Arms down, not so bad…  Arms up!  Look out!

I think we all have that one (okay, maybe more than one) part of our body we focus on because it drives us crazy! As a trainer I hear it all day from my clients. From stomach to butt to thighs to (the dreaded) under arm skin. Yep. You know what I’m talking about.

  • Turkey wing arms

  • Lunch lady arms

  • Bingo arms

  • Flags

  • Bat wings

The list goes on. My friend Debbie and I share the dreaded turkey wing arms; however, we call ours “Finnish Farmer Arms”. You see we are both of Finnish descent, found this common bond, compared notes and determined it is a genetic thing. Growing up I remember looking at the old formal black and white photos of my ancestors looking very stern and proud, that coupled with stories of my pregnant great grandmother plowing fields up until the day she gave birth, gave my imagination free reign to conjure up pictures of my female Finnish ancestors as stout, hearty, strong women who kept going. Debbie and I figure this is where our ample arms come from.

Seriously, mine are horrible! I have discovered the upper part of my limbs do not match my lower limbs. My thighs are way bigger than my calves. I veer away from short sleeved shirts with any type of band on them, most people’s arms hang gracefully out of these types of shirts, mine completely fill the area (sometimes looking like a stuffed sausage!) and I am forever trying to stretch the unforgiving fabric for more room. No luck. Easier to simply not wear.

As much as we try, exercises specifically for that area do not seem to work. Why? I of all people should know the answer to this. No such thing as spot training. Yep, you heard right. Others may disagree, and that is fine. Let me try and explain.

Our wonderful bodies are complex, complicated and amazing! The body will choose where it wants to take the fat from. For example, if you have heavy thighs or a belly that doesn’t make you happy, you may try and do leg lifts or crunches until the cows come home. You may also notice there doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement. Well, actually, there probably is, you’ve most likely made those muscles look really good, the thing is they are under that little layer of fat the body has chose NOT to use as fuel.  So, eventually, your body will get there to use that particular area you are striving to make look better. In other words, don’t quit because you don’t see results immediately, keep up the good work! Kind of like when we are roaming through the cabinets of frig looking for a snack. We pick and choose. Our bodies do the same thing.

So what are Debbie and I doing about our Finnish Farmer Arms? Laughing about them, realizing there are far more important things in life to worry about. We just keep working, trying to improve them, make them look a bit better. Or not.

The important thing is to accept who and what we are, Finnish Farmer Arms and all. After all, I am sure I inherited many wonderous qualities from my Finnish family. I think I’ll focus on those.

What are your problem areas? How do you deal with them?

Until next time friends!