It's a Lifestyle Thing.
Before you set out on your journey to get 6 pack abs or a rock hard stomach, you have to ask yourself one important question, why do YOU want 6 pack abs?
When I was overweight, I wanted 6 pack abs… or at least I thought I did. But what I came to realize, as part of my weight loss journey, was that I actually did not care about having 6 pack abs… all I REALLY wanted was to feel proud and confident of my body and I wanted to improve my sex/love life, in other words, I wanted to feel how I thought people with six pack abs must feel. What I did not realize at the time was that I did not need 6 pack abs to feel great about my body or have a great love life.
For the record I am proud about my body now, and I have a great love life, and I do NOT have 6 pack abs (nor do I want them).
At some point during our evolution as a society, 6 pack abs and rock hard stomachs became ideals for which we were told we should strive for happiness. But who set up these ideals? Magazine publishers who wanted to sell more copies of their magazines. They were following the old adage that sex sells, and 6 pack abs and flat stomachs are much more visually appealing than overblown waistlines. But I don’t blame the publishers for their marketing tactics, because we as a society bought in, they were just doing their jobs.
But, beyond being visually appealing, what purpose does having 6 pack abs serve? None.
Most professional athletes, both men and women, do NOT have 6 pack abs. These are individuals who have trained their bodies their entire lives, are at the physical peak of their physically demanding professions and even they do not have the type of stomach you are striving to reach.
Why do you really want 6 pack abs? Or, a better question to ask yourself is: DO you even really want 6 pack abs? Or do you just want to feel better, more confident about your body, and perhaps even improve your sex/love life? I know when I was overweight, I was extremely lonely, so that in part drove me to thinking I wanted 6 pack abs.
What I have found with the individuals I coach is that most people are just not happy with the way their bodies look today, and wanting 6 pack abs is more of a body image issue than anything else. We then work through different ways on how to improve your confidence and your body without going to the extreme of feeling like you need 6 pack abs to feel sexy or desirable.
Look, there is nothing wrong with wanting or having 6 pack abs, but let’s be honest with each other. Unless you are actually a professional model who gets modeling work based on your physique, there is NO useful purpose to you having 6 pack abs. My goal is not talk you out of wanting 6 pack abs, but instead it is for you to better understand yourself and why or whether you truly do want them.
Regardless of how overweight or out of shape you may think you are right now, the important thing to realize is that there is NOTHING wrong with your body. Your body is perfect. And by that I mean your body is perfectly suited to your lifestyle. Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle.
The people who have 6 packs abs have physically active and physically demanding lifestyles, you do not and your body simply reflects that. Now of course you can change this situation, but the key to losing weight and keeping it off is not to set out a goal to have 6 pack abs, but it instead to set out a goal to change your lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle requires you to change your mindset, and changing the activities you perform and foods you are eating on a regular basis.
If you want to lose weight or if you want 6 pack abs, instead of focusing on the outcome, focus instead on the process. Focus on increasing the physical activities in which you engage on a regular basis in both time and intensity. One of the keys is to go running, cycling, swimming and engage in other cardio-intensive activities on a regular basis. In addition, drink more water and cut back on sugars, alcohol, and fried foods.
But make the journey and creating a new lifestyle your goal, not the abs. Because once you improve your lifestyle, your stomach will take care of itself.
When you truly come to appreciate that your body is a reflection of your lifestyle, you will stop blaming your body for it being overweight, and your body image will improve. Focusing on your lifestyle empowers you to change your body and no longer blame it.
If you are not happy with your body, step away from the mirror and step away from the scale, look instead at your lifestyle and identify the areas where you can make changes and improvements. And that is how you can get 6 pack abs (if you think you still want them). Because if you increase your activity enough, and cut back on the unhealthy foods enough, you will see your stomach shrink and your 6 pack abs naturally emerge.
If you are interested in reading more about one man’s journey in trying to get 6 pack abs, read this article about his experience.