Who else can relate: scrolling through Instagram looking at abs one after the other. “Man, I really want abs. I’ve tried the cleanse, I’ve tried working out, I’ve tried dieting, NOTHING WORKS. (insert angry & defeated face)”
[For those that prefer video/audio…watch my vLog on this topic. My writing isn’t the best lol]
From my own personal experience, I want to shed some light on what it takes to get abs. The ones you can visibly see. The ones you stare at on other people. The ones that scream – Yea look at my stomach. I’m hot. I’m in shape. I’m fit. What you probably don’t know is how much hard work, dedication, consistency, patience, sacrifice and mental strain goes into creating and maintaining them.
By no means am I an expert on this topic. I’m simply a woman who obsessed over other women’s photos of their abs online. Always wishing and wanting that to be my stomach. Then I finally achieved it…and let me tell you THE TRUTH TO GETTING ABS AND LOSING BELLY FAT.
November 2014 I stepped on stage for my very first body builder competition. Prancing around in a purple bedazzled bikini and clear high heels (bikini category) I was shredded. I was 12% body fat (down from 20%). I felt like skeletor. This entire process taught me a lot and I FINALLY understand (kind of) how visible abs are created.
There is NO single pill, tea, or device that can get you the abs that you want, but HARD WORK. If it was so easy as popping a pill everyone would be ripped and lean. Having a lean stomach is a result of LOW BODY FAT. THAT’S IT. The lower your body fat, the more lean and the more shredded you will appear.
Through my own personal experience i would say that there are 4 FACTORS that contribute to what type of body you will have.
- GENETICS: It is said that 80% of your body shape and weight is determined by genetics. I have not looked for scientific proof but I can say that I realized that every body responds to things (food/exercise) very differently. One person can lift a dumbbell and grow a bicep right away and then there’s me who has to work so hard just to build any muscle. This goes for losing fat. Every body sheds fat differently. We can not choose where we want to lose fat and in what order. Granted, we can work on targeting an area but that still doesn’t mean it will shed.
- EXERCISE: more defined abs and toning is a result of building muscle and having low body fat. I learned that you can not do one without the other. Cardio bunnies, go lift some weights. Lifting weights will NOT make you bulky. There are SOOO MANY competitors that spend HOURS lifting weight just to build muscle, it is a lot harder than it is to pack on muscle (unless of course your genetics allows you to put on muscle very easily). For myself, I need to do a combination of weight training and exercises that bring my heart rate up in order to reduce my body fat (cardio or HIIT). Personally, fasted treadmill sprint intervals lean me out so fast but sadly my hip doesn’t like sprints.
- FOOD/DIET: hands down, the most important factor that can lower your body fat is how you eat. Low body fat = more definition in your body. What works for me is lots of water, vegetables, lean protein. No sugar, very little carbs.
- STRESS: When our body is stressed out it can not rest, repair, regenerate, heal, it can not function at its most optimal level.
[check out my video for more in depth stories and thoughts on these 4 factors]
The next time you’re surfing pictures of ripped and lean women and men, and you’re feeling fat, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, it could be photoshopped…it could be all angles/flexing/lighting….and most importantly it takes A LOT OF DEDICATION, CONSISTENCY, PATIENCE & LOVING YOURSELF. IT IS A WAY OF LIFE. NOT A QUICK FIX.
I know that I’m not giving you a list of exactly what to eat and what exercises to do. That’s not my realm of expertise. If you are serious about making a change to your health, your energy levels, your digestion, your physical body, I suggest hiring a personal trainer/coach to guide you through the process and really hold you accountable.
What i simply want to STRESS is that lowering body fat looks different for everyone. It is NOT done through a 3 simple exercises or 3 simple foods. It is not done through a pill or a drink. It is hard ass fuuucckkkinngg work. I went through it and i know. I know that the leaner i got, the less body fat i got, the more miserable i felt lol GIMME MY CHOCOLATE! 12% body fat for me meant: no menstrual cycle for a year, moodiness, less calories, less carbs, no sugar, no dessert, no chocolate, no fruit, no sugar (yes i purposely wrote that twice), extreme anger issues, hunger, hunger, hunger, hangry…oh hey, but i had a great stomach many of you prob would want, but for all that sacrifice?
Anyhow, I hope this helped. Helped you be a little easier on yourself. It might take 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years+ to see the change you want. Keep going. Stay consistent. Be Patient.
Make it a great day!