Why I’ll Never Have 6-Pack Abs
I want to admit something shameful to you. I’ll never have 6-pack abs. There. I said it. It was hard, but it’s out there. I’m a fitness and nutrition coach and I’ll never have a 6-pack.
A 6-pack requires a lot of leanness. Leanness is usually what women are talking about when they say they want to be “toned:” a low amount of body fat and visible muscles (not too visible, of course, we don’t want to look “manly” [shakes head sadly]). For most people who aren’t genetically gifted, and certainly for me, being 6-pack lean would require never eating out at restaurants, avoiding all caloric beverages, and working out for hours a day. It requires saying “no” to any social event that centers around food or drinking (like ladies night at the drag bar). It requires probably saying “no” to many social events just because you don’t have time—you’re busy planning, prepping, and cooking meals, and planning and executing your workouts. In short, it requires saying “no” to a lot of things that I find fun.
Unfortunately for my abs, I like to go out for a beer or some fish tacos. I like to go hiking instead of hitting the gym (and I work at a gym; I love the gym). I like to go dancing at the Golden Temple, a Chinese restaurant that turns into a dance club on Friday/Saturday nights. I like to sit at the local cafe and eat egg sandwiches and do crosswords with my girlfriend. And sometimes we splurge and get a chocolate croissant. I like watching movies on my couch and going on meandering dog walks and reading and napping in the park on a sunny day. I like binge-watching bad TV while writing blog posts about why I’ll never have 6-pack abs. Right now, it’s Covert Affairs.
If you want 6-pack abs, more power to you. I hope you find the dedication you need to get there. But it’s okay if that’s not your goal. You get to decide your goals and your priorities. If you priorities are looking great on the beach, and to you looking great on the beach means visible abs, then go for it. Put down that chocolate croissant and strap on your trainers. But if your priorities are more in line with simply living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, you don’t have to be ashamed to not have 18% body fat (the lower level of the “ideal range” for women and the upper range of where most women will see ab definition). That’s where I’m at. I want to be able to go out on a Saturday night and abstain from booze OR drink a Dark and Stormy. I want to be able to eat a power bowl OR have an egg salad sandwich for lunch. If you have a goal, your choices should lead to that goal. My goal is to be a healthy and happy human. I don’t need a 6-pack for that.
*The author drinking a Moscow Mule, which she quite enjoyed.
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