Healthy living conversations need a make over. Our vision is skewed and our motives lack staying power. Our goals are set by wanting to be sexy, not by wanting to be healthy. Sexy takes way more work than most people are willing to give. Sexy also isn't necessary. Depriving yourself to look a certain way won't make you healthy.
Physical appearance won't keep you out of a hospital, it won't keep you energetic, and it won't let you play with your kids. The industry of healthy living needs to speak up, and I'm going to start the ball rolling.
I've got a lot of respect for the SPORT of body building. In Winnipeg, the best coach for physique in my opinion is Jeff Fisher at Elite Performance. He brings a lot of athletes to the stage, and they go home with trophies. His facility doesn't focus on Bodybuilding, it's just Fish's background and passion, and it's grown to be one of many streams of incomes there. High Performance athlete training, executive fitness, bodybuilding, and a lot more. The point of it is. I train in the gym for the environment of the high performance athlete(I'm not one, not even close when compared to the athletes in that place). I'm there for the environment, the trainers on staff to motivate. While I'm there, I get to see the bodybuilders, bikini fitness, and physique competitors.
Their lives, in my opinion, suck. That's what I respect about them. They have committed to make their body look the way they want, and they will forgo a lot of "frills" to get there. They wake up early, the gym is full at 6 a.m., and they are there to do fasted cardio. Some of the athletes will get in an hour of cardio before the sunrises and they have food in their bellies. I'm not here to argue right or wrong, it's just what is part of some of the champions ever changing programs. Those same athletes may lift after the cardio, or come back again later that day to lift. They eat on a time schedule, and it's specific food. It is often bland, and repetitive. Everything is done with a scientific purpose. That's the reason for having a trainer.
I'm not doing the programming and effort from the trainer justice, nor am I making it clear that these athletes are committed and focused. My goal is to make it clear. These athletes whose bodies we see on magazine covers are committed to the visuals strictly. Health doesn't always factor in to their decision making. As I train hard in the same gym, I'm there for function and feeling, appearance is a distant second.
My program, the executives, the athletes and the bodybuilders are all there for something different and the planning shows it.
This is the point of the article.
We have lost our "why" for working out. When you don't know your reason, you lose motivation. When you lose motivation, you don't go. That starts a downward spiral. For some reason, the gym became associated with health and fitness.
I love intensity. I enjoy having Ryan Marsch call me out when I'm not pushing or living up to my potential. I've slowed down in my 30's, simply because my goals have changed. I want to put focus, time and effort into my career. That being said, I enjoy a great sweat, trying new things, and being called out when I'm in cruise control. Ryan does exactly that for me at Elite. He knows me, my program, and exactly when to crack the whip.
So here is what I want the new mentality to be. Associate movement with health and fitness. The gym is for sports. You can workout at home and create strength as easy as the gym. If you love going to the gym, keep going. Turn to those hard bodies and athletes for motivation, and try what they are doing for your own personal challenge. But realize that the commitment level from these people to sport, or to physique outweighs most everything else in their lives.
If I could change the world of health and wellness, I'd be speaking to major corporations. I'd deliver my 4 pillars of health message, and have people realize that the reason for movement is to build a healthy body. Not once it's too late, but before your body slows down.
We would practice deep breathing and meditation for stress relief, i.e. yoga
We would eat to fuel our bodies with vitamins and minerals, not to lose weight.
We would drink water, just water, no additives, just water. It's a novel concept, but drink just water.
We would sleep, and value it as a recovery time.
We would exercise accidentally. It would be movement for fun and not just going to the gym because we have to.
There are so many things that have happened to the perception of exercise because we put a small and select group of people on the cover of magazines. We put a fringe population up as "goals", or "inspiration". What needs to be the conversation is the exact opposite.
Workplace wellness, health and fitness, and the chasing of memories through adventure travelling and eating amazing meals needs to be the conversation. Weight loss, sex appeal, and chasing someone else's body needs to stop being associated with health and fitness.
I respect the hard work of fitness models who do things properly. But in an industry that is permeated with cosmetic surgery, feelings of imperfection, public judgement on symmetry and beauty, and tricks to remove water from the body before competition. This sport should not be associated with what needs to change in order to get our Nation back to health.
With the overweight and obesity levels over 50 per cent of the population. Let's get our attention back to:
-Movement and outdoor interaction
-Food as fuel, not restriction based diets
-Water, just water, lots of awesome water
-Supporting each other and making healthy workplaces and homes
Beauty, happiness, and acceptance of self shouldn't be based on appearance. Kindness, laughter, and creativity should be our measures of beauty. The great news is that the more active you are, and the more health conscience you are, the more your body will remove fat and be a healthy weight. You don't have to worry about it!
Worry about having fun, being active, enjoying your life with friends. Get out and get moving. Science and evolution will then worry about your weight. The science is that it will balance and move to healthy. Evolution is that your body will become more energetic, less stressed and happy.
So move. Leave the bodybuilding to the pros. They are good at it. Look for your fitness program to be having fun. If you love the gym, go. if you don't, just simply move.
Check out this Video from Dr. Mike Evans. It is a life changer!