Who wants a flat belly? Who wants to live a healthy lifestyle and make your 30's (or whichever decade you're in) look like you're fresh out of college? Well I certainly do, and have spent a lot of my time and energy aiming to do just that. But for those that really know me, you know I am not fitness obsessed. I like balance in my life and a few winter lagers with friends to balance out that morning protein shake ;)
First, let me make clear that I am in now way a licensed professional in nutrition or fitness. (Although my first degree was in Kinesiology. Ha.) I enjoy both topics and have dabbled enough to teach the basics to middle schoolers, but I'll freely admit that I do not know it all. I have however recently given birth to twins and due to separation of my abdominals, had been working diligently to get my stomach back into "me" form without any type of core exercise, or much exercise at all, for the first 6 months after their birth.
I definitely had held a few beliefs pre-pregnancy. Secrets that I thought might be keeping me thin. I wondered though if my theories would hold up as I approached my mid-30s with 2 children under my belt. And although I hate to toot my own horn, I'm going to here, because my 7 month postpartum stomach is nothing to smirk at, especially for a 5'0" girl who just held TWO babies in there! Trust me, I was stretched to the max!
So what are my secrets? I'm happy to share. But be warned, they are certainly NOT mainstream beliefs and may go against every diet rule you've been following!
1. I eat ground beef. Yes, normal red meat, "horrible for you" burgers. I bet you've been substituting with ground turkey and patting yourself on the back for making such "healthy" choices right? Do yourself a favor and check the label. When you choose extra lean ground beef, it can actually have less calories and fat than a lot of the ground turkey out there. More importantly, it often contains more vitamins and minerals as well. I'm not saying this is always the case, I'm just saying read the label. Turkey > beef is not always accurate, so do your research.
2. I drink cow's milk. Not soy. Not coconut. Sometimes almond. Mostly I do this because I like the taste and don't do a whole lot of change in my life, but it's great knowing I'm consuming a lot of protein as well. Yes, there is lactose in the milk, but I'm willing to accept this certain amount of carbs knowing that the protein is there too. There's a plus and minus to all types of milk, and I choose the old fashioned cow kind. Sometimes.
3. I don't sacrifice sleep to get my workout in. Let's be honest, with newborn infants, there isn't a whole lot of sleep going on anyways, but even before they were born, I knew that getting my 8 hours of sleep would help my fitness level more than a 5 am workout. Some people don't work this way and to each their own, but I encourage you to consider the value of sleep. I swear it works wonders.
4. I eat ice cream. And french fries. And cookies. Not all at one time, but yes I eat them. Even these past several months after baby, I have eaten all of them on several occasions. As long as you're not trying to lean out for a competition or something, I fully believe in BALANCE and partaking in all of the treats that make life worth celebrating. If you're just trying to build some body confidence and establish a healthy lifestyle you can actually maintain, don't restrain yourself from everything. Aint no body worth losing the joys of life over. (Unless ice cream, french fries, and cookies do not bring you joy. In which case, I hate you.)
I guess my point of this post is not exactly to get you to go out and down burgers with fries for dinner and expect to lose weight, but simply to consider the pros and cons of every diet fad out there. Don't focus in on a diet that you can't logically maintain in the long run. Eat everything in moderation. Trust the power of portion control. With a little common sense, maintaining your health should be a piece of cake!