I spend much of time trying to ‘debunk’ the myths surrounding health and fitness to many of my clients. Those ideas you see pop up in some magazines or on social media trying to win you over with the next big workout or diet that will change your life. We see images of lean, shapely bodies and instantly we get hooked on the idea that if we just do this workout our bodies will change forever. It’s such BS! Sorry, but for years and still today I talk to men and especially women of all ages to try to make them understand that getting fit and healthy is a lifestyle and it should be fun!
Why do we put some much pressure on ourselves to be someone we’re not?
We try and fit in and be accepted by others when we haven’t really accepted the fact of who we really are? We think thank being slim will make us happier and in some respect it can but once you reach that weight loss goal or fitness goal, ask yourself, how has my life changed? Are you truly happier? What did you have to give up to reach that goal? These are questions that you shouldn’t have to ask yourself. One aspect of health is maintaining a positive mindset. Once we have this figured out, everything else will fall into place. We have these stories in our heads that we tell ourselves over and over and it’s hard to break the pattern when you have believed them for years or even decades. However, you can break the pattern.
The beginning of a new year, people make resolutions to lose weight, eat cleaner, and place images in their head of who they want to look like. First mistake, you shouldn’t want to look like anyone else.
You are YOUR OWN PERSON.
You tell yourself that this year, it’s going to be different. No matter what, you will stick with the diet, cleanse for 6 weeks, workout hard for 2 hours everyday even though you hate it. You start the year off with great intentions and then February rolls around and you lose interest, you feel guilty for eating some food you shouldn’t of, and you look at yourself in the mirror and don’t see your body progressing the way you want it to. You give up and you lose interest. Does this sound familiar?
We’re doing it all wrong and our focus needs to shift to that of living a life that is fulfilling, fun, compassionate, and being healthy.
Often, we see the word ‘healthy’ and for all of us, this word brings different meanings. For some, it’s being a certain weight or fitting into a certain dress size. For others, it’s about living a sustainable life or simply finding time in their busy day to spend with loved ones. However, being slim and achieving a ‘healthy’ weight is important but there are so many other factors that come with the term, health. Getting to a particular weight is the end result but how you get there, the journey, is more important.
Has that feeling of desperation ever entered your mind when you feel that you’ve tried everything to lose weight or make the right food choices but nothing happens? You tell yourself that the next diet or the next fitness program will be different, but it’s not. It’s a viscous cycle. You go around and around in circles for years and you lose the weight only to put it back on again. You think to yourself, what did I do wrong? Why is it so hard?
Why does life have to be so difficult?
Well it doesn’t. We can listen to what society dictates to us or we can stand up for ourselves and make our own choices. Don’t you think if a magical pill could make us slim, eat clean, be happier, that the human race would all be happy? I look at all people as unique human beings. There is no human being that is alike. This is why the all or nothing approach doesn’t work in health and fitness.
We all think differently.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym or taking fitness classes. We see weight loss gimmicks like ‘eat cabbage soup for 1 week and drop 10 pounds’. Logically, you can lose weight if you decrease your caloric intake, but you won’t keep it off. Why? Because our life is not to be that of depriving ourselves. There is a reason why there are thousands of different vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, etc that feed our body with nutrients. There is also a reason why certain foods fill our bodies with disease, make us fatigued, and sick.
There is a reason why we can walk, squat while working in our vegetable garden, or lifting our arms above our head to reach something on a shelf. Our bodies were meant to move. How we move them is our choice. We all have different pleasures from taking a nature hike, to watching wildlife in their natural habitat or going to the playground to watch our children play. Our bodies don’t require hours in the gym to lose weight or change the appearance of them. Our fitness goals will dictate what activities you do in your life. Everyone’s goal is different.
If you want to reach and maintain any health or fitness result, then you have to get rid of the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Learn to live life on your terms. However, if you want to live a long, healthy life free of disease then you need to adapt a lifestyle where you are active, making the right food choices for your body, and thinking positive to be happier. Allow flexibility in your schedule to take vacations, a day off, or simply relax without feeling guilty. There are no quick fixes in life. Life is about accepting change and learning to deal with it in positive way, your way.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well