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There are exceptions to every rule, this one included. If your life has been minimally affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, then you may be able to devote more effort, time, and attention on your fitness and nutrition regimen. If that’s the case, this article isn’t for you.

But if you lost your job, you have a job that puts you on the front lines, you’re working much more than usual, you’re juggling working from home with homeschooling your children, or you’re otherwise experiencing increased…

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To be clear, this is not an argument against pursuing fat loss to improve your health, or confidence, or because you want to increase muscle definition.

Problems arise, however, when fat loss turns into a dominating obsession. When it’s the only reason you exercise and make healthful food choices, and it creates increasing levels of stress and frustration. This can lead to:

  • Guilt from eating your favorite foods
  • Chronic dissatisfaction with your body
  • Stress from relentlessly fighting against your body
  • Seeing exercise as punishment or something you do…

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We want others to find us attractive; we want to be desirable. We may even, perhaps, want them to be envious of our hard-earned, properly-placed curves we’ve achieved … or that we’re currently striving to achieve.

Why?

Why do we place value on other people’s opinions of our bodies? Why do we fear their disapproval and flinch at negative comments?

Perhaps it’s simply a primal trait encoded in our DNA; our distant ancestors knew that being found desirable from the opposite sex increased the odds of reproducing…

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’Tis the season for holiday cheer, all things pumpkin-spice, and perhaps a few too many spiked egg-nogs. Something else is supplied in abundance this time of year too:

Guilt. Shame. Punishment. All for, get this, eating food.

Scroll through social media and alongside tempting holiday recipes are videos and articles showing you how to Burn off those Christmas cookies! and telling you to Do this extreme fat-torching workout to earn that holiday feast!

What a terrific idea! Let’s make women feel like they must earn

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The last time you ate an unforgettable meal at a new restaurant, read a captivating book, took a trip to a place that changed your life with its beauty — did you tell everyone who would listen about it? You had the most wonderful experience and wanted others to enjoy it too, so you told them, “It’s too good to miss!” They should have the same incredible experience you did.

That’s what I’m doing here.

The proclamation that women should get strong isn’t based solely on my…

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“Ugh, I hate my thighs.”

“I hate seeing this flab on my stomach.”

“I need to work out more because I hate how my arms look in tank tops.”

Ask almost any woman if there’s a part of her body she’d like to change or improve and you’ll likely receive an immediate reply. Perhaps you’ve said something similar to the comments above about your body at some point (or even today).

Do you want less fat, more muscle definition, to fit into that favorite pair of…

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The best lesson I committed to learning last year was to give fewer shits.

I don’t mean “give fewer shits” in a live with reckless abandon or do whatever you want without regard to how it will affect you or others selfish, and stupid, sort of way. I mean “give fewer shits” in the I’m going to do my best at what’s important to me; I’m going to try new things; I’m not going to be afraid to take chances responsible and pragmatic sense of the phrase.

Though…

The health and fitness industry has done a fantastic job of making women dislike their bodies, and themselves.

Browse the health section at your local bookstore, scroll through social media feeds of fitness professionals, glance at fitness magazines in the checkout aisle of the grocery store. It’s abundantly clear what modern health and fitness is about: losing fat, getting into a smaller clothing size, fixing flaws, and building “perfect” body parts. …

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When I was a kid and my Dad asked how much peanut butter I wanted on my sandwich, the answer was always, “A lot!” The first bite would cling to the roof of my mouth thanks to the thick smear of roasted, peanutty goodness. I’d take a quick sip of cold milk to wash it down, then go in for the next tasty mouthful.

This article is like that delicious sandwich — only instead of peanut butter, there’s a hefty filling of sarcasm so thick…

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The One Simple Hack part of the title either piqued your interest, or triggered your potential-bullshit alarm. Simply writing it induced a bit of nausea for me since most “hacks” are overused, regurgitated phrases filled with empty promises. Or they’re just stupid. This simple hack, I’m relieved to say, is neither.

When it comes to fat loss, or practically anything pertaining to body transforming, most proposed “hacks” are complete rubbish. They make promises like “fix trouble spots fast” or “build your dream body in only 30 days.” You’re tempted…

Nia Shanks

Coach, author of Lift Like a Girl, and writer at www.NiaShanks.com.

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