Do you find yourself seeing what other people are doing for their health/fitness/nutrition and immediately try to copycat their exact routine + regimen and expect to achieve the exact same outcomes? #itsokimguiltytoo
Sometimes there are little helpful truth-nuggets in there, but guys, stop the madness of yo-yo dieting and program-hopping, would ya please?
In my journey towards optimal health, it’s easy to see those perfectly-posed hard bodies using the hashtag #fitspiration on Instagram, and want to know all of their secrets, and then do all of them and then expect magic to happen. And maybe magic will happen, but the truth is, everybody + EVERY BODY is different.
Our body chemistry, our stress levels, our digestive health, our genetics, our circumstances, our history, and our mental statuses are all different. What works for one person, might not work for you. And that’s ok. It’s a good thing! What’s most important is listening to YOUR body. Reconnecting back to your own intuition of what your body needs, rather than forcing it one way or the other to reach a particular ideal.
Let’s take a step back, be realistic, and look at the big picture.
Some ridiculously lean chick might be selling a spelled-out-for-you nutrition program, but it comes at a cost of not having a social life, eating the same prepped meals 5 days in a row + counting every single thing you put in your mouth.
Some inconspicuous dude at your gym might be the ultimate weightlifter with perfect form, but what you didn’t realize is that he’s a medaled athlete with years of rigorous training in an Olympic gym since he was twelve.
Some seemingly happy girl might be able to fit in all of the latest trends in fashion because she’s a size zero, but what you didn’t realize is that she’s been struggling with managing a lifelong illness that may cause her to not have children.
Of course, goals are good and benchmarks can be achievable, but when it completely consumes you + your life, I encourage you to take a step back and evaluate the “why” behind your motivation.
Is it backed by healthy thoughts?
Or is it silently breaking you?
And then ask yourself, “What is all of this for?”
If your answer to that question isn’t “I want to be the best version of myself” and rather, “I want to look, perform, + be like so-and-so or such-and-such ideal,” I beg you to change your thoughts around your health + fitness goals.
Someone might be your ideal size/build/shape, but there is more to the story there. There ALWAYS is more to the story. And newsflash, YOU are NEVER going to be THEM.
And why would you want to be?
Why would you want to be someone else, when you have the opportunity every day to be the VERY BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF? For you, for your family, for your life.
Your body, circumstances + history have brought you to this particular place in time, and THAT is what you need to focus on. That is your starting point towards moving forward in health. Not with what Sexy Sally or Buff Bob does every day.
What I have learned over the years is two things:
- Everything is trial + error.
- Your body is always adapting.
Your body is a science experiment. It is constantly moving, adapting, changing, learning and adjusting to what you throw at it each and every day. Learn to tune back into your own body, and find what works for you, so that you can become the best version of yourself.
Maybe you physically can’t slay it in the gym with all the others, because you are limited on time, or you have an old injury that is keeping you from doing certain movements, or you feel too “far gone” to the point of no return. Do something else. Go for walks, go on a bike ride, do at home videos, play frisbee, play with your kids, do whatever activity brings you joy, life + a little movement that makes you break a sweat and feel good about yourself.
Maybe you can’t meal prep + count macros because you have a history with disordered eating, and realized that it would only undo all of the hard work you’ve made towards progressing in your relationship with food. #hellothatsme Don’t count anything. Don’t agonize over the menu at your favorite restaurant. Learn to eat intuitively, listening to your body’s signals for what it needs, when it’s hungry, when it’s full, when it’s tired, when it’s stressed, when it’s over-worked, when it’s deprived, and when it’s calling out for some TLC.
Maybe that workout routine you did when you were in your 20’s and felt awesome isn’t working for you anymore in your 40’s. Our bodies change. It’s normal. Just learn to adapt and see what works now. You might be surprised that more intense exercise actually isn’t better for you at this point in your life, and that’s ok.
Maybe you work crazy hours at a high-stress job and the last thing you want to do is cook when you get home. Delegate. Can you batch cook some items earlier in the week to make putting together meals easy + simple? But what if you don’t have the time or energy to cook because you can’t fathom having to make another decision? Hire a personal chef to do the meal planning + prepping, so you have hearty, balanced meals waiting for you every day. Sure, the cost might seem ridiculous upfront, but delegating that to someone else might be the best investment you can make for your health.
Each day might look different, and sure, life happens, and we can’t always get our exercise on or that healthy meal to the dinner table, but it is in the learning about ourselves that we begin to transform into who we are meant to be. OUR BEST SELF.
Let’s release expectations + extend grace towards ourselves and learn to listen to OUR STORY, OUR BODY, OUR LIFE, and what it needs in each moment, so that at the end of the day, we can proudly say YES to the question…
“Is this choice going to help me be the BEST VERSION OF MYSELF today?”