Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Step Away From the Potion... And Onto a Dreadmill. Now.

If you have gone your entire day without hearing one of the most obvious phrases ever uttered, let me help you: "Losing weight is hard." There. Now I've filled your quota. You're welcome.

No one likes to do hard work. Except for those ironman people and frankly, I don't trust people who put their bodies through that. You can run, yes. You can bike, I see. You can swim, sure. Put all three together in one event? Now you're just showing off. Since the rest of America finds walking to the mailbox excellent cardio we will focus on that particular group and leave the oval bumper sticker people out of this discussion. They need their own form of help anyway.

Here's what's getting at me lately: Deliberately throwing hard work out the window and going for the quick solution to a long term problem. Particularly, when it comes to losing weight. Newsflash kids--- it doesn't happen over night. If it did, everyone would have the perfect BMI, there would be a hell of a lot less reality tv shows about fat people and Layne Bryant would be bankrupt. But the job is HARD and there is no easy remedy to it. Or at least I think I'm right...

People have come to believe that there are easy solutions though. Powders, potions, shakes, tablets, chewables, pills, and liquid drops have dominated the world of weight loss lately among people I know. They have put their trust into scary science solutions that promote losing upwards of 30 pounds in one month just by consuming these products. Warning number one- Ain't no one gonna lose 30 pounds in a month and not deal with severe consequences because of it. And yes, I snapped my finger with that comment to accentuate my point.

I did some research into these products and found that what really happens is this: The products you consume basically make you want to throw up and therefore you really don't ingest any real food. Therefore, you supplement your diet with the program's dietary pills and shakes which give you that epic weight loss. Well, that is until Easter comes, you pop a peep in your mouth and you gain 5 pounds automatically because your body thanks the Gods above for some kind of food in your system. Even if it is a marshmallow sugar speckled chicken. You know, throwing up your meals is not all that new to the weight loss scene. Who doesn't love a good stomach flu to help you get into your skinny jeans? And while I find bulimia to be something strictly dabbled with in high school, you know that you really don't need to spend money on potions that will make you yammy, right? Just eat your food and watch "Hoarders" at the same time on TLC. You'll have the same effect and it's cost effective.

People. People. People. Kids, listen to me. You don't want to play with these quick fixes. Believe me- I have done it. The Lord knows I have spent more money on diet pills and special shakes than my wallet ever could afford. But what it boils down to is this simple fact: "If losing weight could be done by just putting drops of chemicals on your food, there would be no Jillian Michaels." None. The Biggest Loser would cease to exist. The contestants who work out for 2 hours, three times a day, six days a week would simply drink a shake or chew a pill and essentially win the show without lifting a muscle. Or hearing one scream from Jillian. But that's not how it works. And how do I know? Because I tried losing weight without the lotions and potions and surprisingly, it has worked. A picture of Jillian in the fridge and pantry helped too.

1) Magic powders do not get at the core as to why you need to lose the weight. What is that core you might ask. Well, it's this: WHY ARE YOU FAT TO BEGIN WITH? Tough question huh? Not tough because I bluntly asked it because you should expect that from me but tough because it's something that truly can't be answered without really thinking about it. If you were prom queen and cheer leading captain in high school how did you gain 90 pounds after school? If you were heavy starting in the fourth grade and never lost the weight- why did you gain it in the first place? And why can't you get rid of it? And if you are one of those people who can lose a ton of weight but gains it right back- and then some- why? Go look in the mirror and have a come to Jesus meeting. I will be waiting here when you get back...

.... .... ... ... .. .

Ok, you're done. How's your reflection? Not your friend, huh? Well, what did you figure out? Are you fat because you are president of the "Clean Plate Club"? Are you fat because you had 2 kids and just think, "well, I popped out 2 little rugrats that I chase around all day so I have a free pass." Are you fat because you were made fun of in school and the more added layers you put on the easier it was to take people's criticism inside that protective suit you made? Are you fat because you need that protective suit of armor because you're in an abusive relationship? Are you fat because you don't know the difference between an apple and a carnival candy apple? Are you fat because you've been content with being fat all your life and you just don't know what to do to change it? Are you fat because, like my cat, you eat your emotions as well as the emotions of all of those people around you? Did I miss your particular reason? I'm positive I did because we are all fat for different reasons. And no matter how many shakes we drink or pills we take... the reason WHY we are fat will not change. Those potions may change our outward appearance but they won't change us on the inside. (Sorry, this is NOT mentioned in the fine print).

Weight loss is more than just the pounds. It's losing the ties that bind you to whatever it is that you are using food as a weapon for. Going to the gym is more than just judging people on the dreadmill next to you or annoying the grunting body builders through imitation  It's about learning to push yourself to the limit. Then finding that limit and pushing it just a little bit further. Why? Because you are trying to lose weight... and your comfort zone. It is inside that comfort zone that you got fat in the first place. You can't overcome what made you the way you are unless you fight it. And you can only fight it through blood, sweat, tears and the occasional trip to the Emergency Room for x-rays.

So I looked in the mirror (while I was waiting for you)... And I saw a girl who had built up a wall of fat around her to protect her from all of those who have made fun of her her entire life. I saw a girl who lost a lot of weight in high school- the wrong way. I saw a girl who gained it all back as a means of protection from an abusive relationship. And I saw a girl who got tired of standing around watching life go past her and wondering when she would again have the courage to shed that suit of armor she made out of funfetti cakes and bagels with cream cheese and finally show the vulnerable, exposed... KRISTEN. I couldn't do that by drinking a shake. I couldn't do that by yammying my food thanks to a liquid drop of "what the hell is going in my body??". I had to hit the gym and sweat it out. Cry it out. With every mile I ran I had to think about all of those people that I wish were somehow under the belt of the dreadmill getting run over. I had to come face to face with Kristen. Not face to face with a shake.

Do I eat perfectly? No. God made sugar and I refuse to turn my back on God. Do I drink too much beer? Yes, yes I do. Do I skip my workouts because I am tired or there is a Yankees game I don't want to miss? Absolutely. I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be and I never will be. I will fall off that wagon again and again but I know that after all the ice packs I've gone through, the tears, the injuries, the bruises, the i-pod playlists, the verbal arguments with inanimate objects and the sweat left on the gym floor- I'm doing this the RIGHT way. I will never be a size 0. I will never have an hourglass shape. I will never be on the cover of a Sports Illustrated magazine. I will never be featured in a Fitness expose as a trainer. But I promise myself I will never "phone it in." Because that means I'm quitting on myself and I'm quitting on the person inside of me who has been hidden under 100 pounds of extra Kristen. I need to pull her out and I'm not going to do that with the help of some yammy droplets and sickening shakes. I need to do it the real way because the inner Kristen deserves that.

The inner Kristen also deserves a piece of cake now and then because, well, I say so. But if you want to half-ass it and make yourself sick to lose weight well then you can't have cake can you? Because you can't eat anything that's not on your special program. The minute you put that sweet piece of cake to your lips, it is going to your hips. Forever. And you all know how to say it... "Ain't No Body Got Time For That." Or the 100 pounds you'll gain after your magic potion fails you in the end.