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Michael and I were recently watching Bill Nye on Netflix – because it’s awesome and everyone should watch it. But the most recent episode we watched was on Fad Diets. Now I believe the idea was to dispel the myths on fad diets and why they don’t work. However, at one point during their panel discussion, one individual stated that the way you look/body composition is 80% genetics. She went on to state that dieting doesn’t work, not because you don’t stay committed or lose motivation, but because of genetics. She finished this thought by saying it was easier for Jen W, a trainer from the Biggest Loser, to be in shape and look good because of her body type/genetics. She included that whatever Jen did, such as eating unhealthy, ¬†she’s gonna look awesome. Now this really irked us.

On the left is me being fairly active – I was training for a trail run and going to school for PT and eating a diet that was based on healthy choices but had many indulgences also. In the middle, is me about 4 months into switching to a powerlifting style training and strict dieting/counting macros. The right is me these days- prepping for USPA Worlds, eating healthy most the time but with plenty of donut indulgences. I have worked every day over the last 2 years to train and eat in a way to realize my goals on the platform. It didn’t happen overnight and I wasn’t born like this.

My point is that I don’t look the way I do because of genetics. I look this way because of daily hard work, sacrifice and commitment to my goals. Yes I may be naturally leaner however if I was to not exercise and eat wha I wanted every day (donuts), I would not look like this. Furthermore, many times when I find my current eating style isn’t working it’s because I’m having too many off days and indulgences, not because my genetics are holding me back.

Now this isn’t to say anything about what the ideal body type should be. If your goal is to be the first picture, awesome! 3rd? That’s great too. Really it shouldn’t be me at all because your goal should be based on you. My takeaway here is that we need to stop taking away the accomplishments of people who work hard to obtain a physique or strength goal by saying oh well it’s just because of genetics that you were able to do that. No it’s because of a commitment made and maintained and I think that should be celebrated. To everyone who is working daily to achieve a goal, cheers to you!

Rachel, @brains.and.brawn


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