workout tip

Howdy, you might know me as the guy who wrote such memorable post as From Elegant to Elephant: When Your Woman Gains Weight and the remix When the Woman You Love Gains Weight. When you write post with titles like these, you kinda sorta have to put your money – or weight, as the case may be – where your mouth is.

Let me warn the younger readers right now while you still have a chance to save yourselves: thirty is not the new 20. I don’t know who started that vicious rumor, but it is NOT true. I went into my 30s thinking it was the new 20s, and therefore, I wouldn’t have to make any major changes to my normal routine because I would simply be reliving my 20s all over again – except with more money and wisdom.

WRONG!

this is 30

There are any number of differences (and horror stories) I could traumatize you with about your 30s, but today I’ll focus on some changes you should make to your eating habits and gym routine if you want your 30s to remotely mirror your 20s. If you’re over 30, hopefully you’re already doing these things, and if you’re under 30, hopefully you’ll learn from my mistakes.

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Diets Are for Teenagers

When you’re in your teens and early 20s, you can diet all you want. I personally think diets are pointless and stupid, but I recognize they serve a purpose. Diets are like the Tyler Perry’s of the health & fitness world. I don’t care for them, but I assume – given their popularity – that they must do some good for some people. That said, if you’re in your late 20s or older, give up dieting immediately!

In this age group, you can no longer “diet.” Diets are temporary solutions. When you hit your mid 20s or later you need to make  lifestyle changes if you want to see any lasting impact on your health or waistline. I don’t care who you are, your metabolism – if it hasn’t already – will slow down. I’m a naturally slim guy, so like most idiots, I assumed I would be the exception to the rule and that my fast metabolism would be a personal gift from God that would never abandon me.

FALSE! AND YOU WILL BE NO DIFFERENT MY FRIEND!

Tip: Start making lifestyle changes as soon as possible. Lifestyle changes are sacrifices. Unlike diets, which are temporary solutions to permanent problems, sacrifices entail giving something up for good. For example, I “gave up” smoking, drinking sodas, fruit juices that aren’t 100%, and fast food. I put “gave up” in quotes, because this isn’t a punishment; however, whatever you give up should become the rules not the exception. You’re only hurting yourself by continuing to eat and do things you don’t need a doctor to tell you is bad for you. The longer you wait, the more time it has to do damage. Stop making excuses and living on fad diets. Give up your vices today, and your future-self will thank you.

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“Skinny Fat” People Are Not Healthier

By the time I came across a health article on Skinny Fat, I was already in the midst of attempting to get back into shape. Skinny fat is defined as, “excessive belly fat—and relatively little muscle mass… [or] … ‘normal weight obesity,’ this type of build is linked to increased risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of Americans.”

Most people assume if they’re slim or skinny, then they must be in shape. This is a hugely inaccurate assumption. The fact is you can be skinny/slim and be out of shape or you can be big/husky and in shape. Although I fell into the earlier category, I was getting more and more out of shape and I wasn’t doing anything about it.

Tips: Like most things, the easiest way to get into shape is to never get out of shape. That’s not realistic for most people. Most of us need a wake-up call before we’ll make the necessary changes. If you’re not in shape or you’re not in the shape you want to be: 1) start SOMEWHERE, anywhere. This couple lost a combined 500lbs in two years by doing something amazing…WALKING. 2) If you’re already working out, but not getting the results you want, DIVERSIFY YOUR WORKOUT. It sounds simple, but I got amazing results by simply adding to and diversifying the workouts I was already doing.

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I was going to the gym 5-days a week but I wasn’t getting a real workout. I was doing the same thing boring workouts I’ve been doing the past 10 years, and I never sweat. Now I  change up my routines every 4 to 8 weeks, use varying sets to create muscle confusion  (think P90X and Insanity, both of which I’ve used intermittently), and if I don’t sweat I don’t consider it a real work out.

Click over to the next page for more tips and my own “before and after” photo.