Something that’s been on my mind a lot lately is the long game v. the short game, the real fix versus the quick fix.
I was working out with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. At the end, we’re in the locker room and I see that she lifts up her shirt and removes… a sweat wrap.
You’ve heard of these, I’m sure.
The claim is, that by wearing a neoprene band around your waist, you can trim your waistline in a relatively quick amount of time. In a testimonial for one belly wrap product, a man claims he lost six pant sizes after wearing the wrap for just eight weeks. Sellers of belly wraps claim these products work by “raising core body temperature,” causing you to lose weight through sweat.
Why does this upset me?
Simply because, it’s entirely false.
You get out what you put in. If you take 30 seconds to wrap something around your waist, your results will last just about that long. If you take 6 months to change your eating habits, put in an effort at the gym consistently, sleep enough, then you will see those results for a longer period of time.
Additionally, the truth about stomach wraps is that although these products may promote sweating, losing water weight is not the same as losing body fat.
While I’m on the this tangent… wraps like this may actually make it harder to tone abdominal muscles and lose fat. When you wear a tight wrap around your midriff, those muscles are supported, the work is being done for them. Therefore they don’t have to work as hard, they don’t have to get strong and grow. Which means, you don’t get that sexy 6-pack.
This is the same thing that frustrates me when I see my friends, dance buds, and peers drinking “skinny” teas, promoting magic pills, or going on ‘cleanses’. These solutions are not solutions at all, they are hacks and cons, developed and marketed by a company that honestly, doesn’t give a f*ck about your health.
Yeah, you may lose weight initially. But the rebound effects after a few days/weeks/months/whatever will put you right back to where you started, if not in a worse place.
The TRUTH about fitness “tricks” and “secrets” is that there aren’t any.
Lemon water, coconut oil, that rare fruit from the hills of Zimbabwe, they all have great nutritional factors that you should definitely be incorporating into your daily diet, but ultimately, if you want a flat, sexy tummy you have to lift weights and eat enough of the right foods.
These changes are going to take time, but be patient.
To paraphrase a favorite quote of mine,
“It will take 4 weeks for you to see a change in your body, 8 weeks for those close to you to see that initial change, and 12 weeks for the guy who stood you up in high school to comment on your IG pic and tell you how hot you look”.
And it’s true!
We sometimes (very often) aren’t patient. We want it, whatever “it” is, RIGHT THIS SECOND.
But seriously are there actually any patient people? Like, really? Is there anyone who says, “Yeah I’d love to not get what I want RIGHT THIS SECOND and instead wait awhile and wonder if it’s ever gonna happen and live in that ambiguous space. That sounds much more appealing?”
No! But that’s strength training!
That’s dance! That’s life!
Refer back to your dance training. Whether you’re just starting out or on stage with ABT, you don’t always get what you want when you want it.
How many pirouettes have you fallen out of? How many hours did you spend going over that rhythm for that tap combination? How many times did you get passed over for that particular role? Those things didn’t happen overnight, but they did eventually come to you.
However, I’m almost certain you didn’t seek out a magic pirouette pill that aligns your center of gravity with the pull of the rotation of the earth, you worked hard for what you wanted and it came to you over time.
The same is true with your body.
The long game takes patience.
But the short game is a lie.
It’s where fad diets come from. It’s where a week of exercising like a boss and then quitting comes from. It’s where a host of other bad relationship and career decisions come from.
The short game sucks.
And, look, the reality is that 99% of us struggle with this, myself included, so why not band together to fight against the darker recesses of our impatient souls. When we see a fellow dancer struggling, lift them up.
After all, we are #DancersWhoLift
- how unique and wonderful they are in this very moment and
- that if they are going to better themselves, in any realm of life, it is going to take time.
Take the time to invest in yourself. Next time, instead of wearing a wrap or drinking a tea to flatten your stomach, check out my favorite core exercises that are sure to strengthen, stabilize, and shrink your waist line!