What’s wrong with the health and fitness industry? I could name a whole lot of things that irritate me, but today I’m going to focus on Numero Uno, the main thing that hacks me off day after day and does untold damage to people who desperately need to change their lives.
The problem is lies. And the biggest one of all is this: You can “lose weight” quickly and easily and without sacrifice. All you need is our miracle diet plan, on which you’ll eat all your favorite foods and never go hungry! You’ll lose 30 pounds (of what?) in 30 days! You’ll get thin thighs and six-pack abs with our herbal fat-burning supplement! You’ll develop a fitness-model physique on an exercise plan that takes just minutes a week!
We consumers are only human, and there’s a part of us that longs to believe there’s an insider secret to getting back into our skinny jeans or looking great naked. We’re vulnerable because our desire is so strong, and when marketers promise us the moon, we want to believe. Then, when ridiculous fad diets, worthless fat burners, and five-minute-a-day miracle exercise routines don’t work, we blame ourselves.
I’m a survivor of the “diet wars,” and I’ve been there.
PrimeFit is my personal crusade against the lies—my mission to play whatever part I can in defeating the obesity crisis and sedentary lifestyle that are cutting our lifespan and sucking the joy out of our days. My passion is helping women over 40 transform their bodies and their lives. Age is no reason for us to let go of our dreams. Because it’s not too late to build a healthy, lean body.
A quick personal history: I am a former chubby, lonely adolescent who started finding herself when she discovered the athlete within. At age 14 I began learning about nutrition and exercise, and I haven’t stopped since. Yes, I’ve derailed a time or two along the way, gaining and losing 32 pounds in my 40s. But this journey is about progress, not perfection.
Because of my interest in nutrition and exercise—and my career as a journalist—I’ve spent much of the past several decades keeping up with both the scientific research on obesity and the popular information published in diet books and the online world.
Last year, at the age of 54, after decades of training, reading, and study, I became an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
My blog, PrimeFit, is the think tank where I write about current health research, offer motivation for midlife women, expose fitness myths, and present tools to help readers achieve their body goals.
Here are some of PrimeFit’s key themes:
- Muscle is your friend—the metabolic engine that helps you burn more calories all day long. Loss of muscle is a health disaster and one of the No. 1 factors behind the aging process.
- Strength training is the closest thing we have to a “fountain of youth,” and women have no reason to fear it.
- The primary dangers to your muscle mass are sedentary living and dangerous dieting.
- Inadequate diets endanger your muscle mass and make you fatter.
- Short-term crash diets lead to weight regain. Lifelong weight maintenance is a result of permanent lifestyle change.
- Calories do count, and “clean” eating alone does not lead to fat loss.
- Healthy dieting does not mean starvation.
- Getting fit does not require spending hours a day in the gym.
Are you female, over 40, and ready for science-based strategies that work? Join me on PrimeFit.
The truth is, we don’t need miracle cures. If we help one another—with support, encouragement, and the truth—we can transform our lives as we transform our bodies.
Mary C. Weaver is an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. She’s somewhat obsessed with strength training, nutrition, healthy fat loss, female empowerment, and fitness for women over 40. Her idea of a good time is lifting weights, rowing, singing Renaissance music, reading, or hanging out with her husband and five (yes, five) slightly crazed dogs. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.