Choosing Between 6 Pack Abs & Life
When exercise became “my thing”, I judged my progress on my stomach.
Every year, I’d announce to Dan… this year I’m going to have a 6-pack by my birthday! (or some other date). Which after a few years of this, he just rolled his eyes.
Fast forward 10 years and after a lot of focused hours in the gym and difficult decisions (i.e saying no to things I love) in the kitchen, I finally got pretty damn close to the 6 pack I dreamt about.
I’m proud of the strong body that is a reflection of hard work and habitual actions of lifting heavy, pushing hard, and eating clean.
Like, really, really clean.
Which is why I am stuck between a rock and a hard place right now.
Let’s talk about…
What It Takes To Keep A 6 Pack
For some people, it just takes going into maintenance mode.
- Eating clean 80% – 90% of the time and keeping up with workouts.
- Their body will stay lean and those abs will continue to show.
But that’s not everyone. And it’s definitely NOT me.
For me to keep a 6 pack, it means keeping up the habits that got me to the 6 pack in the 1st place.
It means saying no to alcohol, saying no to sugar, saying no to many carbs, and saying no to fun.
Because damn it, food is fun!
How can I saw no to this delicious cookie with this delicious view? (On my last hiking retreat).
How do I know this? Because of where I am now.
My abs, while slightly there in the morning, are most definitely not what they are in that picture.
And this was just a few weeks ago.
I was sharing my frustrations with Dan the other night and he really laid it out there by saying,
“You need to decide what you want. Do you want to enjoy life a bit and have a few glasses of wine with me (and friends) and look fit but not ripped or… do you want to watch everything you eat so you keep your 6 pack?”
I hate when my husband says wise things.
No answer is wrong, it really does come down to what I want.
What I Want At This Particular Time
So what is it that I want? The best of both worlds, duh! I want to eat my cake and flex a 6 pack. But like I said, that’s not my genetics.
Bodies change. Clearly…
But I do think life is meant to be fun.
And while there will be times when I want the full 6 pack and will do the focused, dedicated work to have it… there are also times when you want to sip wine with friends and eat the burger on a bun.
Food is fuel but it’s also a way for us to bond and it’s damn good.
I don’t want to turn down dinner with a girlfriend because the restaurant doesn’t meet my nutritional requirements.
I don’t want to count in my head how many calories I consumed because I had 2 glasses of champagne instead of half glass.
But also let me clarify…
This DOESN’T mean I’m okay with going off the deep end with my habits (or yours).
This is not letting myself go.
It just means I’m okay with a fit, lean, healthy body instead of a super sculpted body by allowing myself to follow a 90% clean diet instead of a 100% while also keeping my workouts intense, focused and aimed towards strength.
It means I am okay with my body being where it likes to be lean at naturally vs me forcing it to be leaner than it wants. (We all have a natural set point).
Thanks for letting me get my thoughts out of my head. I’m not sure if this is helpful whatsoever but it is to me. So if you made it this far, thanks.
Now all this food talk has me thinking about what to make for dinner…. Hmmmm. I’m thinking burgers! Lol