Sending mixed messages

Was flipping through a bunch of health and fitness magazines I subscribe to but hardly have time to read lately and noticed the headlines on Women’s Health from the December issue…

Burn more Fat! Boost your metabolism and drop a dress size – FAST!

Eat, Drink, and Still Shrink!

Flat abs now!

Now, I do realize – being in PR and all – that the headline is everything. It’s all about grabbing a reader’s attention right off the bat. Sure, those headlines are attention grabbers and all, but what kind of message is that sending to women, if not mixed messages?

Whatever happened to maintaining balance and making healthy living a lifestyle change vs. a quick fix? It seems everyone is looking for that “quick fix” moment. In the words of Van Wilder (my fave movie!), “where’s that ‘dare to be great’ moment” we’re all looking for in our quest for a healthy, but happy lifestyle? Why do some of my favorite magazines even stoop to the “quick fix” level versus offering sound advice for making all of these things – overall fitness, heart-health, strong bones, energy – part of our evolving, healthier lifestyle as women? So many magazines these days are stuck on not making sacrifices for health and fitness and instead offer fast fixes that sure, may help you drop a dress size, but how miserable will you be in the process and how realistic is it that you’ll be able to keep that weight off, post-crazy fad diet, anyway?

Well, you know what? I don’t think you need to sacrifice to find that balanced and healthy lifestyle. Call me crazy, but I think it can be done without being miserable. I can’t promise I have the secret to success, nor do I know what will work for everyone. But what I do know is what’s worked for me…

  • Finding an exercise routine that works for me and my schedule so that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on life – for me, that means the dreaded early-AM workouts. Those workouts not only extend my day, giving me more “me” time, “family” time, “friend” time, etc. but it gives me an energy and confidence boost each and every morning…what’s not to love about that?
  • Seeking a fitness buddy that keeps you accountable – um hello Jo? Hello Scott? Yup, you’re it. Thanks for keeping me centered and focused and committed and competitive. 🙂
  • Focusing on the benefits of a solid exercise regime – and no, not just the flatt(er) abs or the (less) jiggly thighs but the energy, the confidence, the longevity benefits that an ongoing commitment to fitness gives you.
  • Making fitness and balance a lifestyle change – and not a scary, unattainable, miserable lifestyle change. I still drink wine (and plenty of it), I still eat chocolate (oh, the horror!), and I definitely still eat pizza. But I’m ok with that. The majority of my food choices are equally yummy but healthier (oh I how I heart savory oats, overnight oats, greek yogurt, oh my!) so giving in, for me, is NOT a bad thing. I welcome it, I embrace it.

This, my friends, is the basis of this very blog – Eat! Drink! Breathe! Sweat!!!

Whew, sorry, I just had to get that out of my system tonight while it was fresh on my mind.  For some reason, that Women’s Health cover struck a chord with me…as you were 😉


12 thoughts on “Sending mixed messages

  1. Fab post and I just love how you found a way to weave in Van Wilder…however, you missed the boat on a second “layup” line in your second bullet – you totes could have added “hello Joyce?” to that line 😉 Just sayin. Okay, I’m really goofy tonight.

  2. You know, just about every single “health” magazine you pick up is that way. Quick and easy fixes. Not the real truth. Yes, exercise does take work, time, energy. The benefits so out weigh all of that though. And once you make it a habit, a part of your life, then you stop looking for the non-existent quick and easy ways out. It just drives me nuts that people are too lazy to take care of themselves and magazines feed into that by offering articles and advice that won’t stand the test of time. In my humble, non-professional opinion that is.

  3. I can’t stand to read “health” or fitness magazines anymore. They have some really bad advice, in my opinion, and they send terrible messages to young readers.

    On the other hand, YOUR blog definitely sends GOOD messages!! Thanks for the great post!! 🙂

  4. Haha I love that Van Wilder is your favorite movie!

    Headlines like that are so unappealing to me… it gets to the point where they sound so ridiculous that it may as well be the National Enquirer, you know? It’s sad to think that these magazines think (know?) that we want advice & articles like that!

  5. Just the other night I was reading one of these Fitness magazines and couldn’t help but thinking the same thing. A lot of it was false advertising and in my opinion, it sent mixed messages. There’s no substitute for hard work!

    • I know, after really thinking about this some more last night after writing this blog, I’m thinking I’m not going to renew those magazine subscriptions, I hardly have time to read them as-is and if I’m not even finding the content even remotely useful, why bother? I have all of your fab blogs to read instead for sound health, fitness and food advice 🙂

      And PS. Laura – Van Wilder IS the best movie ever!!

  6. In the last 6 months or so I haven’t read any fitness magazines and kind of made it my resolution not to purchase any either. It is the same thing over and over. Blah. I enjoy reading blogs so much more!

  7. i agree…blogs are way better. They are REAL life people working fitness into their everyday life. I use to read all the health related magazines/books when I was trying to find what my body liked but it wasn’t until i stopped reading that i found what i love doing. sometimes it seems like those magazines are living a lie when they advertise such unhealthy diets. money talks i guess.

  8. So true, there are no quick fixes even though we may wish for them at times. It’s hard work and eating right! It’s the sum of all of our small efforts, repeated day in and day out!

  9. I’ve definitely stopped buying those mags for that very same reason…I get SO tired of seeing the same 5 topics being addressed. It’s funny because in the line at the grocery store, I’m drawn to the “catch lines,” but then I tell myself it’s always the same stuff. And most of it is all about a quick fix!

    P.S. I hope you are feeling better!

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