The Real Path to Fitness: Fitness Advice from an Expert
Women often tell me that they love my aqua fitness line and they’re excited to place an order … just as soon as they lose 30 (or however many) pounds.
Ladies: Forgive me for being blunt, but if you’re serious about shedding those bothersome bulges, that is the exact wrong approach. And I don’t say this because I want to sell more Aqua Sportswear (though I do, of course, it’s my business.) But I’d encourage you to buy fitness fashions in your current size from any of my competitors with equal enthusiasm and here’s why: When you’re preparing to make a change, it’s important to begin where you are.
In order to begin where you are, you have to acknowledge where that is, and what better way than with a special outfit, custom designed not only to meet your physical and aesthetic needs but also to help you get to wherever it is that you want to go. Since this is the garment in which you’ll be doing many of the things that will help you to achieve your weight loss goal, why not love the way it looks and feels? There’s no shame in reaching out for encouragement, even if it comes in the form of pretty colors. But the lovely workout clothes that fit you now can also serve as reminder of where you’re at, which is essential since it’s impossible to get to 30 without first getting to one.
Getting from zero to one (step, stroke, yoga pose, day without ingesting any high fructose corn syrup, etc…) is actually much trickier and requires more physical, psychological and emotional energy than it takes to get from one to two, five to seven or 15 to 30. Which is why it’s important to be gentle with yourself. Forget the familiar motto, “No Pain, No Gain.” If you push past your current physical limits right out of the gate, bad things are likely to happen. You might get injured. You may feel distressed and dispirited. You’re likely to search your arsenal of excuses for reasons why you’ll never be able do this again.
Don’t go there. Yes exercise is hard but it should never feel punishing. If it’s taking energy out of your body rather than putting it in, you’re definitely on the wrong track.
Let’s say you’d like to be able to run for 30 minutes. Start out by walking for 30 minutes. If you begin to feel tired, slow down … but don’t stop. The next day, try something different; take a yoga class or go for a swim. Day after that, set your timer for 30 minutes again and start walking. If by the middle of the walk you’re feeling warm and energized, throw in a few paces of jogging; when that becomes uncomfortable, transition back to walking. Focus on your breath. Oxygenate your body by taking long, even breaths.
It may seem pointless to invest in an outfit that is unlikely to fit in the not too distant future. But if you’re open to the kind of quiet, persistent approach to fitness that will bring you to a stronger normal (rather than to the orthopedic department of a nearby hospital) a modest investment in, and acknowledgement of, where you are now will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.
Jennie Green is the founder of Nayad Aqua Sportswear.