Skip to main content

Bliss Life

be bold. be brave. be remembered.

Armed and Fabulous

Mar 29, 2013 07:39PM

photo by

photo by

Armed and Fabulous by Chip Schrager

Spring and summer mean sleeveless shirts and sleeveless shirts mean that women are standing in front of mirrors across America swinging their arms to see if they’re jiggling in all the wrong places. So how do you defy gravity and reach a point where you can stop hiding your arms under sleeves? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that, as with anything else, there is no quick fix. The good news though is that there are some things you can do to try and tone your arms back up.

Diet matters

There’s no way around this, if you take in more calories than you burn you are going to gain weight in one part of your body or another. I’m not a believer in any one miracle diet, but we can all agree that if you want to maintain a healthy weight then the best thing you can do is eat smaller portions of high protein, low fat, low carb foods. Nuts, fish and vegetables are great starting points.

The hardest part for me, and possibly for you as well, is that spring and summer mean the return of great fruit options like melons, peaches, strawberries and the like. These foods taste fantastic but unfortunately are high in sugar so make sure that you eat them in moderation. If you have a sweet tooth, there are lots of “sugar free” chocolates on the market; just remember that sugar free doesn’t mean good for you or that you should eat an entire bag of them in one sitting. Many of these have just as many calories as their full sugar brothers and a lot of chemicals that you don’t need.

Additionally, you should consult your doctor to find out how many calories you should be taking in on a daily basis. Most of us have no idea and are taking in a lot more than we need.

Bulk or buff?

What do you want to accomplish? Do you want your arms to be lean and toned or do you want them to be ripped? Different goals require different strategies. There are a lot of women who want to tone up, go to the gym and start lifting weights only to discover that they are slowly turning into the representative for the East German women’s weight lifting team. As a result they stop working out and all of that new muscle turns right into flab. If lean and mean is your goal than go with lighter weight for more repetitions.

There are also arm bikes in many gyms that can help you to tone your arms just like a stationary bike tones your legs. If you’re not a gym rat but a runner or walker instead take a couple of low weight dumbbells with you. Swinging your arms while you walk will help you work them out and get them in shape.

Ask for help.

This is a pretty simple concept that people tend to overlook. No one plan works for every person. With that in mind, consulting a professional who can work with you and help you create a plan that fits your level of activity and your individual goals is the best thing you can do.

Too often people feel like they should know what they’re doing right off the bat and too often they’re wrong. Asking for assistance in achieving your goals isn’t a sign of weakness or ignorance, it’s a sign that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to improve your body.

Avoid the quick fix

Diet pills, miracle “fat burners” that you see on late night television, or trying to hard at the gym are all really bad ideas. If you are legitimately having trouble shaking the weight in various parts of your body, including your arms, despite your diet and workout routine, there might be a medical reason for this and you should consult a doctor. Please though, stay away from the over the counter diet pills; they can do a lot of damage to your liver and other organs over the long term. In addition, trying to do too much all at once in your workout will often result in an injury that will set you back.

My rule of thumb when you’re trying to transform your body is that searching for quick fixes always takes longer and has worse results than taking your time to do it right.

Accept reality

My wakeup call was a couple of years ago when I was looking at the roster for the New York Giants and realized that I was older than every player on the team. It was there that I realized I will never be a professional athlete. My wife looked me in the eye and, in her most compassionate and understanding voice said, “Really, you’re just coming to this conclusion?”

I tell you this story because it’s important to realize that as we age our bodies change, we start hurting in new places, it takes longer to recover from a workout, takes longer to recover from lots of things for that matter. Diet and exercise can stall time but nothing can freeze it, at some point your arms, legs, and other parts won’t be able to hold the tone they did in your twenties and thirties regardless of what you do in the gym. If you’re getting to this point, there’s no shame in it, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting older…it sure as hell beats the alternative! If that’s the case, that no matter what you do you can’t get the tone in your arms that you see in women half your age, or on models and movie stars that doesn’t mean you have to hide them. Use those arms to embrace who you are and the people who care about you for who you are.