Growing old is a funny thing–and yes, I know I’m not old, but bear with me. You definitely grow wiser as you learn from experience and learn from your mistakes. I’ve been in the “fitness game” a long time and I’ve learned my fair share of things and that things are perfect never. If I could turn back time, I would share the following 5 lessons with my teenage self.
Being Perfect Never: 5 Fitness Lessons
1. Being Healthy Doesn’t Equal Being Skinny
When I was younger, I was absolutely obsessed with being small–skinny, thin, tiny, I wanted it. Growing up in Asia, being thin was definitely the norm and part of it was a desire to fit in. I was always fairly small but I became pretty fixated on losing weight during my teenage years and spent a lot of wasted time figuring out how to lose the most weight. Whereas in reality, I should’ve been enjoying myself, and focusing on being fit and strong.
The media definitely feeds us the image that thin is beautiful. But something I’ve learned is that feeling your best, your fittest and your healthiest, is the most important thing there is. I may be bigger than I used to be (duh) but I’m so proud I can do a pull up and a “real” push up!
2. Fad Diets Are Not The Way to Go
Ugh. This took me a long freaking time to understand. Fad diets are not the way to go because they are unsustainable. However, I was always lured by the false promise of quick weight-loss. Here’s a life tip: quick weight-loss isn’t possible.
If you do lose weight quickly, you usually gain it back because you were severely undereating. The only way to lose fat for good is the hard way, I’m afraid. Practicing good nutritional habits, sweating regularly and making sure to stretch and tend to your sore muscles!
3. Lifting Heavy Weights Won’t Make You Bulky
How often can I say this? Because it’s the truth! Read and repeat: heavy weights will not make you bulky. In fact, whenever I did lift heavy, I actually lost fat and toned up tremendously (case in point when I did the Progress Pure Curve Guide). It’s extremely freaking difficult to get bulky as a woman because we simply do not produce enough testosterone. To become ‘bulky’ you need to be actively trying and eating a ton of food.
If you’ve plateaued and are feeling frustrated, do not be prepared to pick up some heavy weights and LIFT! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how strong and sexy you feel 🙂
4. Carbohydrates Are Not The Devil
Nope, they really aren’t. I wrote a whole post about why carbs are in fact a necessary macronutrient in this post. Truth be told, you shouldn’t demonize any macronutrient or food. Really, it’s not worth it. In reality, if you eat enough of anything then it’ll be bad for you. True story, my grandmother put herself in the hospital from drinking too much water, guys.
Be sensible and choose carbohydrates that enable you to be your fittest and strongest. I like to choose complex carbohydrates which are full of fiber–if I don’t get my carbs in then I definitely feel it when I workout. Without carbs, I have no energy, and working out starts to suck. So eat your carbs, my friends!
5. It’s Okay to Not Be “Body Perfect” All Year Round (Perfect Never!)
Honestly, this is something I still struggle with a little #facepalm. It can be hard to accept that you won’t look bikini body ready all year round–unless it is legitimately your job and you’re a Victoria’s Secret model haha. It’s okay to gain a little bit of weight during the winter and to relax every now and again. Life is meant to be enjoyed and it’s a good idea to take some time off from stressing about losing that last ounce of fat. Guys, it’s okay to be perfect never!
I hope that these lessons give you valuable insight into the mistakes, hardships and struggles I faced over the past 10-years. While there’s nothing as valuable as learning a lesson on your own, I hope you take some of these fitness lessons to heart and give yourself a break <3
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Reebok. All opinions expressed are my own.
Photos by Charles Uibel