An issue has come up quite a bit recently among the team that I coach as well as friends and coworkers asking for fitness advice. This is a common misconception, so I'm hoping I can clear up the confusion. Here it is:
CRUNCHES WILL NOT GET RID OF YOUR BELLY FAT!
What? I thought that article that was trending last week about getting the "tummy of your dreams by summer" was going to change my life!!! Welp, sorry. They lied. We see articles like this almost DAILY, so it's no wonder we all think that if we confine ourselves to our room each night and do 1000 crunches we will have a 6 pack like Britney Spears. I have a secret for you. Britney Spears doesn't JUST do crunches. She gets an insane cardio workout from running around on stage several nights a week, and I would venture a guess that despite those Cheetos that she loves so much (who could blame her?), for the most part, she's eating lean meats, fish, and veggies on the daily. Ok, enough about Britney. The point I'm trying to make here is that if you have fat on your midsection, unless you do something to lose the FAT ITSELF (ie cardio, weight training, and a strict diet), all the crunches in the world will not give you a flat belly. That's not to say that you should give up on the ab work completely, though. Even if you can't get rid of those excess fat cells by doing abdominal exercises, they can help to lean out your shape (the fat will still be there, but the area may look more "toned"), and core strength is OH SO important to your general health and fitness. So don't skip your crunches, people!
So what's a guy or gal to do? Here's the crappy part...You have to lose the fat ALL OVER and pray that your genetics help you out. Not the answer you were looking for, huh? Sorry! All bodies are created differently, and we all carry excess fat in different areas. Some of us carry fat in our belly, others carry it in our thighs or buttocks. All you can really do is put in the hard work, stick to a clean diet and blame your problem areas on your ancestors (...jerks). I have lost 60 pounds, and believe it or not, my thighs are STILL just about the same as they were when I started my weight loss journey. Trust me, I measure them! My waist, however, is about 8 inches smaller. So what do I do? Take pride in the fact that I've dropped about 6 dress sizes and can fit into cute dresses; not bash my thighs for their stubborn resistance to my progress. We are all created differently. We can work on our "flaws" or problem areas, and some of us might see real results, but to me, the most important thing to remember is that the goal should be for HEALTH, not fitting into society's standards of beauty. If your goal truly is to have a chiseled 6 pack, then you have to know that you'll need to put in the work and train (and more importantly, eat) like one of the people in the P90X videos. I respect everyone's goals and know that some people strive for that perfect physique. But no matter what your fitness goal, my hope for you is that above all, no matter what the mirror or scale tells you, that you will LOVE YOURSELF THE WAY YOU ARE. I'm not going to use this blog as another soapbox for self love, but I do believe that we have to be happy with ourselves and our progress. If you know you've put in hard work but those last few bits of adipose tissue are just hanging onto your midsection, remember above all else how hard you've worked and how far you've come. Those love handles are still part of your body, and your body is beautiful.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.