Ask Nicole: Believe In Yourself!

An open letter from the founder and CEO of Ladimax Sports and Fitness.

Dear Ladies,

It’s a New Year and welcome to it! Last year at around this time, you may have had a list of habits you were going to break, new ventures you would take on and of course, finally get the body you want. If you got it all done, congrats! If it made it to your list again this year, you are not alone.

I am writing this letter to you because I wanted to give you perspective from a professional on why so many women, are not reaching their fitness goals. Often, when you are not meeting those goals, it spills over into other life decisions.

As a fitness and health specialist for two decades, I have watched many women, from the stay at home mom to the Fortune 500 business exec, come and go and there is one common thread they all seem to possess; they are looking for approval from an outside source.

What exactly do I mean by that? Well, you have your 10-year college reunion coming up and you have dropped a ton of weight. Your biggest concern is: will you look okay in front of people you have not seen in 10 years? You go to the gym and are pretty confident in your fitness knowledge but you fear going to the male-dominated section thinking you will be doing the exercises incorrectly and they will see you. You are dating a personal trainer but will not train with them because you don’t want them to see your weaknesses or your sweat.

I have seen each of these scenarios, more than once.

Here is the thing about the need for approval on this level; it is relentless. You are not driven by your own goals rather by something that someone else has deemed important. It takes away the power you have over your situation and gives it to someone else. This is why I believe so many women miss the mark in terms of their fitness goals.

So when the weight loss industry reaches out with a quick and easy scheme, promising tons of weight loss with very little work and even less eating, women hop on it. They are focused on the end result, not because it’s what they want for their own reasons but because that’s what society says is best.

It doesn’t matter that they lose muscle. It doesn’t matter that their hair thins and they look boney. They don’t care that they are putting themselves at risk for bone disease with their countless spin classes and salads sans dressing. They look thin in their clothes—and in their circles, that reigns supreme.

Here’s the bottom line: your approval has to begin with you! That should be the basis from which your goals begin. You want to lose 20lbs because you want to FEEL better and fit the clothes already in your closet, not because you’re looking for friends to give a nod of support.

Now how do you get there?

First, this will require a level of commitment on your part however. Going to the gym doesn’t mean going and socializing. It means leaving the conversation outside and putting in serious sweat equity. It means shopping for foods that you know will aid in your fat loss and leaving the rest on the shelf. It may mean having a plan for your family and a plan for yourself; if you can multi-task throughout the day, you can certainly figure out how to get what you need to reach your own fitness and health goals.

Secondly, you MUST eat! The days of going out and having a salad and then raiding the fridge once you get home, are over. We must eat to live because we are humans. We must also eat to build and sustain healthy muscle. If you are overweight because of your dietary habits, you are eating too much of the wrong foods or not eating enough. Period. Society has told you to eat a little and exercise a lot. That’s plain WRONG. You eat in order to sustain your activity and to live a healthy, productive, life. That activity must be enough to challenge you and offer some resistance to your normal movements. Which brings us back to…well, eating.

Society believes women should be paid less, and are the weaker sex. We know that’s not true so then why would you believe what the same society says about our bodies? We will all not be a size 0; some of us are supposed to be a size 22. Embrace that.

Now, if you are not feeling strong and healthy or you are moving slower than you once were, that is your sign to get out there and change it. That is worth changing.

Not because society said so but because YOU said so.