Those 30 day challenges that require you to cut out all the “fun” foods just don’t work for me. Perhaps they did at one point in my life, but not anymore. No potatoes? No chocolate? No bread? No sugar? No effing way.
You see I’ve gone even more “hardcore” than 30 days. I went a whole 9 months (that’s like 270 days in case you were trying to do the math just now) eating the most bland, “healthy” foods you can imagine. Basically, just straight up torture. And it totally worked. I dropped body fat left and right. I saw veins I didn’t know I had poking out of places I wished they wouldn’t. I discovered the “bricks” of my abs are actually not lined up symmetrically on each side of my torso. The right side is higher, whadya know?! I got so lean my knees would ache when I slept on my side at night. No body fat, no padding, yo.
Tilapia and asparagus is straight up magical in terms of killing your fat cells, oh, and your appetite especially when consuming it cold from a ziplock bag, because hey, it was time to eat my sixth meal! Did you know even lean fish like tilapia will have a layer of congealed fat on it’s edges when it’s cold? Yeah, I didn’t know that either…found that out the hard way.
So yes, I know how to get down to 12% body fat. I’ve gotten myself there and I’ve taken clients there. I’ve trained ladies, and some men, for figure competitions, photo shoots, and special occasions where getting extremely lean is what’s desired. It’s like man buns and Affliction t-shirts. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
I’ve learned that there are people out there that can get super lean and not crash their health with what’s required nutritionally and workout-wise. There are even MORE people out there who CAN’T get that lean without feeling like death. Everyone always thinks they fall into that first camp for some reason. Yeah, size 2 seems like a pretty awesome goal until your hair starts falling out in clumps, you have to wear a sweater in 100-degree heat, your nails stop growing, you get your period every other week and you spend all your time huddled up on the couch because you don’t have the energy to move. Sounds super sexy, right?
I’ve learned that with some individuals, the mind really IS stronger than the body. You can want something so badly that you damage yourself in the process. Remember what happened when you wanted the hottie quarterback so badly in high school? You dressed and acted like a Marti Gras girl gone crazy, which alas, didn’t get you the quarterback, but rather just detention. I’m all for having goals, but you need to be able to check in with yourself and be honest about what you’re willing to tolerate to get to that goal.
And for me? I gotta have chocolate. Daily.
My body fat isn’t 12% anymore, and I wear a more “average” size 8. BUT I HAVE HAIR. And I don’t feel like crawling onto my couch to withdraw from the world, and I’m not on a rollercoaster of “starting the diet on Monday” and then bingeing on the weekends. I can lift really heavy shit which comes in handy since my kids just keep growing. I’ve intensely examined what I will tolerate and what I won’t in order to achieve my healthiest body. You need to do the same.
Now pass me some chocolate.