I went to the doctor yesterday for the first time in probably close to a year.
Bad news: I have a sprained neck.
Good news: All of my vitals and blood work are in great range and I’ve lost almost 10 pounds since my last visit.
Whenever you say the words “weight loss” out loud, someone is going to ask you what you did and someone is going to exclaim they cannot do what you do.
That second part is true and it’s the reason why I’m going to tell you what I STOPPED doing that really changed how I approached working out, eating and weight loss.
I stopped following everyone’s advice. The short version is:
Social Media ain’t gospel.
I love social media. Instagram is my jam. I follow over 5,300 people on IG. At ANY time, 4,000 of them are posting about what workout I should I do, what I should drink, how I should do my squats, how many calories I should burn in a day and what I should wear while doing it. Less than half of them have the credentials to share such information and none of them know me personally. I think we are so mesmerized by pretty pictures and “likes” that a lot of us will follow anyone who looks like what we think we want to look like, anyone who has a six pack or can do a handstand.
It’s not because we are naive. We are desperate. We want answers and solutions and we’ll follow anyone who seems to know more than us.
The problem is we are following TOO many people and we are trying to imitate them all. We are trying to use EVERY piece of equipment, trying to use EVERY supplement and trying to participate in EVERY challenge. That leads us to burn out and frustration. We start to doubt ourselves and then we find ourselves right back to searching for more advice with our hands stuck in the Doritos bag as we plan what we we are going to do next Monday.
I mean the Monday after Labor Day. Gotta get this big cookout holiday under our belts.
While this seems like comedy, I found myself falling back into the same habits I had in 2004, way before the social media explosion. I had access to message boards and chat groups. Every time someone mentioned a supplement, I HAD to have it. I had to try every exercise. I, eventually, ended up facing anorexia again because I has stopped eating because I was so confused and desperate.
So when we are still struggling even though we are all over social media every day trying to get “advice” and “inspiration,”we have to ask where we are going wrong. For me, it was being willing to go through some changes (including gaining some weight), try different types of workout patterns (from a few sources I trusted and knew to be legitimate. I realize that’s hard when you only know a source by what they present on their pictures), try a workout and food schedule, give it time before I jumped to the next source, keep notes, ask for help when I needed it and adjust accordingly.
Because NOTHING works for everyone.
If you want to change YOUR life, your decisions have to be based on what YOU want out of the changes. It doesn’t make sense for me to train the same way a basketball player does or lift the same amount of weight as a person who is trying to put on mass. Be clear about your goals. Seek out resources that support your direction, be willing to go through the process and NEVER discredit your own intuition.
You know more than you think.