Vanity or Sanity?

Do you exercise for vanity or sanity?  I used to exercise for vanity – I thought it would make me look better.   I thought running marathons would give me a bikini body.  Ha!  Lies!  Running just made me crave more carbs.  But, it did make me feel fantastic.

Well balanced meal

Well balanced meal

If your stated fitness goal is, “I want to look hot in a bikini.  I mean, yeah, I want to be healthier too, but whatever,” then the solution you are seeking is really in the kitchen and not the gym.  You can have record breaking WODs at Crossfit, but no one will be able to see your strong muscles if you have a snuggly layer of fat covering them up.

My diet of choice is Clean Eating, which is eating unprocessed foods.  That means you cook your own food, and when you shop you stick to the perimeter of the grocery store purchasing lean meats, produce and egg whites.  (Stay away from the middle aisles where the Hamburger Helper and Doritos live.)   To grow lean muscle mass you eat 6 times per day with a mix of lean proteins, whole-grain carbohydrates, vegetables and a little healthy fat and fruit.  Following the clean eating/bodybuilding lifestyle helped me lose 50 lbs. and I’ve kept it off for over a year now, so I’m a fan.

While extremely effective, following the meal plan described above can be very difficult.  It’s a lot of cooking, you’re eating constantly and you really have to limit your trips to restaurants and fun things like alcohol and sugar.  Some of my friends have found success with other plans, such as Weight Watchers, Paleo Diet, Vegan and the South Beach Diet.  The important thing is to chose a plan that you can commit to that will fit with your lifestyle.

So vanity goals = food solution.  Want sanity?  EXERCISE!  According to this article in WebMD-Exercise and Depression:

Regular exercise has been proven to:

  • Reduce stressLisa Traugott - Bicep curl
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep

Exercise also has these added health benefits:

  • It strengthens your heart.
  • It increases energy levels.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves muscle tone and strength.
  • It strengthens and builds bones.
  • It helps reduce body fat.
  • It makes you look fit and healthy.

Personally, I have a nice combination of vanity and sanity goals.  Exercise makes me feel good and eating clean makes me look good.  How about you?  Do you exercise for vanity or sanity?

Lisa ;) (c) 2013 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

27 responses to “Vanity or Sanity?

  1. For me, it started properly from sanity… All attempts for vanity had crashed and burned early on. Knowing you we’re doing something to keep everything going on in your head balanced is priceless. Exercise is definitely the best anti-depressant I’ve ever had!

  2. I’m with you”. I think the best is a combination of vanity and sanity. For me the gym part/exercise is easier…I’ve got my cross fit, golf, hockey/ball hockey scheduled and I go. The clean eating is almost more work. Picking recipes, buying required groceries and then cooking it. I was on a roll for a while and seem to fallen off track. I need to get on top of the food since its such a big part of overall health and fitness. After all, great abs are made in the kitchen! I actually just printed out your bikini diet agin the other day!

    • Oh cool! Let me know how the diet goes. And I’m in total agreement – clean eating is a pain in the ass! I’ll continue doing it forever, but will probably complain about it just as long!

  3. Such a good point. I think sanity is my goal where as vanity is a biproduct. If I focus on how I’m feeling I’ll gain confidence and look better as a result. Sanity is sustainable.

  4. When I lost 20 KG I got to the point where diet wasnt doing it and so I started training, this was 4 years ago now, and I look really pretty now. I am the sexy man who reads your blog

  5. Hola! I’ve been following your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

  6. Yes…Bio-individuality…what works for one person may not work for another. I exercise and eat very well because I care about my overall health– mentally, physically, and emotionally. 🙂

    • I agree – everyone has their own body quirks to deal with, so it’s good there are a lot of different meal plans to choose from. And good for you for being healthy!

  7. Pingback: Want Larger Muscles? Follow This Helpful Advice·

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