Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The "Secret" to Getting Lean

It never ceases to amaze me how people think that being in shape is easy, and doesn't require any work or clean food. How many times have you heard ads about "diet pills" that will make you lose weight in your sleep, allow you to eat anything you want, and not require any exercise? Radio, TV, and internet ads all tout these products as the "secrets" to getting lean and "high school skinny." (Who wants to be "skinny" anyway? I'd rather be LEAN!) What most ads don't mention is that these "secrets" only work in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program.

I get a lot of questions from people about how I stay in shape, especially when I'm in contest prep, and the changes to my body begin to be more noticeable. My standard answer is "I'm a gym rat." If I get further questions, I mention that diet is really important. It's at this point that eyes glaze over and heads start to shake in denial, and I hear, "Oh, I could NEVER do that!"

Do what? Eat healthy? Stop going out for lunch every day? Resist the cookies in the lunchroom? Only eat half the food you order and take the other half home for later? Stop snacking? Drink less sugar-laden soda and juice and more water?

CSI Photo, 2009

Other comments I hear are, "Oh, you're already so in shape. You don't need to go to the gym! Bet you can eat whatever you want!" Um ... no. The reason I'm in shape is BECAUSE I go to the gym and watch what I eat. It's the same mentality that I see when I read news articles exclaiming that celebrities actually have to work hard for their in-shape bodies: "What do you mean Eva Longoria Parker eats clean?" and "Jennifer Aniston has to exercise?"
Jen's fitness secret? She makes fitness a huge priority in her life--as in, she works out 7 days a week.
"It's simple," she told the Daily Mirror at the London launch of her eponymous perfume in London on Wednesday. "[I] run, work out every day. I do a lot of running--exercise is so important."

There's no "secret" or "easy" way to get in shape. It's simple, old-fashioned exercise and diet. It's not easy, it's not always fun, but it's always, always worth it.

Mike Yurkovic Photography, 2009


  1. Well said. I frequently also say that "no one else can do it for you". Perhaps even more annoying than the people who don't do anything are the people who DO go to the gym but don't eat right, or who can't stop going out to lunch all the time. All it takes is a little bit of effort to change your habits and create a lifestyle!

  2. Yep, so true!

    I think it's so funny when people say to me " you still sweat? I thought you were in good shape and do this all the time?" I just stare at them, lol!

  3. I have to tell you how much I love your quad sweep in the second pic...pure awesomeness!!!

    Being fit is hard work...I've done so much already I cut out sodas...including diet soda, coffee and have increased my water to a gallon a day, my meals are 90/10...and I still have a long way to go!! And...I sweat....A lOT!

    Great post as always :)

  4. I had no idea that race car drivers actually work out to be in shape for races!

  5. And another celeb who eats right and trains hard:


  6. Ohhhhhhh, I so understand you! Sometimes I hear people saying: " Why do you go to the gym so much? You don't need to! You are so in shape!" And that's when I don't even bother explaining : " I am in shape BECAUSE I go to the gym!!!!!!". They would not understand! The DO NOT understand!!! Too sad! I fight to loo the way I do as most people in shape do. It is SO easy to sit in front of the tv and stuff ourselves with potato chips! GReat job Kari in saying it out loud! I understand you completely!

  7. I love this blog post as this is so true. I tend to hear people say that I am so lucky that I was born thin. My family shares the same genes as myself yet I am the only lean family member, it isn't genetics people, hello, it is a result of dedication and work ethic. I have spent a lifetime practicing, studying and living a healthy lifestyle. Those that think this is a gift don't see me in the gym because they spend no time there themselves.

    Thank you for an excellent post.

  8. I am so motivated by your dedication! Thanks for the great post :)