Diet

Looking Fit vs. Being Fit

The way I see it, looking fit does not mean being fit.

Looking fit

…is an image and in many cases, it is a temporary goal one sets and once they achieve it, they may fall off the bandwagon and convert back to their old ways. Looking fit also depends largely on a clean diet so being lean can actually be achieved with minimal exercise.

Being fit

…means that exercise is truly part of one’s lifestyle— it is a permanent attitude and mindset that they embody each and every day. There are multiple definitions of being fit but that’s for another entry.

Looking fit AND being fit

…is an exclusive club that many are not in as it requires maximum dedication and discipline.

When you train purely for looks, you will eventually burn out because you’re in this lifestyle for vanity and not because you love it.

When you train to be fit, it becomes a part of who you are and what you stand for. It becomes a part of your life. You may not exactly look like the media’s stereotype of a fit person, but you will end up looking pretty damn good in the process.

Women Olympic Athlete Bodies

Let’s look at the some of the definitions of fit:

  • Fit can mean you are strong.
  • Fit can mean you have amazing endurance.
  • Fit can mean you have one or all of the above.

Fit comes in many shapes and sizes but the media has skewed our perception of what a fit person looks like. When most people think fit, what do they see?

  • Lean, thin and muscular body.
  • A well-defined 6-pack.
  • A perky and tight butt.
  • A really low body-fat percentage.

But when you see someone with all those traits, do you automatically assume they can run a marathon in record time or finish a plyometric workout faster than anyone else? All because they LOOK the part? Yes and no. It could just mean that they maintain a strict diet, since we all know the equation goes something like this: 80% diet and 20% exercise. Bottom line is, just because you have a 6-pack, it doesn’t not mean you are more fit than the person next to you with no 6-pack. It means that you just have a stricter diet and amazing discipline. That’s definitely not a bad thing though!

On the other hand, not having a 6-pack does NOT mean you are not fit. I know people who has all the attributes of a stereotypically fit-looking person but they take 20 minutes longer to hike up the Grouse Grind than someone with only some of those attributes. I know people who are bigger, thicker or have no visible muscle tone but they have better endurance and are stronger than those with a 6-pack! They just don’t maintain a strict diet whether by choice or not.

Credit: Sports Illustrated

Some people only specialize in strength. Some only in endurance. Some in both. But your diet will largely dictate how fit you look because a clean diet leans you out and makes your muscles more prominent. Some professional athletes need to consume more than others, thus their outer appearance may not define them as stereotypically fit-looking.

And then there are those who go in the extremes to look fit but they aren’t fit at all. Such as people who starve themselves to be “thin” enough to get their abs to show. I mean we all have abs, but your diet really controls if they show or not… not exercise.

Being fit does not mean having 6-pack abs. Being fit means living and loving an active lifestyle that challenges your physical endurance and pushes you to the limits.

At the same time, being fit does not mean being healthy but that topic is for another entry.

So the next time you judge someone’s fitness by how “fit” they look or if you think you are fitter than someone because you have a 6-pack and they don’t, think again!

    4 Comments

    Your Health: Starting with Small Changes

    50 Foods Under 100 Calories

    I wrote this entry on diet and nutrition basics years ago when I began my transition from lazy couch potato to a fitness junkie. Four years later, I now know a lot better because reading my first three points sounds like all the generic health advice that I thought I had to follow religiously.

    But I did follow it pretty religiously for the first couple months when I was actually trying to lose weight and guess what? It worked. And although I learned that there are different ways to do things and straying away from those rules weren’t going to do much damage to my goals, I still stand by them because:

    They help develop good habits.

    More

      11 Comments

      This is NOT a Diet Blog

      Hey everyone, I’ve been MIA from my blog and it’s sad that once life gets busy, this blog is the first thing I neglect. Well, where have I been? Ever since I got back from Vegas, I’ve been busy EATING — and working… and exercising… and biking… but mainly eating.

      A lot of people ask Boyfriend: how come he can eat so much and still be so fit? His answer was because he IS fit so that’s why he can eat so much. I totally agree and while he may not be as ripped or look as strong as other guys, I bet his pain threshold is a lot tougher and we all know when it comes to fitness, it’s all mental and comes down to how long you can push past the pain. His #1 reason to stay fit is to eat guilt-free. My #1 is to look good and #2 is to eat guilt-free.

      One of my goals is to never let food control life.

      …as in letting food make me feel guilty because let’s face it, we all go through days where we feel fat, shitty and disgusting and it may have been caused by that uber cheesy burger you had for lunch or the giant plate of fettuccine alfredo you had for dinner. I use to feel guilty all the time because I would eat and eat but then those were the days where exercise was non-existent in my life. But that was only guilt caused by my own laziness and lack of motivation.

      Now, I’ve worked hard to get myself to a point where I integrate exercise into my daily life— I enjoy it and actually look forward to it …believe it or not! Many people who go into this journey quit or fail but one of the reasons why I am a success story is because I customized the lifestyle to fit my wants and needs. I never followed a strict diet or exercise routine by some well-known trainer— I educated myself and developed a plan that worked for me. I live to eat so I knew I had to program myself to do more exercise so I didn’t have to give up my favorite foods. This made it a lot easier to stick with in the long run because the diet was my biggest nemesis. It took a lot of motivation in the first couple of weeks but overtime, everything just got hardwired into my brain. I discovered how to stay motivated along the way and it’s become such a huge part of my life.

      It’s been an amazing journey.

      So if you come to my blog, expecting a health blog with pictures of protein muffins, green monster shakes, overnight oats and kale chips… sorry but you’ll mostly be seeing this:

      Food

      I do eat healthy the majority of the time, but I NEVER deprive myself from anything if I really want it. Moderation DOES work. I don’t lie to myself nor to the world and make it seem like I’m a crazy health nut. Is it a contradiction that I am a fitness FREAK but so NOT a health nut? I love Poutine, Black Forest cake, Goldfish crackers, duck confit… why deprive myself of any of those just because they are processed and bad for you? Life is too short and it makes me happy— and as long as I’m doing the two things I love: exercising like a maniac and eating like a manic, it’s all good and I’m not feeling guilty about anything.

      Isn’t that what life is all about?

       

        9 Comments