The other day I had a student say: "I love you as a coach because you will never make me feel bad about drinking beer or eating potatoes." I absolutely love this and believe this! To me, this shows that this student has found a way to live a balanced life where she is healthy and active, but still feels happy getting a beer and eating french fries from time to time.
Something that constantly bothers me about the fitness industry is the focus on six pack abs, tight buts, and tiny waists. In my experience, this isn’t what people really want. Most people just want to feel good and confident in their bodies. To accomplish this takes having healthy eating habits and a regular routine of movement, but you do not have to give up everything you enjoy eating and drinking to be healthy. It is my goal to help people find happiness in their body at this level!
The current focus on extreme change has led to two major detrimental myths about being lean that often halts peoples ability to change:
“Getting into shape” or “losing weight” involves painful, intolerable sacrifice, restriction, and deprivation.
With just a few small, easy, hopefully imperceptible changes to one’s diet and exercise routine, you too can have shredded abs, big biceps, and tight glutes, just like a magazine cover model.
Of course, neither of these are true.
In Reality, there is a big difference between what it takes to go from “overweight” to “no-longer overweight” and from “no longer overweight” to “lean” or “leaner”.
1. If you’re okay not being on the next magazine cover and aspire to be “lean and healthy” even small adjustments can — over time — add up to noticeable improvements. Sometimes these improvements can change lives.
2. However, If you do want to look like a cover model, that does take a disciplined routine of eating and training, and often involves sacrifices many are not willing to take. Not to mention, most cover images are photoshopped for effect. Further, being really lean has almost nothing to do with being really healthy. In fact, being too focused on getting lean may lead you away from good health.
Your body, your choice
I will never make you feel bad about your food choices– I will only help coach you to make the food choices that move you toward your goals.
Most of our members come to Ascent because they are unhappy with their current weight or fitness level. Maybe it is costing them too much energy, injuries, their health, quality of life, or longevity. For these students, our program of small changes over time can lead to a lifestyle of health and fitness. After while, these students find attending classes and making healthy eating choices just a way of life, and many are happy in this place!
Sometimes members decide that they want six-pack abs or other specific physique or performance goals. This of course takes more change and sacrifice. Some folks are willing to pay that cost. But most aren’t. Even if you think you’d like that six-pack, it might turn out that you actually want something else a little bit more (like beer or potatoes). And I don’t blame you!
What you decide to change, and how much you decide to change it, is up to you! What I want my students to understand is what it actually takes to do what you want (or think you want), and that its okay to be happy where you are at.
Here are the two basic principles:
1. If you want to make further changes to your body, you’ll need to make further changes to your behaviors.
2. The leaner you want to get, the more of your behaviors you’ll have to change.
To help demonstrate what I mean, check out Precision Nutrition's infographic on "the cost of getting lean."
What’s a healthy level of body fat, anyway?
"Data tells us that most men can be healthy somewhere between 11-22% body fat. For women, it’s between 22-33%.
Right now in the U.S., the average man is about 28% fat, and the average woman is 40% fat.
In other words, the average adult in the U.S. (and throughout most of the West) is carrying a lot of excess body fat. Unhealthy levels of body fat." says Precision Nutrition in the Cost of Getting Lean
As they also point out "The good news is that it’s not that hard to go from over-fat to the higher end of “normal”.
You can do it with a few relatively small, easy-to-implement changes.
Assuming there are no other factors involved (such as a chronic health problem), if you make a few small changes like these, and do them consistently, in six months to a year, your body fat percentage will drop and fall into a much healthier range."
Now of course, not every change will feel simple, small, or easy. Especially when you start out. You’ll need to put a little extra effort and energy into making those changes happen every day. And having a trainer or a coach support you — and hold you accountable — will probably help you feel more confident and on-track.
How we can help:
We would love to help you with these daily changes towards a healthier, fitter you.
As you have probably gathered by now, we promote a lifestyle of fitness, and nurture this change with a supportive community of people just like you.
We approach exercise and nutrition in a way that is sustainable and lifelong.
We will teach you to use your body in a way that promotes strength, mobility, and a healthy heart, but does not leave you feeling drained and worn out.
We will teach you nutrition habits that will help you make healthier decisions every day to get the nutrients in the proportions that work for you.
It is our goal to build changes that are small enough, that you can practice consistently, until they are just part of your regular routine.
Schedule your strategy session to start making changes toward your health and fitness goals!