By Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN
“6 pack abs in four days!”
“Love yourself thin.”
“Bootylicious by the weekend.”
“You are perfect the way you are.”
Anyone feel like the messages out there to get that dream bod and love yourself at the same time are, um, conflicting?
"Yes, eating well and keeping active is important, but also sleeping well, living your life, accomplishing your goals."
The movement away from diet and fitness alone has been gaining steam for a while now — instead placing the focus on an overall healthy lifestyle. Yes, eating well and keeping active is important, but also sleeping well, living your life, accomplishing your goals. My whole Nutritious Life philosophy is about health not being all about the food or counting calories or starving yourself — personally, I’ve never put calories in any of my books or attached to any recipes on my site. (That whole food thing, I just like it too much!)
But, can you have healthy eating and fitness and weight and body goals, and not have one of your peace-lovin’ friends (or yourself!) look at you with a judgmental glare: “You clearly don’t love yourself, sweetheart.”
Hell, yes. If you’re caught between a namaste and a crunch, a carrot stick and a cookie, I’ve got three things for you to remember:
"Learning to balance the ideal body du jour with your own genetic makeup is no small task, but once you make peace with your best self you are in a winning position."
1. What we want to look like is fickle.
Twiggy. Marilyn Monroe. Kate Moss. Beyonce. Jessica Biel. FLOTUS. The ideal body has changed dramatically over the years — who can possibly keep up, and whose genetics allow them to look like all 5 of these ladies? Nobody’s, that’s who. Learning to balance the ideal body du jour with your own genetic makeup is no small task, but once you make peace with your best self you are in a winning position. You can be realistic and still go for your best. I sometimes have to remind clients that I’m 5 foot 3 inches. No amount of broccoli will make me 5 foot 8 inches.
2. Nobody can get 6-pack abs by the weekend.
It’s kind of like saying, you want your bangs to grow out by the weekend. Or you want to be beamed to the French Riviera in a couple hours. For some reason, we know and accept that we are not all going to magically grow out our bangs by Fri-yay, and the chances of us sunning in Nice stat are slim to say the least. But, we don’t beat ourselves up or get upset about it. Why can’t we accept the same about our bodies as we do our hair and travel plans? You may not have abs or have completely overhauled your diet by the weekend, but you are certainly entitled to work towards these goals. In a healthy fashion — just as you would condition those tresses.
3. Accept where you fall, when you are healthy.
But, that is not an excuse to eat dessert twice daily. I’m all about accepting our healthy selves — whatever that may look like — key word being healthy. Focus on what you are doing. Your positive actions. Meaning, focus on the healthy food you are eating, the meditation you’re into daily, and the green tea breaks you are taking. It is easier to love (or at least be comfy) where you are, when you focus on the amazingness of your positive actions. And, you can also feel entitled (and not like you’re body bashing yourself) to continue to bump things up a notch to improve the quality of that daily salad at lunch or even the definition in those abs.
"Self love and health and fitness goals, abs included, are not mutually exclusive. They can exist together — kinda like ripped jeans and heels, or chocolate and sea salt."
I do believe in promoting self love, flaws included. And, I do believe in working towards health and fitness goals, abs included. These two things are not mutually exclusive. They can exist together — kinda like ripped jeans and heels, or chocolate and sea salt.
Want to learn more about the Nutritious Life philosophy, and help others change their healthy eating? Check out Keri’s 12-week Nutrition School.
Keri Glassman is the founder and president of Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice in New York City, as well as The Nutrition School, a 12-week online course created to provide an unprecedented nutrition education and a springboard for building a successful career as a nutritionist. She is on the advisory board for Yahoo Health, is a contributing editor and advisory board member for Women’s Health Magazine, the Health and Wellness partner for JW Marriott hotels, and contributes monthly to Livestrong.com and Foodnetwork.com.
Keri was Lead Nutritionist for Turner’s health and wellness entertainment brand, Upwave, and the Nutritionist and Judge on the healthy cooking competition show, “Cook Your Ass Off.” She has authored four books, including The New You, Improved Diet, and The O2 Diet. Keri is regularly featured on national television programs including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Access Hollywood Live. She is a spokesperson for national brands that align with the Nutritious Life mission, and is a prolific writer and commentator for many media outlets. Keri resides in New York City with her children, Rex and Maizy.