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June 10, 2018

Why You Should Stop Chasing a Six Pack

Annie Miller of Fitdesignbyannie why you should stop chasing a six pack

You want to know when people care about their abs or getting a six pack?

When they are insecure.

There, I said it.

We were not put on this earth to have a six pack and die…what a sad, sad life that would be.

I had a very visible six pack. At my most ripped I looked FIIINNNEEEEE as fuh. But it was not my best balanced life. For me, having a defined six pack was a lot of work and my life revolved around keeping that six pack (hello meal prep, no alcohol or treats, and hitting all workouts + sleeping enough). If a six pack is what is most important to you…live your life, but I encourage you to re-evaluate what that six pack does for you.

Let me tell you what a six pack does not indicate:

That someone is:

  • strong. I’ve coached plenty of cheerleaders with six packs who cannot actually use them.
  • confident. A six pack does not, I repeat does not, make you confident. Is your six pack who you are? Oh, is your six pack your character? No. Cool, just checking.
  • healthy. Yes, abs are indeed made in the kitchen. Follow Working Against Gravity or RP strength to see that. BUT, a six pack does not mean someone is healthy. I had a six pack when I was 18. I ate Taco bell and was severely overtrained.
  • happy. I don’t know if you’re aware, but the appearance of body parts does not make you happy. I hope to God that your biceps are not the source of your joy…skinny people aren’t happy. HAPPY is not synonymous with any body type…or muscle group.


The only time I care about what my abs look like are in times of insecurity or when I know I haven’t been taking care of myself.

When I give zero shits about what my abs look like, it is because I’m taking care of my body, getting my workouts in and feeling strong. Stick with me.

I once took three month progression photos. There was a little difference between them, but very little difference. I wasn’t tracking anything. I just went from a under eating and inconsistent working out phase to eating to fuel my workouts, and getting at least four workouts in per week with intention. Like I said I looked a little different I suppose, but the biggest difference was how I felt and how I viewed my body even though it really hadn’t changed much.

That is not to discourage you and say that even with fueling your body properly and working out you won’t see changes to your beloved six pack. We are talking about a three month period of falling off the horse and getting back on. Not trying to win a bikini competition. My point is that I am much more insecure about the way my body looks when I haven’t been working out…Which is funny because if you were to take photos (like I did), it really doesn’t look that different. It’s all about the way I FEEL that changes how I VIEW my body. And I am confident that the same is true for you.

Those insecure feelings come from not feeling strong, not being in tune with my body, and not choosing to take care of myself on a daily basis.

I’m not sure if you know this, but it feels freaking amazing to treat your body well, and use it the way it was designed to be used. When you use your body in a way that brings you joy, it changes the way you view yourself.  Plus the desire for the six pack diminishes. I didn’t visibly have any less cellulite or a more defined six pack in the third month than the first month.  I was simply proud of my body’s ability and how it feels to use it.  So I thought I looked significantly better. But when I looked at the photos, I was surprised to see there wasn’t much of a change. I was not discouraged by this. I was more-so intrigued by the mindset behind the FIRST months photos compared to the THIRD (cue this blog post).

When I lift weights and fuel my body for workouts I am in a state of gratitude instead of insecurity and greed.

So my friend.  If you’re chasing a physical appearance, please stop. You won’t be happy once you get there. Change your mindset around training and focus on the following instead.

  • Performance based goals in the gym: upping the weight. Hitting the same weight for more reps, using lower rest periods, FEELING stronger etc.
  • Learning to fuel your body for your workouts: having a “no-shame” mindset with food is vital + your workouts and strength will improve.
  • Focus on how your body feels rather than how it looks: praise your body for it’s abilities and where it’s going.


If you get a six pack. Great. But I guarantee it wont be the source of your happiness. The fact that you’re taking care of yourself will be.

You may also like:

Are abs really made in the kitchen?

5 reasons you’re not seeing results

3 best exercises for abs – never do a crunch again

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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