Fit Five Friday – Does Hard Work Pay Off?

23 April, 2021 22 By Renée
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Welcome to the Fit Five Friday!

It’s that time of week again! Hopefully you’ve been enjoying this new link up with your FIVE amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and More,  Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugsand Zenaida! ! Feel free to join in on the fun!

I’ve been thinking about writing something like this for a long time. I have really questioned “should I?” or “shouldn’t I?” because I don’t want to come across as negative. But I think it’s important when you come to the realisation that your body is the way it is, and sometimes you can change it and sometimes you can’t.

“Hard Work Pays Off”

I read this and hear this all the time. It’s a great way to encourage others or inspire others, especially when it comes to health and fitness.

Diet and Fitness Industries tell us this all the time. All you have to do is <insert new or even not so new formula> and you will lose weight! you will tone up! You will be healthy! You will be fit! You will be ready for summer! (the most irritating of all…)

What the majority of us have forgotten is that Every Body Is Different. So we sign up for a new diet program, or a new fitness program thinking that we should see results. We join communities online and ask “When did you see results?” And then we take the average of those answers and apply it to ourselves.

It doesn’t always work that way

“Results” are up for interpretation. And oftentimes the results you are looking for might be in the category of “unrealistic expectations”. For me this is 100% the case.

We assume that having a calorie deficit and burning calories each day with a workout or NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) movement that we should see the same results as Mary-Sue Jones. The problem is, we are not Mary-Sue.

A plethora of other factors

Mary-Sue might be 20 years younger than you and built genetically different. She may have always been active growing up and possibly never really had a weight problem until after she had children, but certainly has never been obese. She may or may not take hormones. She may have different levels of vitamin D and cortisol than you. She may have a normal relationship with food.

My point is, we are an array of apples and oranges that cannot be compared. My situation, my youth, my history of obesity, of depression, of chronic pain is probably different from yours. My relationship with food is also a huge differing factor.

Does that mean I don’t work hard?

I question this a lot. Honestly, I hate that I question it because sometimes it puts me in a downward spiral. I have had, for all intents and purposes, no weight or body change for a long time now. Yet I have had a nutrition coach for six months, planned and logged my meals the whole time in MyFitnessPal, followed the macros recommendation and am active every day. And that’s not the first time in my life that I took my nutrition very seriously.

But there is no change, physically.

Does that mean I don’t work hard?

There are other pay-offs. It’s all about reframing.

I try to remember that the pay-off may not be a change in my weight or my menopause belly. I have been trying very hard to let go of unrealistic expectations. I feel good about myself and I always give my workouts my all.

I am starting to appreciate what my body can do and I’m listening to it. Yes I still have chronic pain (and that is a huge factor in non-weight loss) and there is nothing I can do about it. Really. But I can walk, run, bike, and strength train. And even as an overweight menopausal woman, I’m healthy and fit.

The pay-off is living a healthy and fit life. Unfortunately I can’t show you a #transformationtuesday photo to prove to you that “hard work pays off”. You’ll just have to believe me.

Food for Thought

Knowing and acknowledging that we are all different is a good thing. I would say the majority, if not all, women (and men) I know who care about their fitness and health are having some sort of pay off. But I can’t say specifically what the pay off is because it’s personal! What I would love is to stop equating “results” with just how our body looks. Whether this means you ran another mile, or you ran faster, you lifted heavier or you hit a major PR in your spin class – these are all massive pay-offs. I hope that sometime while I’m still alive we will let go what we physically “should” look like and maybe focus more on our actual health and longevity-factors instead.

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