Why I don’t miss sugar or wheat. And why you can’t be annoyed by that.

In the past, if you told me “I just don’t eat sweets” I would hear “I’m a pretentious liar who can’t deal with the fact that I’m on a diet.”

Today, I would say “Really? Me too? Why? Do they make you sick?” and I’d talk to you for a half hour about inflammation and the politics of the food industry and stuff.

Today is the 100th day I have been off sugar. And of those 100 days, I only had bread once. It was inspired by the lady who documented her 100 days at the gym and Whole30. I had bigger plans, but my “Whole100” devolved into just 100 days w/o sugar and wheat. I don’t care. Progress is progress and 100 days is game changer. A change has been made.

Sugar and wheat/bread/flour/whatevers make my whole body ache like I have the flu. After dinner EVERY DAY I would curl up and whine. Sometimes I’d take a bath to feel better. Like, multiple times a week. I have no idea why I accepted that existing meant feeling like crap for so long. I didn’t even think about it. I’m sure there are other things I’m doing to myself now that make me feel like crap that I should work on next. But my point is this: you can read all the books on sugar and wheat (I have) but until you have a powerful, meaningful reason to not eat them, they’re literally addictive drug-like things and they will make their way into your face. Once I realized that I felt like shit all the time, and it was their fault, making them go away was psychologically effortless.

Physically, there was a bit of effort. Yes, I went through the carb flu. And I felt like the walking dead. And no I haven’t lost any weight despite not eating most carbs. (excuse me while I go have an IT’S NOT FAIR!!! hissy fit…) But now that I’ve kicked the habit, I just don’t want to go back to eating that shit that makes me feel like shit. Also, I don’t want to have to start at square one with the carb flu. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

People can talk about positive motivation all they want. You can say you’re working out “to be healthy” and I will still translate that statement in my head to “I’m working out to be thinner.” Sure they’re the same thing. But don’t bullshit me. “Healthy” and “Clean” and “Strong” are not concepts that motivate.

Negative motivation is more powerful. It’s real. It embraces what really matters to you, and that, my friend is what WILL GET YOU THERE.

So lets be a little more honest, OK?

I don’t eat non-produce carbs because they make me feel like shit.

I’m working out because I don’t want my body to look and feel like it does. I don’t want to be self-conscious, and hate getting dressed, and have a nervous breakdown when someone invites me to the beach. Basically, I don’t want to feel like shit.

Those thoughts get me moving. I am literally running away from the negative. “Better cardiovascular fitness” does not get me to put on a jog bra.

Why are you doing P90X? Because you don’t want to keep on taking “before” pictures.

Why are you running a marathon? Because you have something to prove.

Why are you going to boot camp? Because you can’t push yourself hard enough on your own.

Why are you lifting weights? Because at some point someone made you feel weak. (Who can’t say that?) And you need to feel like you can kick someone’s ass.            Or you’re going bald.

Why do I go to Dailey Method classes? Because my butt is sagging lower by the day and will soon reach my knees. And the only way I’m going to workout hard enough to change that, is by paying so much for class that I’ll feel like shit if I half-ass it. (I have the Dailey Method DVDs, but they lack this feature.)

So if someone is honest enough to say “I’m going to spin because I feel fat” do them a favor. Don’t say “You’re not fat.” Say “That’s awesome. Do you like it?”

We’re all doing what we’re doing because in one way or another we don’t want to feel like shit. We’re motivated by the negative. And that’s a very positive thing.

 

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Why fitness fashion matters.

Hey Aimee, isn’t this super shallow? Writing about losing weight AND on top of that, looking cute while doing it? Well. If you’re a gym bunny who takes slutty butt-selfies and that’s your gig, yeah. That’s totally shallow. Also, cut it out. Go read a book.

Working out to lose weight and feel stronger, more capable and happier is not shallow. And looking good while you do it is actually a scientific tool you can use to make working out easier.

I’m serious. One of my college professors, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is an expert in social psychology and positive psychology. Look her up, she’s a badass. She did that famous study where they had men and women take math tests with a mirror in the room, with no mirror in the room, and after trying on BATHING SUITS. Guess what happened. The women did worse with the mirror and after the bathing suit. The men did better. How sad is that? Women see themselves and LOSE CONFIDENCE and literally get dumber. Their cognitive ability actually declines. Men see themselves and think “I’m hot shit” and do even better. http://www.academia.edu/2096369/That_Swimsuit_Becomes_You

Now you might think that focusing on your looks before or during a workout might bring up self-consciousness and self-criticism, and lower your confidence. So why on earth would I have you focus on your looks before working out?

Because you’re going to catch yourself in the mirror no matter what you’re wearing. Even if there is no mirror, you’re going to look down at your thighs at some point. Or feel something jiggling. Or look down your shirt while in a plank and see your stomach sagging down way farther than you thought it would. There’s no avoiding self-awareness completely when working out. SO. You need to do everything in your power to make sure you FEEL POWERFUL when that happens. You need to feel like a guy would. You need a little tip in the “I’m hot shit” direction. You need the good pants and the good bra that are supportive, so you don’t jiggle. You need to wear something wicking so you don’t feel like a sweaty water buffalo. You need to at least cut the neck or arms off of that old T-shirt so it’s apparent that you made some effort and care about what you’re doing. It’s not a message to others, it’s a message to yourself.

It does not have to be a full-on head-to-toe LuluLemon situation. That’s annoying. (And not very creative.) It just has to be something that makes you feel confident, capable, and covered. Something that shows what you like and hides what you don’t. Something that makes it look like you actually like yourself. (And if you don’t like yourself yet, try pretending. Put the outfit on, and when you see yourself in the mirror at the gym, you might start to change your mind.)

Feeling put-together when you work out (wearing WorkOutFits) is not about dressing for others. It’s about dressing to feel good about yourself. It’s pre-emptive psychological warfare against negative self-talk. It communicates respect and enthusiasm for what you’re doing. (Wearing a WorkOutFit says: “I’m into this. I’m here. Let’s do this!”) Also, cute clothes are fun.

If you can’t tell by now, I am super passionate about this. I wrote an entire Piperlime ad campaign  about the power of dressing well. I’ve been a work-from-home person for three years and I KNOW how wearing sloppy clothes affects my work and my mood. I want you to see how changing your clothes can change your outlook.

Try it. Send me before and after outfits. Tell me how it felt. Maybe we’ll send some testimonials to Dr. Fredrickson for an addendum to her article. “The Effect of Fashion on Trig Functions and Tricep Dips” or something like that. 🙂

Anyway. The point is: Get those purple shoes, my friend. They WILL work better than the sad boring ugly white ones.