Have you ever had to lift anything heavy? Perhaps you carried some boxes on move-in day at the dorms? Or maybe you’ve helped a friend load up their car for a trip? What about lighter objects throughout your day, like a Starbucks coffee or your purse? Obviously these are silly questions! We’ve all done these things at least once in our life, right? =)
Did those things tone you? Of course not! That’s because muscle is not built easily… and it is certainly not built overnight! If you want to “tone up”, you have to put in the effort.
Ever heard the saying “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you“? Well…. it’s the truth! We pick things up all day every day.. our hair dryer, our purses (which I don’t know about you, but mine is pretty darn heavy!) yet most people are not walking around with muscular or “toned” arms. So think about it… why then would one expect tons of reps of light beauty bells to work miracles? It takes a concerted effort to build lean, tone arms!
If you want to take years to achieve what could take only months, stick to the beauty bells. If you want to change your physique noticeably in a matter of months, don’t be afraid tochallenge yourself and pick up the heavy dumbbells!Give this workout a try! =)
Just to answer a few of the questions I received in one swoop: yes, this is me; the first photo was taken about a month after I started working out with a personal trainer; the second photo is four months after that. I posted this on Reddit’s ProgressPics forum and got a big response from women who were discouraged about their exercise when it seemed like they weren’t losing any pounds. Thought sharing this on my blog might help some others.
I’ve had many difficult years of struggling with my body image and my health. Building muscle is so important and makes a big difference in how I look and feel. I won’t even weigh myself anymore, but prefer to use visual references like this — there’s still plenty of room for improvement, but you can see that numbers aren’t all that matter.
“How can I turn my fat into muscle? I really want to be tone”
You can’t turn fat into muscle. They are two completely separate tissues in the body. You can LOSE fat and BUILD muscle but you cannot change one into another. You also cannot “tone” your fat. Being “toned” comes from building muscle and lowering your body fat enough to see the definition and hardness of the muscles beneath.
My Tips for Getting “Toned”:
Get rid of the junk food! This includes (but not limited to): regular and diet soda, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, white breads and pastas, fruit juice, sugary cereal, condiments like ketchup, mayo, ranch and other fattening/sugary dressings and marinades, fast food, frozen dinners and most packaged goods.
Eat Clean. Start making your own meals from wholesome lean proteins, veggies, fruit and healthy fats. Basically, eat as close to natural as possible! Aim to eat small meals every 2-3 hours to keep blood sugar stable. Each meal should have a source of protein.
EAT IN GENERAL. Don’t starve yourself. You will just lose muscle (this will slow your metabolism), create unhealthy habits and harm your body. You will not reach your goals any faster by using this method. You will also be far more likely to gain the weight back once you start eating normally again. Find a way of eating that you can maintain for the long-term… not some “quick-fix”.
Cut out the alcohol. It shuts down your metabolism, promotes fat storage and breaks down muscle tissue. It’s basically treated by the body as a toxin… If you’re serious about getting in shape, not drinking won’t be a problem.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fresh H20 and green tea. Avoid adding sugar, as it spikes insulin and keeps your body from burning fat efficiently.
Lift weights! Women do not have the levels of testosterone necessary to bulk up the way men do. Lift heavy, train each body part once or twice a week (not just the ones you want to “tone”). The more muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism will be, which makes it easier to lose fat.
Be Patient. It’s going to take time. You’re going to have setbacks and there will be bumps in the road… (we’re human and we make mistakes!) But if you don’t give up, you will eventually reach your goals.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t.. you’re right”. Believe in yourself. It IS possible for you to achieve your health and fitness related goals… you just have to give it your all. <3