Reaching Your Fitness Goals in 2017: Lifestyles of the Fit & Healthy (Part 3)
Why not start things off with a rant? Who cares? After all, if you’ve watched the first and second part of a trilogy, you pretty much have to finish it off, right? Oh wait, this isn’t a movie. My bad. Do people even say “my bad” any more? That’s when you know you are old. Boy, this is off to a rocky start.
The whole trillion dollar “healthy living” industry is rife with rip-offs, blatant misinformation, lack of regulation, the perpetuation of body ideals and beauty expectations that are the anti-thesis of healthy living, and science usually not even based in anything that even resembles evidence. They want your money… and we all give it to them.
I have literally been taking fish oil supplements since like 2005. It’s a vice; I know. Are they beneficial? Who knows! I’ve been reading conflicting research from so-called experts for 12 years. Obviously, it’s hard to isolate and quantify one molecule in the body and the overall effect of it. The point is that there’s a ginormous chance that I am flushing 25 bones (bank, cabbage, greenbacks, paper, skrilla) down the toilet every 3-6 months.
What to do? Research. In this technology era, con men use sophisticated strategies to steal your information, politicians can claim there are alternative sets of facts, and even the publishing of “fake news” on various media platforms. Determining misinformation from information is critical. Be prudent.
Getting a good night’s sleep is good for your health?!?!?! Wow! What a breakthrough. 2016 was the best year ever for sleep: it made a huge amount of cash, was heaped with praise and lived lavishly no doubt. You bought a foam bed online because of the supposedly independent reviews from bloggers. The company doesn’t pay them for favourable reviews…. right?
So quick recap:
- Supplements = not regulated, may be harmful, waste of money.
- Following an Instagram so-called trainer = as bad as watching the Kardashians.
- Getting caught up in a fitness fad = expensive$$$.
The three key determinants of a healthy lifestyle are: diet, sleep (I bought the hype), and support.
There is no miracle piece of exercise equipment, fitness program, or supplement. Excellence is determined by hard work, discipline, and longevity. It is my belief that supplements are a complete waste of money. The placebo effect can be powerful, and everyone has a guilty supplement that they’ve convinced themselves works for him or her. Mine is fish oil.
The placebo effect is powerful, and taking it gives me a degree of psychological comfort, but why don’t you just include fish in your diet? Well, it’s pretty expensive, and I’m a student, so I’m getting all the benefits for a cheaper price (sure, buddy, whatever you say).
The key to nutrition is eating a variety of whole foods. Taking nutrition to the next level is being able to incorporate a wide range of proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables into your diet. This is difficult to do because you start to develop preferences.
Having a single serving blender allows me to consume vegetables & fruits I would not usually eat. I just throw in a bunch of vegetables & fruits and blend it into a delicious smoothie. I use a Ninja Blender, which is like a souped-up Magic Bullet. I would recommend it, and they don’t even pay me to say that. Maybe they should. Fifty bucks, and I will embed the link to putting it in your cart! I guess I’m part of the problem, and not the solution. (What a hypocrite!)
There is a continuum between rigidity and flexibility when you think of your diet. It is mentally draining to calculate the health consequences of everything you eat, but you still want to trend towards healthy choices. To get around this I mostly only buy healthy foods, so that’s really all I can eat. Yes this means sometimes I am ravaging the cupboards late at night looking for a treat and come up empty. The horror!
Changing your diet to eat healthier foods must be done in small increments. It is extremely difficult to overhaul your entire diet in a day. Since I started consciously trying to eat healthy it has been about 14 years, but I am still making progress. Do not be too hard on yourself if you slip up. You should not feel like a loser for eating a muffin or a tub of ice cream. Food can inspire you, make you reminisce on a past memory, and give you moments of pure enjoyment. Sharing food with others has this great power of bringing people together. Never lose the great things about food; just make a couple of healthy choices here and there.
Sleep is sexy these days. Fancy beds, tracking sleep patterns, tips for having the best sleep of your life. There is an oversaturation of sleep tips in the media, so I won’t ruin that deep dive for you. The number one rule of sleep is to make it a priority. Schedule for it.
Attention is the most precious commodity in the world today. Likes, views and followers can mean money, fame, and respect. Attention, in my view, is not support because it can be unhealthy. The amount of attention you receive on a daily basis could manifest itself into your perceptions of self-esteem and worth. Inevitably, everyone’s popularity fades in life, so it is more important than ever to have a great backbone of a personal support network.
What or who do you think of when you hear “support?” For many of us it involves family and friends, but it can also be mentors, instructors, administrators, and colleagues. Support does not judge you, it is accepting of your quirks, it shows compassion when you are in need, it has your best interest at heart, and it treats you with respect. Support is altruistic, considerate, and empathic. Support is honest and not afraid to give you constructive criticism. Come Hell or high water, support sticks with you.
The key to getting support is to give support. It is important to develop deep, meaningful connections instead of superficial ones. This requires honesty, openness, and vulnerability, which can be very tough at times to exhibit because there are also fears of rejection that must be overcome. The bullies, haters, or trolls win when you become fearful and withdrawn. Stay resilient! Everyone has the ability to be great; you just have to unlock it.
You don’t have to train like a professional athlete, look like a supermodel, or eat kale. Make health fun! It should be a part of life you enjoy and appreciate. If you treat your body well, when you ask it to do something it will do it for you.
Food, fitness & your body; Superfriends 4 life!