…because real women sweat. Not perspire. Not glow. Sweat.

So you want 6 pack abs…realistic goal setting

Envy. That’s my first reaction to this picture. Pure green-eyed monstered envy. I mean, wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to achieve this?  So your question to me is, “Can I realistically have a tummy like this?” My honest, real girl answer is no, probably not. Unfortunately, the majority of the women population can not realistically achieve and maintain this stomach.  This girl probably doesn’t even maintain it the whole year round.  Let’s talk why:

1. How much do you like food? Well, say goodbye to most of it. You would probably have to eat a very controlled diet for a very long time, which means absolutely no treats, no cheating, nothing but clean eating. Most of us have aspects of our lives of which food is a huge part. I know I take my son to get frozen yogurt every Wednesday. We add things like strawberries and chocolate chips and Reeses pieces. And since my son is only 19 months old, my share is usually a little bigger. I wouldn’t want to give that bonding time up just for abs that people wouldn’t see. Would you be willing to give up your treats?

2. How much time do you have to devote to the gym? 30 minutes a day? That’s awesome…in real life. In 6 pack abs life, you would need to be in the gym for a lot longer than that with very intense workouts. The ladies that do the fitness competitions are in peak shape, but they pay for it in the gym. I, for one, love being in the gym, but after an hour, my ADD kicks in and I want to go live my life. Kudos to those who can devote hours to the gym on a daily basis, but I’d rather take my son to the park or go shopping with a girl friend.

3. Let’s talk healthy body fat percentages. For a woman to get abs like this, she would need around a 12% body fat. Athletes who are in top shape have a range of 15-20% body fat. An average woman’s is 22-28%, and that’s pretty decent. When your body fat percentage dips down too low, you start to encounter some pretty scary body issues like fatigue, disappearance of your menstrual cycle, and low bone density.  Giving up the ability and energy to have kids and walk when I’m old doesn’t sound worth it.

4. She looks good in her genes…yes, genetics plays a huge part as well. Some women are just born lucky and their muscle structure will pop when they get lean enough. The rest of us can huff and puff all day long in the gym and give up every yummy tasting food and still won’t ever look like THIS. We’ll look fabulous, but not quite like this.

5. Seriously…its called PHOTOSHOP. This model may have some pretty serious abs, but what can we really trust these days? And since this is incredibly hard to maintain, she probably prepped for the shoot for 6 months and afterward is going to her local Carl’s Jr to scarf down the biggest hamburger she can find.

Now, you’re probably reading this and saying, “Well, dang, what can I achieve since you’ve pretty much dashed my hopes to bits.” Well, that’s my whole point of this post. You can achieve amazing things, you just have to set attainable and maintainable goals for yourself. Your goals should be specific and personal. “I want a flat stomach,” is too general and hard to quantify. “I want to be able to do 30 sit-ups in one minute,” is better. “I want to lose 50 lbs,” is so overwhelming! How about, “I want to lose 10 lbs in 6 weeks, 25 lbs in 6 months, and 50 lbs in a year.” It’s all about setting goals that aren’t too easy, but not completely out of reach. Making your goals personal makes them easy to achieve as well. For example, “I want to run as fast as so and so,” makes it so that you’re always going to compare yourself to that person. What if you are never as fast as her? Are you a failure? No! A better goal would be, “I can run a mile in this amount of time right now, but in 2 months, I want to run it 10 seconds faster.”

Getting healthy and fit isn’t about coveting what the girl next to you has, its about wanting what’s good for you. Its about making goals for yourself that you can be proud of. Its about being happy with who you are and just making that fantastic person even better!

Now let’s get sweaty….


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