I’ve said before I have an obsessive personality. When I do something I go “all in”. Making the decision to lose weight was no different. Once I made the decision, I was obsessed with nutrition information. I read articles. I visited blogs. I stalked weight loss message boards like it was my job. The trouble was, the more I read the less I knew. For each article I read, there were ten more to contradict it. For each philosophy, there were a hundred more. Grain was bad. Grain was good. Fat was bad; but not all fat. Carbs were bad (I can’t eat fruit?). You get my drift. I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well. The more I read the more confused I became. It was incredibly frustrating. My solution – eat in moderation and not give up any food. Not a single one. That worked for me. However, it didn’t make me less obsessed. I still researched and looked and asked questions. I still was unsure, even though my results were showing right there on my body! (Obsessed and hard-headed.)
When I decided to also incorporate exercise it was no different. Running is good. Running is bad. Lift heavy weights with low reps. No, no, lift light weights with tons of reps. Cardio “only” is good enough. Weight lifting “only” is good enough. No, you need both. Cardio should be 30 minutes. Cardio should be 10 minutes. RAAAAAWWWWWWRRRR! SO.FREAKING.FRUSTRATING.
Every thing I read was contradicted by the next thing I read. Then the next thing was contradicted by that. No wonder we have an obesity epidemic in our country. No one knows what the hell to do! When I decided to get my personal trainer certification it was purely for ME. It was so I would have some definitive answers. It was so I would know how I should work out and then I could help others. Guess what? No definitive answers. I was so freaking disappointed. I had done so much research on everything that very little new information was presented (other than the way the body works scientifically speaking, which of course I’m not discounting). I had that beautiful certificate but STILL didn’t know if grains were bad or good. I still didn’t know how much cardio a person should have. Not exact numbers.
So I kept researching and looking. I became a perpetual student of fitness and nutrition and of my own body. I finally realized the reason there is so much information out there is because different things work for different people. Maybe milk bloats you like a pregnant person, but doesn’t bother your sister at all. Perhaps your body responds to 10 minutes of cardio but your co-worker needs 30 minutes. You have to find what works for YOU.
I have learned what my body responds to. I’ve become a great listener to my body. Of course I’m not saying I don’t get discouraged. I recently contacted a fantastic personal trainer to inquire about her training me. I felt like I needed something new. Through a very awesome conversation, I came to realize I already know what to do. I was just in a rut.
All of those magazine articles you read about THE way to finally get the body you want…those are just a base. Those things can work. If you do them consistently. And if it’s something your body responds to. Any personal trainer worth their salt will adjust your workouts to fit YOUR body. You may start out with the workout they gave the last 10 people, but they should be doing constant monitoring to see what works. And what doesn’t.
You also don’t need a trainer for this. Tune in to your body. Understand that you have to do something consistently to truly know how your body will respond to it. If you did squats two days this week and don’t notice a difference, it’s not the squats. You just haven’t given your body time to show any results. Keep squatting!
Become a student of your body. Be aware of how foods make you feel. Be aware of the response you get from specific exercises. Journal it. Find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Soon, you’ll be able to read through all the articles and know what applies to you. Not everything will. Keep learning!