I need to rant for a second about what makes my job so difficult and why so many women are unsatisfied with their bodies. I was in the grocery store lineup the other day and staring right at me was Gwyneth Paltrow in a white bikini on the cover of a fitness magazine with a caption that read “Get Gwyneth’s abs with these three moves”. Instantly I was angry and my poor boyfriend had no idea why.
Trust me, looking like Gwyneth Paltrow (or anyone who is on the cover of a fitness magazine) is not as simple as doing 3 moves. Which is why women, and men, find exercising so frustrating. Everywhere we turn we are being told to take this supplement, or do this exercise or whatever scheme someone has created to make us think that whatever we are doing is wrong and looking good is actually really easy. That you don’t need to sacrifice or work your ass off. You just need to do what “they” are telling you.
Which is why my job can be really frustrating at times because I spend much of my time educating clients on the realities of fitness. Showing them how hard they have to work if they want to look a certain way, which hopefully helps them realize that sometimes it isn’t about having “celebrity abs” but just feeling good about ourselves.
There’s a reason celebrities are who they are, and one of them is they like to be in control of everything. You know what I am talking about, right? Those girls and guys at the gym look fantastic but it is because they are there for hours, every single day. They wouldn’t dare to even look at a pastry window in a café, let alone eat a pastry! And no judgement here, I admire that in someone, but frankly that is not me, nor is it most of you. So we all need to understand that yes, we can all look that way, but do we really want to?
If you really want to, then the first step is to stop believing those headlines like the one I saw at the grocery store. Stay away from supplements and fad diets and adopt the attitude that you need to work hard. There are no cheat days, no lazy Sunday morning or boozie brunches with your girlfriends. Alcohol becomes soda water, muffins become cold pressed greens, coffee becomes herbal tea and your spare time turns into gym time.
If that doesn’t sound like you, then accept the reality of who you are. It doesn’t mean you get to give up and eat nachos whenever you want, but having nachos once in a while is ok. And so is a pint or two of beer. You still can challenge yourself by pushing yourself harder than ever in a spin class, or nailing that yoga move you’ve been trying to achieve for months but you can also love your body and the person that it holds inside.
Be realistic in your expectations of yourself and make sure that your expectations meet your actions, because if they don’t then you might as well just beat your head up against a wall because you will be going nowhere fast. Fill your body with nutrients, get it sweaty and then let it rest and be ok that you will probably never grace the cover of a fitness magazine…for now anyway, because hopefully one day we see real bodies, real women, representing what health and wellness truly is.
Here's Jude Law out for a run the other day.