Oh fat loss, everyone wants it but not many people seem to be able to achieve it.
This subject is a bit personal for me because this is advice I wish someone would have given me ten years ago. As an 18 year old ballerina everything was about fat loss and getting thinner. Magazine covers were showing skinny celebrities and telling me how I could lost 10lbs in a week! And like a sucker I believed them. This led to some very restrictive eating habits that have impacted me and my metabolic health to this day.
But maybe this will reach someone before they are neck deep in the never ending journey for fat loss.
Every woman (and a lot of men for that matter) I meet is trying to lose weight, whether they are overweight or not. This I feel is a reflection of society’s obsession with skinny women being the ideal of beauty. Wake up. How many people do you see walking around that actually look like that? But because of this it has led to feelings of shame and the need to lose weight if those ideals are not met. I too was once a victim of this. Most of the time, chasing this ideal will ultimately lead to a negative body image, even if someone is already thin.
What most women don’t realize is that the reason they don’t look the way they want is because they don’t have enough muscle. I despise the word ‘toned’ but a lot of people, especially women, tell me they want to look more ‘toned.’ What they fail to realize is that they actually have to add some muscle in order to achieve that look.
Now, in comes training for strength rather than fat loss. When training for strength, it is almost inevitable that you will see improvements in your physique because your body is being forced to adapt and improve from one session to the next. Once I stopped training for fat loss and shifted my focus to getting stronger, that was when all the magic started to happen.
Ladies, do not be afraid of gaining some lean muscle! I promise you will not get bulky. I’ve spent the last three years with a strength training focus, trying to build muscle and I am still a normal sized female.
In my experience, training for strength builds confidence instead of tearing it down. You start to learn that your body is capable of some pretty incredible things and you become proud of what it can do. All the things you used to hate, you learn to love. For example, I used to hate my legs. I always wanted them to be skinnier but now I love them and I’m damn proud of what they can do. They wouldn’t be able to squat 200lbs if I had continued to chase fat loss.
So, if you are someone who has been trying to lose the same 5-10lbs (or more) for the last several years to no avail, maybe it’s time to change things up. Focus on getting stronger and learning to love your body and everything that it is capable of.