illusion. Happiness is not a destination that at some point you’ll have the magic formula and you’ll arrive at. Happiness is available to all of us in any given moment, including right now. It is our birthright and if we choose to be happy we can be. It’s more about changing our mindset (the way we are looking at things) and realizing we’re choosing how we are seeing the world in every moment.
When we realize we are in control and have this power, it’s totally liberating.
So now I want to hear from you — What are some of your outdated fitness beliefs that you have grown through? I want to hear, comment below or share a pic from a past hairstyle or fashion trend. I’d love to see it.