I’ve been laying in bed following a Twitter stream about my friend, Jen Banks’ recent post about her weight loss journey on MomNation. I tossed and turned with this post bubbling in my head, trying to decide if it belonged here or on my HAWT Fitness site. _uacct = “UA-4888259-1″;urchinTracker();
Here it is
I soap-box about fitness a lot (like that’s any surprise to my wonderful readers!), but I am so passionate about lifestyle choices and the barrage of misleading/confusing/conflicted information that assaults us on a daily basis about what we should and should not be doing with our bodies. It leads to a mountain of questions and confusion, and unfortunately, there are far too many “professionals” waiting like Red Riding Hood’s wolf in the woods.
I approach fitness like I approach most things in my life nowadays: is it something that humans have been doing for thousands of years to maintain their health and well-being, or is it something manufactured and marketed.
If it’s got its own marketing division, I stay far, far, FAR away.
**which isn’t to say that things like walking don’t have marketing teams…I am speaking more to the flash and sizzle of “the industry”**
Our bodies were designed thousands of years ago. Evolution doesn’t allow us to change our daily needs that much over the course of a hundred years or so. Unfortunately, our lifestyles haven’t acknowledged that, and the industrialization and globalization of the world has caused some MAJOR kinaesthetic and biomechanical problems for our poor bodies! We sit more, we expend less energy, and we eat more.
Thus, we get stiffer, fatter and more sedentary.
It’s a vicious cycle, and one that leaves our society vulnerable to the well-meaning diet and fitness industry. Of course, I say “well-meaning” with tongue firmly planted in cheek… It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, based solely on the fact that we are not active and live manufactured lifestyles. It makes simple sense that we are then drawn to manufactured, simplistic “cures” for over-weight and its co-morbidities. If it’s that easy to put the weight on, shouldn’t it be that easy to take it off?
*pops pill…waits for miracle*
As I already mentioned: our bodies were designed thousands of years ago for an active, survivalist lifestyle. My beloved Vibram
has a fantastic copy on their Facebook page: 20,000 years ago, people who didn’t believe in barefoot running got eaten.
One could replace it with any other lifestyle choice:
“People who didn’t believe in healthy eating died”
“People who took supplements…um, didn’t, because they ate food”
“People who didn’t believe in exercise were eaten”
“People who didn’t believe in _____________”
You name it.
Our bodies have not adapted to the 21st century lifestyle in a positive manner, so it only stands to reason that the 21st-century “cures” won’t work.
How many clients have I met with who told me, “I did the XYZ diet, and it worked really well! I lost x-number of pounds!!” or “I did the (horrible, ‘doctor-supervised’, starts-with-a-B, shall remain nameless) treatments and it was great!“?
It begs the question: if you spent all this money on something that worked so well, why are you sitting across from me today?
Because it didn’t actually work. It tricked your body for a short time into believing that you were making lifestyle choices, and your attention-starved body clung to it for dear life. Unfortunately, Solution XYZ was either a) too costly, b) too time-consuming, or c) too dull/repetitive/painful/unchallenging/challenging/whatever for you to stick with it in the long run. And as creatures of habit, you slipped back into the 21st lifestyle that you were already accustomed to; voila! Back to square one.
That reason alone is why I am IN LOVE with Jen’s journey at MomNation. She is making huge but sensible lifestyle changes. She isn’t losing unrealistic amounts of weight or inches. She isn’t on a crazy, restrictive diet. Everything that she is doing is healthy.
As in, for health and wellness benefits.
Health. And. Wellness.
Fitness has two components, in my opinion: wellness and performance. Very few people actual fall on the “performance” end of the fitness spectrum, yet most people seem to focus on that result. Instead, we all would benefit from focusing on the wellness end: the end that provides both mental and physical health benefits, reduces the co-morbities of a sedentary lifestyle (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc) and increases quality of life.
Do you know how good it feels to have energy to live your daily life? It isn’t about how many miles you can run, or how much weight you can lift, or how many back-to-back spin classes you can handle. Can you enjoy an unrestricted lifestyle?
Can you maintain your healthy weight range without sacrificing foods that you enjoy? Or are you so restricted in your nutrition or your time that you cease to actually live??
There’s a happy balance: it’s called lifestyle. It looks different to everyone, but I encourage you to find what makes YOU happy on a regular and continuous basis. Not short-term; find what makes LIFE enjoyable.
Then you’ll be fit.