1.Excuses about your present state
There is nothing wrong with being out of shape and making the decision that you want to change. As my dad told me, once, when I injured myself and I was whining that I will get out of shape: “It doesn’t matter. People get in and out of shape. What matters is, at the end of your life, when you draw the line, the sum of the time you were in shape to outweigh the sum of the time you were out of shape.” Thank you dad! This advice helped me a lot, not only to accept the downs, but also to realize that nothing is conclusive and that what matters are the efforts we make in order to change for the better.
Excuses, in their essence are a sign of denial- the one making the excuse denies his present state and behaves as a victim- not he and his actions caused his present, unwanted state, but some external factors, which are not under his control. This is a really convenient position, but for who? By denying, we are just getting stuck, deeper, into the unwanted state and we get further from the possibility to achieve the desired state.
How often do you hear:
-I want to be in shape, but I do not have time to work out.
- I want to eat healthy, but I do not have time to cook.
-I want to eat good food, but they don’t have it in my workplace.
There are so many excuses, that somebody could write one of those books “365 days of wisdom”, but in our case “365 days of excuses.” Truth is that while we find excuses, we deny opportunities- actually they don’t get in our sight at all, because we do not assume their existence. In order to achieve the shape you want and improve your health, you should be honest and sincere with yourself.
Something like an honest conversation with yourself:
“Ok, Ines! That’s enough. You’ve been eating bad, you postponed your physical activity. All your actions and unhealthy habits, led to your present state and if you want to change the consequences, you should change your actions.”
Now, substitute my name with your own and after you leave your excuses to the side and after you take responsibility for your health and life, the opportunities will start popping.
Advice: Excuses are the weapon of the ego- its way to defend itself and its identity and always be “right ”in other people’s eyes. But we are not our ego and the false image it creates. We are so much more than this and that is why we should leave our ego at the door and face the truth!
2.The idea that if you burn it with physical activity, then you can eat it
Every time I hear this, my heart skips a beat. I hear it on a daily basis: “What’s wrong with eating junk, if I work out after that and burn it?
What is wrong?
The worst is that by having such a notion and a philosophy, this means that you are far away from a healthy lifestyle. The idea of “making a sin” and then compensating with it with extra work is the wrong path to follow. Here, I will once again repeat, that eating and working out is not with the mere goal- weight loss. Nutrition and physical activity are for health. Everything that we do- from eating to physical activity is an information that enters the body and “decodes” data about what is going on in our surroundings and how the body should react to it.
I am sure that, when junk food enters inside the body, it sends signals that we are living in an industrial building, where the main elements- fire, air, earth and water do not exist, and instead, they are substituted with artificial sweeteners, tarns- fats and some more chemicals for better taste. In one sentence- you are not people, you are machines. So why would the body need to function in the way it was created, if it is not being used this way?
I still remember the time, when I used to eat two pieces of cake, happy, that I swam for two hours and I deserved them. Food is not supposed to be earned this way. We should eat and move for health, not in order to burn calories. The human body is not a trash can, which fits a bunch of crappy food, that is gonna be set on fire. Food provokes hormonal responses, and our appearance is a result of this hormonal responses. Take care of your hormones and they will take care for your appearance. Give them quality food and stop behaving like slaves, which are supposed to get a certain amount of work done, in order to earn their food.
3.Your incline to fool yourself for the quantity of food you eat.
I often happen to train with people, who are doing great with workouts, but still, they do not have progress in their appearance. They complain, that they are eating properly, but they are not losing weight. After a more detailed conversation, I reaffirm my suspicions, that they are just eating way more, than they actually need. When I ask how many times a day they eat, I get this answer- two or three times a day. If I dare to ask about snacks, the information starts flowing:
-Well, I eat two- three handfuls of nuts; a couple bananas or an apple and some yogurt. And if I starve too much I might eat a healthy bar, that I’ve previously made.
Yes! No wonder that you don’t have progress. Food is considered not just your main meals, but all the snacks in between, as well. In order to avoid this discrepancy between the real quantity of food you eat and the one you think you eat, I will ask you to eat mindfully- i.e. when you eat…JUST EAT!
Sit around the table and get alone with your plate ( well you might have a company). Just do not work, read, watch TV or etc.
4.You think that 1 hour in the gym is enough
Now, you are probably thinking: “Ines, I do not have my whole day for working out!”
Actually, I am gonna surprise you, but I am really happy that you do not train all day long. I do not expect it from you. The human body is created for movement- but movement, which is natural for its functioning. There is nothing natural in spending 2-3 hours on the cardio machine or working out on other machines in the globo gym, doing exercises with the belief that you are improving your health and fitness.
The human body is not a bunch of separate parts- it is not a triceps, a biceps or a hamstring. It functions as a whole, complete mechanism and all of its parts are in direct relation to the rest. Logically, we should move our body the way it functions- as a whole mechanism, and not as isolated parts.
I almost diverted from the topic. Pardon me, but I think I could write a whole book on the topic about working out in the gym and using machines. And still. Even if you take 1 hour for physical activity, it is more important what you do during the rest 23 hours.
If you are active for one hour, but then you spend the rest of the day sitting, you lose all the positives from your morning activity. If I am honest, I’d recommend you divide this 1 hour into 4. Yes, exactly this- 4 times of 15 minutes. Take 15 minutes, every 3-4 hours and do something active- go up and downstairs; do a couple sets of squats and pushups. Health is in the movement, not in the hardcore, one hour workout.
I know that this may seem suspicious, but trust me- I’ve done all the mistakes that you can imagine and no matter what stage you are at, I know how you fell- I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I am with you!
5.You forget that our appearance is an expression of our health
A healthy body is neither thin, nor fat. A healthy body is in the norm- probably, it is no coincidence, that everything has a golden middle and that every index has norms. Everything outside the norms, especially when there is huge diversions( in both directions) is not healthy! Health is a result not just from nutrition and physical activity, but also from our lifestyle as the main component is rest!
Sometimes, I think about the paradox, that all technologies function in a way that resembles the way living organisms function. We have deeper knowledge about technology- we know that we should charge our phone and our PC and we don’t leave our home without the recharger for the iPhone. Yet, we often forget our own recharger- quality food and enough rest.
Sleep is REALLY important. You have no idea how many positives you miss, when you don’t sleep enough or when you go to bed, in times of the night that are nowadays acceptable, but from your body’s perspective and its evolutionary adaptation they are a sin towards humanity.
Do not forget that we are a part of nature. It is the only thing, that has been with us and that is still a constant in our life- yes, it changes, but we adapt to those changes. Nature exists in cyclist and we do as well. Day and night are not just for entertainment. Day and night have their meaning and they sign the start or the end of a bunch of processes in our body, and each one of them is important for the way we feel and the way we look.
Number one goal of our body is survival- if it is constantly stressed from the deficiency of rest and sleep, it won’t bother with our superficial goal of appearance. The sick body, doesn’t look good. The tired body, leads to a hormonal response that doesn’t look good in the mirror.
Start going to bed earlier- between 22:00-22:30 p.m. and wake up earlier. We underestimate the importance of this, but you will see how much better you feel and how much better you look. Because, realize it or not, we often indulge in bad food and excess working out, when we feel bad. The better we feel, the more conscious we think and the better decisions we make. The rested body, feels and looks great!