Every day new diets are blared at you through the radio, flashed on television and in bold print in the newspaper. Don't eat too late, don't eat too much, don't eat too little, don't eat bread, don't eat sugar, don't lift weights, lift weights, sleep more, work out more and sleep less. You name it, it has been advertised.
I, of course, listened to many of the diet advice that was flashed in front of my eyes and put stock in random pieces of advice while waving away diets I thought were pointless. I was under the impression that my current diet, which consisted of what I deemed "healthy" foods, and my exercise regime would keep me healthy and toned. But I felt like maybe I was gaining weight on my "healthy" diet for no apparent reason.
There was a BIG reason, I found out Tuesday when I met with a personal trainer at the Edge Fitness in Milford. Apparently, I wasn't eating very healthily at all.
So, this blog is not diet advice, it is thoughts from a trainer at the Edge via me about diet and exercise. Perhaps it will quell some misconceptions and encourage better living.
I sat at a small, round table at the Edge, too conscious that the trainer about to sit down would take my weight and BMI, and prepared to talk about everything I consume in a week.
"Well," I said. "I eat fabulously during the week and then I probably ruin it with beer and cheeseburgers on the weekend," I admitted.
When asked to define fabulously, I recited my food intake: special k for breakfast with non fat milk.
For lunch I eat celery and peanut butter, a yogurt and special k bar.
For dinner, usually chicken and broccoli or pasta ... something like that.
Oh and did I mention I don't snack, drink soda, eat dessert (well, occasionally) and I work out 4 or 5 days per week?
I was doing it all wrong, the trainer told me. She advised me to look to history for the best diet. By history I mean the stone age. So no processed foods - eat only what cavemen could beat over the head and drag back to their caves or anything found in nature.
Meat, veggies, fruit, nuts and berries are a OK. But not much else. Note: cavemen didn't eat fast food, as shown in the photo above.
When I told her I do cardio and some 5 lb weight lifting for an hour and a half, she giggled and said that's no good either. I need 8, 10 and 12 pound weights to get anything sculpted and I should be doing just as much, if not more eight lifting than moving on the elliptical.
She asked me to do plank (not the kind on railings or the edges of buildings). That was easy. Now move up and down on each arm while keeping my body parallel to the ground? Impossible.
I was also doing squats so wrong that I was damaging my knees and leg lifts don't count unless your legs are stick straight.
After about 45 minutes of correcting my posture, I felt more worked out than an average three hours at the gym by myself.
"Abs are made in the kitchen, not by doing sit ups," the trainer told me as I stood up wobbly, legs stiff and sore.
Next, she taught me how to stand. "Don't stick out your chest and your butt. A lot of girls do that." She showed me how to line my hips up with my body and voila, my muscles were tighter already.
I pleaded with my trainer before I left. "If I learn to stand like this and work out like this every day and eat soooo well - just off of the land - can I please have a few beers and even a half of a cheeseburger on the weekend?"
Of course the answer is yes, but not if I want to have the body of superwoman.
So there you have it, straight from a trainer.
-Lift weights and lot and move fast while doing it.
-Special K and other 'healthy' cereals aren't necessarily healthy because, well, it's cereal and it can't be found in nature.
-Live off of the land.
-Have the willpower to stay away from cheeseburgers
Personally, I probably couldn't live this way for the rest of my life. But I am going to try a lot harder to adjust my diet and completely rid it of processed foods. I will give up cheeseburgers for a month before I have to look amazing for something, like my own wedding. But I'm afraid I can't do more than that.
Best of luck with the diet and exercise! Bathing suit season is coming up soon but no matter what season it is, I think strong > skinny.
Labels: diet, fitness, food, health, the Edge