Exercise

A Balanced Lifestyle

Due to the society we live in there is a large focus on looks. For both men and women there is a standard we are all supposed to ascribe too. The problem with that is how we look only tells a small story of who we are. However, feeling positive about how we look on the outside can help us feel more positive on the inside.

We all know that diet and exercise is the key to having a healthy body but it also contributes to a healthy mind. When it comes to the food we eat and the activities we do, I believe the key is balance. Diets have been proven time and time again that they rarely work. The diet is usually too restrictive and when you go back to eating the way you did before you gain more weight back.

Many of us have become incredibly disconnected from our bodies. Not noticing the connection between our diet and how we feel. In a past post I spoke about our relationship with food and how our patterns with it can be formed young. As we grow-up it’s important to look at why, when and what we eat. As well as when, why and how we are physically active.

If you find you don’t like exercise maybe you haven’t found the right activity. The gym and going to classes can feel intimidating. Why not try exercises at home? Here are some examples of exercises you can find on Youtube:

  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Cardio
  • Zumba 

These are just a few examples of what’s available. If you don’t even know where to start it always begins with awareness. Notice what it feels like when you eat and what you eat. After a difficult day do you crave sweets? Do you find instead of getting upset you eat until you are so full it’s uncomfortable?

Living in the extremes of restrictive dieting isn’t good for your body, listen to it and notice what it’s asking for. Try to find balance and enjoyment, your body carries you through each day, treat it in the way that it deserves.

“Health isn’t about being “perfect” with food or exercise or herbs. Health is about balancing those things with your desires. It’s about nourishing your spirit as well as your body.” – Golda Poretsky

Weight, what?

The Summer months are fast approaching and even if it weren’t for the change of weather I would know. How? Well the push to make people feel bad about their bodies of course. Cosmopolitan has an entire section of their website dedicate entirely to how to be ‘bikini ready’. It seems to me that a bathing suit ready body is more a state of mind rather than a size but I imagine that doesn’t sell as well.

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I was recently reading a great article from Cracked.com where a woman shared her experience of being in a weight loss commercial. I have seen how before and after pics can be doctored, I know about the camera tricks. However it is amazing when you see some of these transformations and hear the ‘testimonials’. She explains how the individuals involved are never on the same program and how they blatantly lie to tug at insecurities many of us face. I recommend a read as it is eye-opening and a little terrifying

No carbs, no sugar, sleep 8 hours a night, drink 8 glasses of water, exercise 5 days a week. We have all been told over and over again what to do to lose weight. On a very logical level we know that if you eat poorly, you feel poorly and look poorly. That little voice in your head beats you up yet you keep munching. Most of us do so the question is, why?

My hunch is that somewhere along the way we’re taught that unhealthy food is a treat. It’s something that is used to comfort, to make us feel better when we’re down. The problem is that a lot of these treat foods can have very addictive qualities. Our brain can get a high off these foods. We love the way it feels to eat them, no matter the consequences.

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If you are hoping to feel better about yourself this Summer I recommend you start with a food journal. This is not about keeping track of your calorie intake, it’s not that type of journal. It is about writing down how you feel when you’re eating. For example:

1:00pm – Had a sandwich for lunch, decided to skip breakfast which felt really good.

2:00pm – Tea break, had low-fat milk and 4 biscuits. Jesus, I feel fat already. What is wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just have one?

5:00pm – Had a take away for dinner. It’s shit food but I had a shit day. Ugh, I feel miserable…

If you have a negative relationship with food that can change. Instead of focusing on a number on a scale take some time to sit with your feelings. As your attitude towards food changes so will your attachment to it. Or maybe you’ll learn it’s how you comfort, numb or grieve. If that’s the case then talking to someone can help, you don’t have to deal with all of life’s stresses on your own.

Starting today don’t beat yourself up for what you’re eating. Take some time to explore why you’re eating. I did an article on body image a few months ago, if you feel like reading more have a look.

“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

Can one lifestyle change make a difference?

Christmas hasn’t even happened yet and already I’ve received texts from a gym gearing up for January. The new years resolution lists are already being formulated and personal trainers are filling up their diaries.

What if this year we ignore the pressure that the media and advertisers push on us. And instead explore what it is that makes you and your body feel happy and healthy.

When it comes to resolutions many of us seem to feel like we should stop doing something, rather than starting something positive. Instead of saying you’ll quit smoking, stop eating crisps and not watch so much television. Why not decide to take up walking or meditating? 

Not that stopping smoking or eating junk isn’t a good idea. I just think we should start a new year with adding something positive to our lives.

The difference that thirty minutes of walking can make to our overall health is quite incredible. Not convinced? Watch the video below.

This is much cheaper then the gym, fresher air too.

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Neitzsche