Today, one of my coworkers, whom I only see in the Fall, stopped by my office to ask about music gigs. The first thing she said to me was "Oh my goodness. When did you get so small?" She didn't know that I had been working my ass (literally) off for the last 9 months. She wasn't prompted or given a cookie to say such nice things. And I wasn't wearing lyrca infused miracle panties. She just said it.
Feeling good, I thanked her for her words and we started discussing running and all of my races, including this weekend's Fleet Feet Women's 10K/5K. Little does she know that when I'm running on Sunday, I'll be thinking about how her face lit up when I said, without hesitation, that I am running to get healthy.
It's easy to blow smoke up my ass. It is still that large, but it's one thing to show genuine interest. And that's what keeps me moving. I hope I do the same in return for all of my friends who are out there at the gym or are posting fitspiration blogs and race recaps. We are all in this together.
BUT, and it's a big BUT, I will not support just anyone. You have to do this smartly. This shouldn't just be about the number on the scale or the size of your tape measure. This is about obtaining the healthiest, manageable lifestyle. For many of us, that does include dropping 20-30-40-50-100lbs. So, just so we are clear on why I'm not friending you back on Sparkpeople or why I refuse to give you any advice on facebook, here's a list of my exceptions:
I will NOT support you if you are intentionally eating under 1200 calories a day. Whether it be for a wackado diet or your own need to cut your calories, 1200 is not sufficient. 1200 calories is what you need to have normal brain function- that's not to strive, create, push yourself through tough workouts. 1200 is the baseline low that you should shoot to get over. And when I mean over, let me say that as a 4'11" female at the weight of this tshirt cannon:
I strive to eat between 1400 calories (non-workout days), 1600 calories (strength and short runs), 2000 calories (long runs or over 2 hours of cardio). I'm assuming you are not as short as me, so add about 100 calories to each of those numbers and you most likely have the number you should be eating at if you are female.
I wont even begin to list all the horrors that could go on if you continue to eat at 1200, but let's sum it up by saying that you will most likely give up, gain weight (starvation mode really does suck), or wind up with depression/muscle loss/fatigue/hair and nail loss/etc. So dont do it, please.
On the same line, I will NOT support you if you partake in a dangerous or redic. diet trend. That 1200 number? Subtract it by about 400 calories. That's how much you are allowed to eat for the first week of a diet that requires you to also inject yourself with hormones twice a day. How idiotic does that sound? And oddly enough, it's a real thing that quack doctors supposedly recommend. Do not tell me you are doing this diet to be healthy when clearly the means of getting you there are downright dangerous.
Even the caveman doesn't want to participate in the Caveman Diet.
I will NOT support you if you dont give yourself rest days. It's a rookie mistake, I know, and there are weeks in which I will forget that my body cannot recover unless I let it. If you're a new runner, dont run every day. In fact, 3 days a week is what most 5K-10K runners use to train. Any more is unnecessary and can lead to injury. And, if you dont allow your body to rest, I can guarantee you that you will burn out.
I will NOT support you if you are not completely honest about your program and effort. I just read a story about a woman who is tired of listing to her friend complain about all the hard work she puts in at the gym with little results to show. The story goes on to say that the author frequently saw her put in 10 minutes on the "old lady" bike and then spend an hour at the juice bar with a protein shake and a cereal bar.
I know, working out is hard work. And often times, you will get sweaty. Your makeup will run. Your hair will become matted and frayed. And fitness clothes? Sometimes not the most flattering to do squats in. Dont get me started on how boring machines can get or how intimidating classes can be... But these are all excuses. You dont burn a cookie off without sweating just a bit. And you certainly cant take back all those trips to Wendys without making some puddles in spin class. Suck it up. You get what you put in. It may not be immediate and it may not be as exciting as you had hoped, but it will come and it will pay off.
And finally, I will NOT support you if you try to sell me something. When did weight loss become the Mary Kay industry? I'm not knocking those who do it, and I apologize in advance if you do sell for these organizations. But here's a big warning: Do not even attempt to sell to me. I wont bite. Same thought, but dont even try to make me a part of your "sales team." I'm not going to your fitness party and I'm certainly not trying your "gourmet" shakes (that will subsequently cost me over $200/month for).
It's that easy. Eat right, put in the right amount of exercise, know when to rest, and dont try to sell me shit. Do this and I promise that I'll be there at every mile to cheer you on and blow smoke up your huge bum until it's small and perky.