Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Woman to Woman Conference: Fitness Myths

The second workshop I attended during the Woman to Woman Conference this past Saturday was called Fitness Myths and was taught by Shannon Simmons (the Assistant Professor of Human Performance at Corban University). Here's a brief description of the breakout session from the brochure:

No pain, no gain? Walking is for wimps? Feel the burn? Dr. Simmons will help you separate the fitness MYTHS from fitness FACTS as she shares how to get healthy the smart way. Learn what is 'hype' and learn how to live a healthier life that can last the test of time and myths.

This was a great workshop, and for someone who made a New Year's resolution to exercise more (and for someone who is a chocoholic and a "snackoholic" and a "cookieoholic"--you get the idea!), this session offered some awesome tips on how to stay fit for life!

Now, it would be quite a long post if I shared all of the myths vs. truths that Dr. Simmons discussed, but I'll share a few of them along with some fabulous, practical tips on fitness:

Myth # 2: Losing weight = starving (ie: having to feel deprived).

Truth: Losing weight is not about deprivation but about consistency (ex: cut 100 calories a day from your normal diet, lose 10 pounds a year; but note that this works vice versa!).

Myth # 4: Late night eating causes weight gain.

Truth: Focus on the calories, not the time of day. (Consider your caloric intake for the whole day. A little healthy snack at night if you're hungry--preferably of two types, like a fruit and a carb--is fine if you ate well-balanced meals throughout the day. But don't eat too little during the day and then load up during the night!)

Myth # 8: I need a lot of equipment [to work out properly].

Truth: Move your body! Just get active. Equipment, the gym, etc.--all those sorts of things are nice and useful, but the point is just to get moving in some way!

At the end of the session before the Q & A time, Dr. Simmons discussed tips for living an overall healthy lifestyle, which made a lot of sense to me. Here are some of them:
  • Short term does not equal success.
  • Change one small thing at a time.
  • Find a healthy lifestyle that suits you, not someone else.
  • Be yourself; enjoy the journey.
I confess that I felt kind of like an expert after this session, and I'm afraid I offended someone recently by putting down their personal effort to try and be healthy. I don't want to do that again, so please note that I don't have all the answers. (I'm sure you were quite aware of that before!) ;) I was just really encouraged by Dr. Simmons' talk, and I think she had a lot of helpful advice to share!

Sometimes it's daunting to think about trying to be healthy. But just consider making one small life-change at a time. For example, Dr. Simmons talked about replacing one unhealthy food you eat everyday with a healthier option (except for one day a week, in moderation).

Or perhaps you could establish a short exercise schedule a few days a week that you enjoy and that you can do rain or shine, every week. For me so far this year, it's been the video workout I brought with me to school this semester--I can work out in my room three days a week without worries. And the best part of all? I enjoy it! It's fun! If you can find something fun to do to get moving, you are golden! ;)


Unknown said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing!

Project Journal said...

Very nice, Tiny : ) I'm sure this was super interesting. She sounds very well informed and it's obvious to hear the excitement in your voice.

This makes me a lil sad though because I just started Prednisone again. Prednisone causes intense cravings and all doctors recommend not worrying about losing weight while on it's a fight not worth taking. It makes you gain weight and one of the reasons for my personal weight gain over the years. I've been off and on it soooo much for the past ehhh almost 10 years. It's not your fault, I'm proud of you for taking control and changing what you want to!! You're amazing, girl ; ) So, I will cheer you on lol, ok? And when the time comes that I can try and change, I know you'll be here for me.
Talk to you later,

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

This sounds like it was a very good class. That’s a class that I agree with.

I think the worse advice is: No pain, no gain. Years ago I damaged my foot because I was working 'through the pain'. I now believe: “Pain, no brain.”


Natalie said...

Just clicked through to your blog. My heart went happy as soon as I saw the mountain :) Mountains always make me feel peaceful-easy. Love that. Also enjoyed this post. Fitness is something I committed to last May and, unlike all the other times I committed, this time was the kicker for me. For the first few months, I didn't use weights at all. I just did very light, non-impact aerobics and it worked. I think just moving really is such a kicker. In fact, I'd tried to start off with such a bang before ... that I lost interest fast. Just moving made me not hate exercising so much. All that to say - this is very affirmative to read. Thanks for sharing what you learned. Your blog is lovely! :)

Amber Holcomb said...


You're welcome! :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Thanks! It was definitely an interesting and encouraging workshop. :)

And I'm sorry that you have to be on Prednisone again. :( But don't worry! The point we learned during this session is not really about losing weight, but about being healthy/staying fit for life. :) So, we can still encourage each other to just get moving--like dancing! Remember, someday we've got to have that dance-off, and you're going to need a lot of practice to beat me... ;) Hahaha, just kidding!

Anyway, thank you for stopping by and for your support, my friend!


Amber Holcomb said...


Yes, it was a great class, and I'm glad you agree! :)

I like your advice--it's definitely important to remember that there's a difference between a good workout and causing unhealthy pain to your body.


Amber Holcomb said...

Welcome, Natalie!

It's a pleasure to meet you! I'm so glad you like my main blog picture--I think it was taken by my dad on our way to Virginia City, Nevada last summer. :)

And that's wonderful to hear that you felt this post to be affirmative and consistent with your experiences, as well. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for reminding us of the importance of just moving and sticking with a possible workout.

Thanks again for visiting, and feel free to stop by anytime! :)


Kav said...

I have a dog who makes me go for walks when I would rather be a couch potato. Does that count as a fitness strategy? LOL. I think a real problem is media - especially for women. Images that create a false impression of what the ideal woman should really look like. And the idea that you can diet away 10 pounds in a month and things like that. Oh -- and I hate that there's such a thing as a size zero -- so many negative implications with that. We have to 'unbrainwash' the falsehoods the media has created and go back to good old-fashioned common sense -- which is what your workshops was all about. Glad you got to go and are kind enough to share.

Amber Holcomb said...


I think it counts! ;) Yay for pets! You know, I think I could get a good workout over spring break chasing my sister's lop-eared bunny around the backyard... ;)

And yes, I agree that the media has contributed to false ideals of what women should look like. I haven't thought as much about the size zero thing, but you're right! That definitely has some negative implications.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! :) I really enjoyed this workshop, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post about it!