“I can’t lose weight or get in shape because I am too old”
“I need to give up carbs for a while to lose weight”
“I am on a diet and only eating around 1200 calories a day so I can lose weight”
“I can’t strengthen or build muscle in my arms”
“I am going to start getting healthy tomorrow, Monday, after the holidays” or “I will do it when the time is right- when I am less busy”
I cannot tell you how many times I often hear women saying phrases about their diet or bodies that are simply not true. Somewhere along the way many women have been misinformed, led to believe certain notions from diet culture, or just have convinced themselves that they are not capable of having the health or body that they desire. However, these beliefs are inaccurate!
So, I want to take a minute to clear a few things up…
It shouldn’t matter what age you are, you are absolutely able to lose weight, build muscle, or get in shape. Sure, it may be more challenging than when you were younger and may require different strategies. Will you be the size or weight you were in high school or college again? Probably not, but that shouldn’t even be a goal, because you were in your teens then, your hormones were different, your activity level was different. Everything was different! You’re an adult now and you will need to have realistic body goals, expectations, and approaches, but once you do get healthy again, you will most likely feel better now than you did at that age anyway because you are doing things in a healthy and sustainable way!
Carbs are not the enemy! Your body needs carbohydrates to live. They are your primary fuel source. Eliminating them from your diet may work initially, but this isn’t sustainable long-term, so once you reintroduce them back into your diet, the weight will come back. It is more important to focus on eating healthy carbs and nourishing yourself with the proper amounts of macronutrients. They will give you the energy you need to take on your workouts and the day!
You cannot live off of eating the same caloric intake as a child. Your body needs calories (aka energy) to function properly. Eating so little of calories will kill your metabolism, leave you feeling hungry and miserable all of the time, and won’t actually help you lose weight long-term or even at all. It is true that you need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight, however reducing your calories too much just isn’t healthy. Make sure that you’re getting the correct number of calories that your body needs for energy while also putting yourself in a caloric deficit. It is important to do this the right and healthy way! A registered dietitian or certified nutritionist or trainer can assist you with this if you don’t know where to start.
You can most definitely build muscle and strengthen your arms, or any part of your body, for that matter. You simply must put in the work! Most women feel they have weak arms, perhaps they think they are genetically predisposed to large arms, or just feel incapable of building muscle in their upper body, but that isn’t true. You can shape those arms by resistance training! Lifting weights and building muscle will give you those strong arms you desire. It takes time, but you can absolutely have strong, firm, biceps and triceps. You can build out those shoulders and back. A strong upper body is not reserved only for men! You just have to do the work!
I hate to tell you this, but the time is never right. There is never a “perfect” time. We are always going to be busy and there will be holidays and vacations every year! Life doesn’t stop. It is important to learn how to create good habits, discipline, and a healthy mindset that allows you to work through these times. Learning when to indulge and when to practice restraint. Knowing that you can splurge, but you can also make healthier food choices and get movement in on vacation and during the holidays. It is about making the time and your health a priority in your life. If you learn how to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle during the busiest of times, the rest of the year will be a piece of cake!
Just know that it is about creating healthy habits and a mindset that changes your beliefs around food and exercise. It does require you to get out of your comfort zone, but working out can be fun and enjoyable, and healthy food doesn’t have to be bland or unappealing. It is not about restriction, but practicing moderation, mindfulness, and finding balance in your life. It is about making yourself a priority and being consistent. Knowing that you are capable of anything you set your mind to! Believing in yourself is key! Remember, a healthy lifestyle should be sustainable long-term. Going back to old habits and old ways will only reverse your progress. So, when you start living a life focused on healthy eating, moving your body, self-love and self-care, it should be something you can stick to forever. Listen, it won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. But do the work and don’t give up. You are capable of more than you know! You can do it!