Obviously I have a wise-guy side to me and I occasionally let her loose. But just as much as I can joke about dieting, I can switch up real quick and become serious about it. This is one of those days.
January marks a time when we make statements like ‘this is my year’ and ‘I’m not going to be X anymore’ and so on. It’s a time of declaration of absolutes and professing our allegiance to steadfast mindsets that may or may not be healthy. We feel the pressure of the world bearing down on us to be healthier, have a better body, fulfill our bucket lists and ‘get-er-done’. Suddenly we look back on the year in regret instead of thankfulness; disdain instead of pleasure. As great as Facebook and Twitter are in terms of keeping us connected to our great aunt once removed who lives in Alaska, they are caustic to our self esteem and inner peace because of the constant conflicting chatter that seems to remind us every day how much we have failed. Everyone seems more successful than us and everyone certainly has a better body. Somehow, we missed the boat yet again so this is the year that we don’t miss it. This is the year that we’ll maintain our weight all year long or get those ab lines that we desire. But as those thoughts circulate in your mind, I ask you quietly, “At what cost?”
Being lean is more than just suffering for the cause. It’s more than a secret society of really tough chics who talk big talk. Get on any forum right about now and you have girls lamenting about how hard it is to work out day in and day out and if only the general public adopted their level of discipline. OH how the world would be different and no one understands how hard it is to workout and diet like they do. If you listen to that long enough, you’re going to begin to think you don’t do enough. That you’re not good enough. That you need to diet a little harder, a little longer, lose a little more and so on. The problem with this is that they are headed down a dark road that has almost no healthy way of return and you are now headed down that road with them, but faster.
I get it that as women we need support. If we didn’t this blog wouldn’t exist. But let’s make sure that what we are seeking from the internet is in fact support. Finding likeminded individuals is key to our survival and making sure we are up on the latest diet/research information is a must. Sharing successes and woes is a part of this lifestyle as well as subscribing to all the magazines that support clean eating and living. But there is a limit and that limit is reached when the rhetoric becomes acerbic and you are no longer making decisions based on solid feedback from your pictures/stats/coach but on insecure comparisons coming from the web. There will always be those louder-than-normal leaders of the pack that update more than the Wall St. ticker tape, post more pics than the Wonderwall website and claim more success than Ed McMahon out patrolling with a cardboard check so don’t allow them to change who you are and how you do things. They are doing all that because they themselves are insecure. You hopping in and joining means you are trying to out “insecure” them. It’s craziness. Whatever path your diet takes you on, stick with it until you have credible information that says otherwise. Whatever you originally intended to lose, stick with it unless you have an objective third party say to you, “No, you should lose more.” Write down all the goals that you want to achieve now and then have them validated by someone sane before you go to put them into action. I’m telling you, many a metabolism has been broken during this fragile time.
One of the main objectives of this blog and of Jodiojo as a company is to keep you safe and healthy while dieting. I have given you my story, I have spared you my pain. Extreme dieting (my downfall), fat burners, questionable ergogenic aids and eventually, hardcore substances, may seem so foreign to you at this moment. But when you get knee deep in dieting, say mid February, and you have not lost a pound because this is the second, third or maybe fourth time you are “dieting” to get lean, they will become quite attractive to you and I am here to scream “Get your head out of your behind, girl, and get some sense in your head!”. Here is the way it may play out for you this year:
The majority of your weight is lower body but the more you lose/gain you begin to see that it shifts. This is a good thing. You will be slow to lose in the beginning, but it will become more rapid by the end. Do not come out the gate at full blast. Increase cardio as you go through your program with it peaking by 8 weeks into your program. Anything sooner and you’ll screech to a halt. On average, 1.2 pounds/week will be lost but it won’t come off linearly like that. It’ll come off in spurts but by the end of 12 weeks, you can be down 14 pounds safely without major rebound.
You are not much different than the 20 something girls except you lose a bit slower. You average about 0.9 pounds per week with a total weight loss of 11 pounds in 12 weeks without having to kill yourself. You clean up your lower body faster at this age as this is the ultimate muscle building time.
FORTY SOMETHING AND BEYOND
I made the mistake of not saying and beyond the other day and all my 50 something ladies beat me up in my email. First, I had no idea there were that many of you reading and second, I will never make that mistake again. In terms of weight loss, though, it is slower. Much much slower. The cool thing is you do not lose as much muscle dieting as you do in your 30’s, the crappy thing is that you lose 0.67 pounds per week with a total weight loss of 8 pounds in 12 weeks. And for some of you, you might have to kick up the intensity to make sure that that happens.
For all age groups, you must:
- Keep your diet open in the beginning and then begin to take away choices as you go along. Taking out too much too soon stifles progress.
- Increase intensity as the weeks go by. Do not start your program where you last left off. Big mistake.
- If you have only had a few months off from dieting, don’t start now. Wait. You need at least 4 months in between major dieting programs to achieve any kind of results. If you start too soon you will stunt your progress and truly frustrate yourself.
- You will not lose weight doing less than what you did before so do not expect much in the beginning of your program. Give it time for your body to respond.
We owe it to ourselves to do it the right way since we have come this far. Protect that blessed vessel that you have been gifted with by making sound, prudent decisions during this time of transition. Honor your health with common sense and emotional well being. If you need someone to chat with, hit me up. I’m always around.
Last up…skinny fat. This is a tough one but shorter than all the rest. If you see anything not covered but would like more info, let me know below in the comment section. Woop woop!