by ERIKA NICOLE KENDALL of A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss
When I listen to the different comments and e‑mails that I receive, there are sometimes things that I want to say, but wont. Why? Because people come here to share and understand that they aren’t alone in the way they think and feel about certain issues regarding wellness and weight loss.
But every now and again, I read something that makes me want to toss my head against my desk – not too hard, but hard enough – because they’re either mistakes I’ve made before… or mistakes I make now (and realize it while reading someone else’s words)… or mistakes I haven’t made and probably would’ve made in the future if I weren’t thinking consciously.
So.. having said that… consider this my collective screaming, shouting, and fussing from a year’s worth of e‑mails and comments where y’all just know you are wrong. You know you are. Hopefully you’ll giggle with me a little, and come on out of the woodwork admitting how you know you’re wrong.
1. You put off an activity today, for whatever reason, because you can “just do it tomorrow.”
Say it with me. This… is BS. Let me tell you what happens. You get home. You’re tired. You’re worn out. You’re angry. Whatever. Instead of using your pending workout at something to energize you and destress you, you put it off by saying “Oh, I’ll just tack it on to tomorrow’s workout.” You know what happens now: either you skip tomorrow’s workout as well, or you do finish tomorrow’s workout, forgetting the part you were supposed to tack on.
The problem with this is that it’s an excuse. It’s allowing you to excuse very big parts of your routine – your entire routine for a day – and its a bad habit that you don’t want to develop. Do yourself a favor. If you get the feeling that you want to “put it off until tomorrow,” go anyway… but do at least 1/3 of your workout. Why 1/3? For one, you’re still going. That prevents you from getting into the habit of not going. For two, once you get into the swing of your routine, its highly unlikely that you’ll literally stop at 1/3. You’ll probably keep going… and you’ll probably feel glad that you did.
2. You’re still freaking dieting: you diet, you lose a little weight, you go back to life before the diet, you put the weight back on. Woe is me.
I don’t believe in dieting (or “cheating“). I refuse to live on mashed potatoes for a week straight, grapefruit for a week straight, spongebob squarepants fruit snacks for a week straight.. whatever voodoo mumbo jumbo looney tunes diet is going on out there right now just to lose a measly five pounds. I don’t believe in being miserable.
Dieting is moronic. Yes. I said it. Dieting says that it makes sense to “take a break from your regular bad habits” to go on a temporary severely restricted regimen, lose weight, then go right back to the habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. How does that make sense?
If your goal is temporary weight loss, then yes, a temporary change makes sense. But last time I checked, no one puts themselves through a ton of dietary trauma just to lose five pounds for five days, right? Right.
I believe in making changes to the habits I created, be they questionable or downright deplorable. If I want to go in on some ice cream? I’ma do it, but there’s a consequence I have to suffer through, and that consequence teaches me the lesson: lay off the ice cream. That lesson is far more powerful than anything a darn diet could teach me. Ever.
3. You think the latest weight loss gadget is your ticket: you’ve got a closet full of ab pulsing belts, shake weights and thigh masters…
…and, for some reason, your abs aren’t ripped, your arms aren’t cut, and your thighs don’t look like Suzanne Somers. This is not coincidence.
Did you know that you can do the same exercise the thigh master shows you how to do… without the thighmaster? That’s right. You don’t need the thighmaster to do leg lifts. You don’t need some pedals on a spring board to do sit ups… you can just do sit ups at home. You don’t need to shake an overweight rattle – one that, I presume, was created as an inside joke among perverts – to tone your arms the same way regular ol’ push ups or a one liter of water as a dumbell could.
Stop thinking that you need to spend – or waste, however you see it – money on the latest fad product to help you get it in. You don’t. You can do this with no products, or you can have all the products in the world. If you don’t have the work ethic needed to make this thing happen for you, then you can kiss your goal – and your money – goodbye. You won’t be seeing it.
4. You’re impatient.
This ain’t The Biggest Loser. (Hell, The Biggest Loser ain’t The Biggest Loser.) But for some reason, you want to lose 30lbs in a week, too. Crappy supermarket checkout line magazines don’t really help with this, but you swear up and down that you’re supposed to “lose 7lbs in 7 days with nooooo effort!!!” and after that first week, when you don’t “lose 7lbs in 7 days with nooooo effort!!!” you want to walk around the house with your lip poked out all mad and angry, ready to give up on weight loss and, ultimately, wellness.
Did you put the weight on in 7 days? Why think that you can lose it that fast? Are you running at cheetah speed for two hours a day? Then no, you’re not going to lose 7lbs in a week. Let that go. There is nothing wrong with 1–2lbs in a week. There is nothing wrong with finding that you’ve lost 5–8lbs in a week, either: if you’ve upped the fiber in your diet and are going potty more, that’ll reflect on the scale… if you made drastic changes to your caloric intake, that’ll reflect as well. But by and large, the average woman worried about a “final 10–15lbs” (she is usually the target of this “lose 30lbs in 10 minutes!” schtick) is not going to actually do it.
This takes patience. It takes learning and relearning your body… which really takes patience. Don’t shortchange yourself by trying to rush through it for a bikini or a little black dress. Not worth it.
5. After reading this, you’re gonna laugh, nod your head and say “Yep,” and not change a single thing.
I’m serious – how many people do you estimate will read this, giggle a little, and then go right back to their Doritos and crystal light? C’mon, man, either you’re in or you’re out. Either you want it, or you don’t. Every decision you make, you need to make with your ultimate wellness in mind. Every step you take needs to be one where you are conscious of you and your needs. It requires that much effort.. and either you’re willing to put in that effort or you’re not. Waddling in the middle isn’t going to get you anywhere, that’s for sure.
So really, prove me wrong – stop buying every silly product that comes out. Stop putting off workouts. Stop with the impatience (and, consequently, undue stress and pressure that comes with it.) Stop with the freaking diets. Just live… healthier. It’s that easy.
What are your thoughts ladies?
For more informative health and fitness posts, check out A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss.