I’ve achieved some of my greatest successes, attained better health and fitness results, and made my life more awesome by doing the opposite of what’s popular and recommended by “experts”.
You can too.
Society and some fitness resources have been telling women what to do for years, and in some instances it’s time to do the exact opposite. Not in the name of defiance, but because doing so can actually be BETTER and lead to greater results. Here are 10 instances where you should do the exact opposite of what’s popular …
1. Value your self-worth and self-esteem on your jean size, weight, age, or some other number.
Nope. Screw that. Resist the constant pressure and temptation to think you’re “not good enough” or you’d somehow be a better person if you looked a certain way or reached a lower (or higher) bodyweight.
Base your self-worth on who you are as a person and what you contribute to this world because no set of numbers can define you.
2. Diet constantly. Be on the lookout for the latest tips and tricks to eat less and slim down.
No. You shouldn’t always “be on a diet”. In fact, you don’t have to “diet” at all if you follow a few simple guidelines that can be tailored to your preferences. Even though, especially as women, we may feel compelled to always watch what we eat, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose to eat more of the foods that make us feel great and enjoy our favorite tasty-but-not-super-healthy foods on occasion.
Food is not evil and we don’t have to ask permission to eat anything. Forget about dieting and strive to eat in a simple, enjoyable, sustainable way.
And always choose to be MORE, not less.
3. There are foods and food groups you should avoid at all costs. Deprive yourself of your favorite treats because you don’t want to gain fat.
Nope. In fact, don’t have any forbidden foods. Don’t vow to never eat “fattening foods” like your favorite desserts. Doing that is a recipe for failure and is a great way to trigger a binge.
Repeating the point from above: there are no “evil” foods. You can still enjoy all of your favorite foods on occasion, absolutely guilt-free.
4. There’s such a thing as the perfect diet and workout plan for fat loss and body transformation.
No, there’s not. The absolute best thing you could ever do is follow a way of eating that is simple, sustainable, enjoyable, and fits your lifestyle and preferences. Only then will you achieve long-lasting results.
Likewise with working out: you’re better off working out two or three days per week if you know that’s all you can realistically do rather than revolving your life around a program that requires more. You can also choose to play more and work out less, if you desire.
Always do what works for you and fits into your life; you should never revolve your life around a diet or fitness plan. This will always trump any self-proposed “perfect” plan. When in doubt, stick to the bare essentials and do them consistently; that is what produces results.
5. Being “fit” means looking a certain way.
Being fit is not a one-size-fits all mold. You don’t have to attain a certain weight or body fat percentage to be considered fit. Those who claim that’s true should stop and think about those who physically can’t look a certain way whether it be from a birth defect or accident they endured in their life.
Being fit is an attitude and way of life. You can choose what it looks like to you.
6. Make sure you burn a ton of calories during your workouts.
Not necessary. Do a little better than last time and be proud of what your body can do.
High levels of fatigue and getting close to vomiting with each workout is still seen as a badge of honor and a mandatory outcome to each training session. If you don’t finish every workout completely worn out, you didn’t work hard enough and wasted your time.
That’s bogus nonsense.
The goal with each workout is to do the best you can that day and, if possible, do a little better than last time. This could even mean finishing a workout feeling more energized than when you started.
Get better, not tired.
7. How you look is the absolute most important thing.
I think we know this is not true, but society doesn’t hesitate to tell us otherwise.
We live in a world that, unfortunately, does not hesitate to judge us by what we eat, what we wear, how old we are, and definitely by how we look.
This can only change once we start living differently. Once we realize that we, and everyone else, is more than a physical body. We should Lift Like a Girl from the inside out.
8. Be sure to keep in mind the thoughts of others when you choose to do something.
Uhhh … no.
I would rather people hate me for who I truly am than like me for pretending to be something I’m not.
I didn’t embrace this until my mid-twenties, but better late than never. And you’re never too old to ask yourself what it is you truly want and who you want to be in this world.
Stop caring about what other people think and live a life that brings you and your loved ones joy.
9. Know your role and place as a woman.
Actually, this one I completely agree with, albeit it in a different way!
Every woman, regardless of age or any other factor, can add something remarkable to this world and has a unique personality and set of skills. Embrace what makes you uniquely you, and use it to your advantage.
Damn right know your role – it’s whatever you want it to be. Know it, live it, embrace it, and do it unapologetically.
10. Have heroes, but don’t try to be one.
Admiring people for their achievements, strength, bravery, courage, and determination is human nature, and I have numerous people I look to every day to motivate me to be the best version of myself.
The problem arises when we become envious of other people or think, “I could never do that”.
Be your own hero in this world.
Live your life bravely and make the most of every day and be the change you want to see in the world. If you’re not happy with something, don’t complain – do something about it. No one else will do it for you; only you can actively control your life and produce the outcomes you want.
What does this have to do with fitness and Lifting Like a Girl? In short, everything.
Health and fitness is a tool to make you a better, more awesome version of yourself. It should ultimately allow you to build a body that serves you so you can get the most out of life and do the things that make you happy. That’s a far cry from what most people make it out to be, which is a constant race to see who can weigh the least or attain a certain body image.
Your workouts should make you stronger and more awesome and your nutrition habits should be stress-free and enjoyable. If those two things aren’t happening, it’s time to make a change.
Lift Like a Girl, starting from the inside out, and don’t be afraid to do the opposite of what’s popular.