The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw a transformation Tuesday post that kind of struck a nerve with me. This woman posted two pictures side by side, one being her “before” and one being her “after.” It’s not uncommon to see a post like this and I absolutely support the idea of people showing off their hard work and wanting to inspire people to do the same, but this one was different.
The post boasted a 10 week transformation with “no extreme dieting or restrictions.” Paraphrasing, she went on to say she eats 6 times per day, including two protein shakes (supplements) then mentions the new year is coming and says that this particular supplement can help you reach your goals. Sounds pretty amazing, right? You can’t blame a girl for showing off her hard work and sharing how she got the results she’s posting. But lets dig a little deeper and put this into perspective.
This woman is a bikini competitor and being a competitor is no joke. On this team (which I was on it once upon a time) the girls work out 6 days per week following the teams exercise protocol (cardio & strength training) and eat according to their meal plan. As a girl get closer to her show date, foods get cut out (think peanut butter), other foods are restricted (think fruit/starches) and at times cardio can be increased. It is also encouraged that the girls begin using the teams supplement of choice and even sell it to profit from it. This supplement is pricy! I used to buy it 😉 I want to be clear there’s no judgement here. As I said, I’ve been there…doing the workouts, trying to follow the meal plan, using the supplements, the whole bit. Restrictive dieting is simply what it takes to achieve the look that is desired on stage. I know a lot of women on this team who do very well selling the supplement and also absolutely love competing. To each their own 🙂
But back to the post. The thing that struck me was that this 10 week transformation was absolutely met by restriction and extreme dieting even though she claims it was not. Her ‘after’ picture was one week out from her competition which means she had been seriously dieting for at least 9 weeks. To me, if you’re cutting out foods, cutting down portions and still exercising 6 times a week, that’s pretty extreme and is not a lifestyle that can be maintained year-round.
The post uses a marketing tactic, not unlike what other diet/weight loss companies use, to make people think that if they just use this supplement, they’ll achieve the look they’ve always wanted. Most people don’t delve any deeper and would think if this girl who looks incredible gets to eat six times a day and all she’s done is add this supplement, well that’s quick & easy! 10 weeks to look like that?! They’re in! BOOM this girl is in business.
All this to say, next time you see a transformation Tuesday post, especially one which then urges you to buy a supplement or a program, dig a little deeper before you jump on board. If you want results that last, it’s not a 10 week quick fix. It’s an entire lifestyle and mental shift in your approach to nutrition and fitness.