The Truth about Abs
I have been trying to figure out what exactly my next blog post was going to be about. Bouncing ideas around the last few days, however none of them really stood out. Until yesterday. When the reality of the egotistical industry I work in hit me like a ton of bricks. I was taken back a bit, until I realized I was staring myself in the face.
So, as we all know, school is about to end; for some of us, beach vacations are upon us, short shorts, crop tops, the choice between two piece or a one piece, sun kissed skin and sun bleached hair. There is one thing, that is seemingly on every one’s mind, and social media doesn’t let you forget…. ABS! Every morning as I sip my coffee and scroll through Facebook, my feed is flooded with 10 min AB challenge, or that magic pill or smoothie that will have your abs popping by dinner. Nonsense. Let me just start out by saying, there is no such pill, no such shake, no wraps, no specific workout that will produce AB’s in a short period of time. What will produce those results, are low body fat, good nutrition, and good genetics. The reason I decided to blog about this topic is due to the discussion I had with two brand new female clients the last two days. It literally blew my mind that both women… BOTH, literally said the exact same thing to me. They both said “I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR VISIBLE ABS!” WHAT??
My first initial reaction was, is it that serious? Really? Anything? As I listened to both of these women talk about this goal they have of visible abs, I reazlied, this idea was coming from social media and not just Facebook, twitter, etc. Just media in general. Fitness, has been sexualized, and women want to be desired. As mothers and wives, as we enter our 30s, 40s, we realize our youth is behind us, gravity has begun to take control of all things that once stood up right without the help of wonder bras, and double sided tape! We want to be tight and flawless. The media is quick to share photos and videos of fitness models and athletes who have 12 pack core, very little body fat, glimmering with sweat as they promote different supplements that will help the everyday joe schmoe get that desired chiseled look. What the media fails to show, and what most people fail to realize, those athletes spend, years of their lives, hours and hours of their days training, and training hard. They are meticulous about what they put in their bodies, supplement wise and nutrition wise. They are on strict nutrition programs, to make sure they are fueled properly for the energy they are expelling and the type of sport they are training for. They didn’t wake up one day and miraculously have that chiseled core and amazing athletic ability. They trained hard, they gave up things, they sacrificed.
As I explained to these ladies, the work it was going to take to produce the results they wanted, I could tell that wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Based on the conversation, they thought they could keep up with their moderate 2x a week cardio sessions, neglect of the weight room, and lack of proper nutrition and basically just add some crunches and planks and achieve the desired look, by the end of the week. When I explained that while it was a good idea to train their core, for strength and in time, aesthetics, until their body fat came down, they wouldn’t have visible abdominal muscles. Their response… “So, the ab challenge on Facebook won’t give me abs?” Unless your body fat is already low, the answer is no!
Thinking about this throughout the last few days, I realized…. that was me! At one point in my fitness journey, I was always doing those ab challenges, always wondering when they were going to pop through. It wasn’t until I got serious about my nutrition, that I realized, I really don’t care if I ever have a 6 pack. Having them meant I was going to have to be meticulous about my nutrition, almost all the time, to maintain. This means, carefully choosing where I go out to eat, making sure what I eat fits into my daily macros, maintaining my workouts, skipping delicious foods at family functions, because there is literally no way to track those foods. It’s just not worth it to me. Would I like ABs? Sure, are they my priority? No. Will I celebrate the day I see one show through? MOST DEFINATLY! The celebration may possibly be with a cupcake…kidding…. not kidding. The point is, that look takes sacrifice, unless your one of those people who won the genetic lottery and have that carved, sculpted look without even trying, Abs take work and they take sacrifice.
Most of us have this glorified idea of what we used to look like before kids, before careers, before life got serious. Up until yesterday, I did too. I was going through old photos and found one of myself when I was 20 years old. No children yet, Active Duty Army, so I was always active. Looking back, I swear I had Ab’s! I would have put money on it. Guess what? Even at my lowest weight, lowest body fat, there wasn’t a trace of them! I had a little belly fat! WHAT!!!?
The point I’m trying to make is, a visible sculpted core is great for aesthetics, and if that’s the goal, prepare yourself, get ready to sacrifice, get ready to get serious!!!