Curves, Jazzercise, Pickles, or McDonald’s: The Secret Is There Is No Secret

As recently as 2008, I belonged to Curves1 and also did Jazzercise. I faithfully walked to Curves several times a week and did my workout and then came home to my two small children. One a week, I drove and went to a Jazzercise class. And, you know what? It worked for me. I showed up. I exercised. I had fun.

PicklesIn the last 5 years, I’ve gone from 174 lbs to 132 lbs to 165 lbs to over 200 lbs, and now I’m heading back down to 152 lbs. I’ve dropped weight eating just McDonald’s and Burger King. I’ve gained weight eating Bojangles and donuts. And, now I am losing weight eating a lot of pickles.

People keep asking me about the pickle thing like there is a secret pickle diet they didn’t know about. There is no secret pickle diet. There is no secret exercise program.

When I want to get stronger, I do the work. It’s called squatting.

When I want to gain weight, I do the work. It’s called eating more.

When I want to lose weight, I do the work. It’s called eating less.

People really want a secret because they don’t like the part about doing work. Sometimes, work isn’t fun, but goals take work. I invent things like the donut diet and the pickle diet and pushup challenges precisely to keep my mind off the not fun part. I turn it into a game.

But, my way isn’t better. My diet isn’t better, my training isn’t better. It’s the best thing for me, but I don’t expect it to be the best thing for you.

Surround yourself with like-minded people who support your goals. Do the work.

DonutsI don’t try to get people who want to be good at running to come to Asheville Strength because we don’t run there. I don’t try to get people who want to eat Paleo to come either because we eat donuts, fudge, banana bread, cookies, and pizza. I also don’t try to get people who don’t like math, who can’t tolerate jokes about religion or politics, or who don’t want to wear a singlet and compete in the sport of weightlifting to come either. They won’t do the work, and they won’t meet their goals.

So, seriously, for the New Year, can we all stop being so self-righteous about what other people do? You can go to a gym that charges $10 a month, has mirrors, gives away bagels and still achieve your goals if you do the work. You can eat pickles and carrots or donuts and pizza all day long and still achieve your goals if you do the work.

Spend more time applauding people when they reach their goals and less time worrying about how they reach their goals. In the words of the little girl in the video below, “Worry about yourself!”


  1. Did you know that Curves is the MOST researched exercise program out there? The Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory currently at Texas A&M University has been studying Curves for over 10 years. You can read all of their research HERE. 

Author: Tamara Reynolds

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