First things first, I am not a physician or a qualified health expert or anything of the matter. Everything I’m about to say is purely anecdotal. I highly recommend that if you are to implement any advice given in this post that you consult your health care provider. Now, that we got that disclaimer out of the way let’s move on to the fun stuff.
Many of us struggle every day to achieve our desired level of physical fitness. Sometimes we even achieve it, but then we encounter the struggle of maintaining it. That’s why a lot of people lose the same pounds over and over again only to regain them and then struggle again or others gain the muscle they want and then lose it. It can be a vicious and unhealthy cycle for many.
What if I could tell you 3 things that if you implemented them would make the process of becoming and staying fit a natural and easy thing for you? It sounds seductive and perhaps too good to be true I’m sure. But bear with me—I’m going to break it down for you in a few simple steps and in as few words as possible.
1. Clean up your psychological weight. The first thing we have to realize about our bodies and our level of fitness is that most of the weight and lack thereof people have is psychological. An unclean psyche can cause people to overcompensate with excessive over and under-eating, too much or too little exercise, and other toxic behaviors.
How do we release the psychological weight? One thing to do is to first ask yourself why it is you overcompensate in the area—diet, exercise—that is impacting your health negatively. Do you overeat to feel good about something, are you bulimic so you can fit a certain image and why do you want to fit in that image, or could it be that you believe one area of your life justifies the excess in your health? For example some people believe that if they’re financially successful, they don’t need to look in shape.
We have got to dig deep into these questions to figure out what it is that causes us to engage in these behaviors and then address them (more on this in my previous posts). But know one thing, if these psychological weights are not addressed, it will be very hard for you to achieve and maintain your desired level of fitness.
2. Being fit is a lifestyle choice. Many people engage in fad diets and workouts to get to a certain weight and level of fitness. This can work in the short-term, but maintaining it is a strenuous endeavor.
In order to be fit and remain fit, we have to make a conscious decision of what a healthy and sustainable lifestyle looks for us. A decision has to be accepted within us that we are going to be healthy individuals and not pursue the goal of getting into a certain outfit but rather pursue the goal of generally being in a condition of fitness.
When you set this as your operating standard, being fit becomes a part of who you are and not just a goal. It becomes easier to align your behaviors once this is a part of your identity.
3. Be accepting of your body in every stage of your progress. One of the reasons all these new workouts and diets are so popular is that we all want results now or yesterday, if that were possible. But the simple reality is that is an unsustainable approach to your fitness. It is a form of self-loathing to want immediate results because what you are telling yourself is that you are not good enough right now. What that does is only build more emotional and psychological baggage.
The healthier approach is to understand that perhaps you are not where you should be fitness wise, but that the journey you are on to correct this is a sign of the deep care you have for yourself and your body. Take a few moments every day to just acknowledge the progress that you have made and to enjoy the you that is a work in process. Consciously decide to focus on the progress that you see as opposed to the amount of work left to do. Remember you are not just moving towards a weight and fitness goal—you are changing a lifestyle and now your body is adapting to that new lifestyle.
As always consult with your health care provider if you decide to follow these 3 steps and only follow them if they resonate with you.
A separate book could be written to cover each of the 3 steps we have discussed, but I have done my best to condense the basic principles into one posting. Let me know what you guys think and if you would like me to talk more about these steps in the future. Cheers to being fit!