There are times when a blog topic presents itself through the people I encounter. I have had a LOT of interactions as of late with a wide variety of individuals asking me for assistance with their weight loss struggles. Now, I AM a fitness professional and personal trainer. It’s what I write about, coach people through, and center fitness program designs around, every day. When it comes to weight struggles, I have also traveled a long road since my teen years, first with lots of diets and cardio. I then learned the magic of strength training in the mid - nineties right after my first child, but still struggled with the yo-yo effect. My weight would go up, my weight would go down.
I never enjoyed food. It was a stress for me. If I ate something I felt “guilty” about, I would have to get to the gym to “work it off”, or it would seriously affect my mood in an adverse way. I constantly worried about putting the weight back on that I had lost. It was a vicious cycle that drained my energy, wasted a lot of mental power, affected my feelings of self - worth, and took up way too much of my day.
When I look back on those days, I was doing a lot of things differently than I do now. Today I can happily say I don’t do any of those things I just listed, anymore.
So what’s so different NOW? WHY is it different?
Here is my basic list:
- I lift weights. Heavy weights. Barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, you name it.
- I always follow a goal specific program. (I often get my programs from books by fitness professionals that I admire and follow)
- I log my workouts so I can keep track of my current numbers as far as weight lifted and reps. First, so I can see my gradual progress as I improve. Second, so I can see my numbers and gradually try to better them over time.
- I eat a really healthy diet 90% of the time. I allow some indulgences, but the majority of the time I eat really well.
- I never obsess or allow myself to feel guilty when I enjoy something that is not on my healthy list. I simply get right back on track after.
- I work out LESS but I work a lot harder and smarter.
- I get more protein in my diet.
- I eliminated refined starches from my diet almost entirely. And I now limit myself to only 2 servings of healthy starches a day.
- I make sleep, and down time, a top priority.
- I have done a lot of personal work on myself through meditation, reading, yoga immersions, and journaling in order to fully accept and allow myself to become the person I truly am. I have eliminated people from my life who bring me stress and angst, who don’t support me as the person I am. In addition, I have sought out and built a strong network of friends, who I feel add positive energy to my life, and who help me in my own personal journey to being the best person I can possibly be. People who I admire, and even have qualities I may lack and want to cultivate. People who have great compassion and who are generous in spirit and strong in character.
Please note #10. Because honestly, I think it is #10 that has made the biggest difference for me. Through bettering “me” as a person, increasing my feelings of fulfillment and happiness, all my other choices have just fallen into place. By eliminating the stress in my life, which I put upon myself, everything else, including my weight, my food choices, has fallen into alignment. I no longer “need” food fixes. I no longer “crave” this food or that. Being at peace with who I am, feeling true happiness, knowing I have a network of wonderful, special people, who are there to support me, care about me, is more filling and satisfying than any piece of pie or carb loaded meal could ever be.
The more I talk with people ( those outside of my close circle of personally selected close friends anyway) the more I hear the themes of fear, loneliness, disillusionment, unfulfillment, unhappiness, and “need” pop up.
These are, inevitably, the same people who also then ask me about their eating issues, their weight issues, their “lack of motivation”, and “lack of energy” issues.
This may not be the answer many of you want to hear, but instead of going to the gym more and working out more, I think what most people need is to slow down and really work THROUGH their issues. Talk about hard work! You think doing push- ups is hard?? Try taking a really close, honest look at yourself as a person, your past choices, and your current ones. Really comparing who you ARE right now to the person you truly want to BECOME.
When I first started writing my blog, Real [Fit] Life, I very deliberately chose the name, because fitness is a component of REAL life. And in life, everything we do, every choice we make as individuals has a very direct correlation to who we are in every sense. Our feelings of self - worth, our levels of personal success, our spirituality, the way we eat, our emotional and physical health, is ALL closely intertwined. In our brains we like to think we can fool ourselves but our bodies are way smarter than we are.
Starting this week I am bringing back a past project on my Real [Fit] Life blog. Starting tomorrow, and for the next 30 days I will be sharing my daily food and exercise log with you, the readers.
You will be able to read about every morsel that goes into my mouth, every workout I do, and how I do it. I will log every minute detail for the next 30 days. Last time I was amazed to hear how MANY people were intrigued by something I worried might be just a tad too mundane.
In addition, give #10 some really good attention. Take some time to really think about it. There really is a lot to it!
Check out more from Jeannine at her blog Real [Fit] Life here!