1.) Muscle always matters
Muscle always matters—as a goal, as a boost to fat loss, as a boost to self-esteem. Muscle matters in how you live your life, how strong and capable you are in daily activities, and it matters so you can retain enough strength to stay out of a nursing home in your golden years.
2.) Starving yourself is counter-productive and makes you miserable
Starving is a poor way to fuel your activity, and nobody enjoys it! When’s the last time you heard someone say, “I’m starving and I’m SO happy!” We have the term “hangry” for when people are angry because they’re hungry, but we don’t have the term “starve-happy.” Consider that for a minute.
Your body needs to be fueled properly, not under-fueled or over-fueled. It’s kind of like your car: don’t run out of gas, but don’t overflow the tank. Have enough fuel for the drive you’re taking.
3.) Nutrition is not quite as simple as choosing “low-carb” or “no-carb”
Our bodies respond differently at different times to different nutrition strategies, so it’s important to understand a bit of what might be going on with your own body.
4). Diets are counter-productive to health and long-term success
“The more times you diet in your life, the more likely you are to be a victim of obesity.” That’s counter-productive to your goal, right? You’re not looking to achieve obesity.
Don’t diet, because diets don’t work. Instead, eat healthy. Eat smartly. Move and live. Crazy, right? But we know it works. Stop the madness.
5.) Remember: society can be stupid
Well, some parts of society. And, of course, those are the parts I don’t agree with. (Naturally!) But, seriously, when society airbrushes the real out of women and shows us unattainable computer-generated perfection, we don’t have to accept those images. We don’t have to buy those magazines, and we don’t have to work towards being anyone else’s image of perfect.
Remember when your mom would say that old line “If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?” It was corny, but she had a point. It’s okay to think for yourself and make your own decisions. Be whoever the heck you want to be, and look however you want to look. But work to be healthy. That’s really the best goal, right? Healthy body, healthy weight, healthy mind, healthy spirit. That’s the person you want to stand next to at the party. That’s the person you want to BE.
6.) If you’re not sure where to start, start by loving yourself
Everything good starts with loving who you are. We all get caught up in this idea that once we are (fill in the blank), we will love ourselves. Thin, strong, smart, beautiful, whatever. But here’s the secret: nothing fills the hole inside you like love. Nothing. You can dump all your accomplishments and money and things into that hole, but if you don’t love yourself, that hole will swallow them all … and still you’ll feel empty.
So, fill that hole first. Love yourself, and keep working. Then watch as the good stuff comes pouring in.
Even if you had the most perfect eating and training day in the history of your life yesterday, you have to wake up and do it all again today. And that’s okay. Because if you had the most horrible eating and training day in the history of your life yesterday, then today’s a new chance too! See how that works? Take each day on its own.
And so it is with most of us—whether the battle is in nutritional choices, weight on the bar, or whatever we do for work. (Or all three.) Fight the battle anew each day. Clear the slate and step forward with your best effort. Good luck!