Kym at the Gym: Episode One

Kym at the gym here! First, I’d like to say, I like my blog posts short sweet and to the point mixed with a little humor. So, if you or your friends have any health and wellness related questions, comments or corncerns…Yes, I stole that corny joke, I got it from my college modern dance professor and have no idea where he got it from, but it’s been stuck in my head for the last decade and now I can’t stop saying it! Anyway, feel free to send any and all requests for posts. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve spent the last five years working with a plethora of different kinds of people with different kinds of goals and through that experience I’ve developed some ‘strong opinions, weakly held’ (I think a psychologist named Robert Sutton said that). Basically, I have a lot of ideas on how to help different people achieve their fitness goals and I’m constantly learning, as humans, we may be made up of the same stuff but we can vary drastically! What works for one person might not work for anyone else. So here goes, this first post I want to talk about one change that helps me stay consistent with my gym time.

              I get asked questions all the time like what’s the best workout for fat loss, etc. To be honest, I used to answer like a typical trainer. Blah blah blah weights, blah blah cardio, blah calorie deficit. Over time however, I started to realize that this approach doesn’t really lend itself to consistent goal achieving or maintenance. See when we look at something like exercise for a specific goal like weight loss for some reason it doesn’t tend to become life long habits which is what is needed for long lasting change and adaptation. It’s ‘get it done and over with’ then over time we lose the “motivation” for it and just stop going all together yet still pay for a gym. So, I started saying to people, and myself honestly, that no one loses weight in the gym. That’s not what this place is for. Exercise should be seen as a prescription and we should try to aim for some kind of physical activity every day. Yes, every day. Now sometimes, life happens, and it just doesn’t fit in to our busy schedules and that’s okay. And no, I don’t mean you have to hit the gym every single day though if that’s your jam then awesome. I mean that just as we tell our kids they need to go play outside for 60 minutes a day, so do we as adults! Take a walk or dance in your living room I don’t care, I care about you not necessarily what you do! So, what’s the best exercise for weight loss? The one you’ll do most often! Yup it’s that simple, not always easy but pretty cookie cutter clean.

              Now sure, you could argue specific goals like shaping the body (i.e. a bigger butt or tone arms) requires specific exercise programs and that would be 100% true. Though the reality is that in general most people do not have the time to dedicate to “shaping the body” in such a specific way and honestly that road can be very triggering to many of us. Like why do I need the same shape as a photo-shopped models on my screen when my body does everything I need it to do just fine in the shape that it’s in? Now I’m in no way saying having body goals is anything to be ashamed of as long as it’s looked at realistically I don’t see a problem with it. Especially as most of these shaping goals involve some form of weight training to achieve which is good for everyone. Just manage your expectations people, these goals take patience, consistency and time. You won’t always be motivated, and you honestly might not have the time for the work required. Okay, so do what you can in the time you have with the energy available to you and count that as a success! Don’t be hard on yourself if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, that’s awesome! Definitely don’t demonize food or even your relationship to food. Food is awesome and so ingrained in our culture that I believe it’s totally normal and kind of beautiful to celebrate birthday with cake and Thanksgiving with green bean casserole.

Basically, I encourage you to skip the scale, side step the crazy body ideals highlighted in most magazines and media you see and instead strive to FEEL your best! Do the things everyday that you know make your brain AND body happy. Yes, that means, getting in some exercise in whatever form makes you feel like the beautiful unicorn you are with some fruits and veggies to fuel your body. That can also mean ice cream, just saying. You are the only judge that matters and the happier you are the healthier your choices will be. It’s just how our bodies work. So be happy and be healthy!