Just finished having lunch while reading a blog post about a 4 week diet that will help you lose weight, and a follow up post which is another diet plan for 4 more weeks to lose more weight, and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed. Don’t get me wrong, it was well written, and it did have meal options or snack options that I will definitely try to incorporate into my diet.
A little background, I have been working out for the last ten years now, having tried zumba, aerobics, going to the gym, insanity, and 7 years ago I settled into the practice of yoga and pilates, since these two give me the best results that I want, which is a sleek and fit body without being too muscular. I prefer this look since I am only 5’2″, and every ounce of extra weight tends to stick out like a sore thumb (exact words of advice that I got when I was 18 years old). As harsh as it may have felt at the time, it has motivated me to always be proactive in terms of my fitness routine. So a big thank you to the person who told me this.
After all these years, I can honestly say I love my time on the mat, I love how energized and fresh I feel after a workout. I feel sad and almost lethargic on days that I don’t workout. And if this was meant to be a post about the goodness of yoga or pilates or any other form of workouts that you enjoy doing, this post would’ve gone on and perhaps be made into a series. But that is not the point of this post. The point is as the title suggests.
The way I used to think about fitness until recently was that it was like a tripod, and the three things, all of which are equally important to be at your fittest best, are exercise, rest and nourishment.
That perhaps was my first mistake.
Fitness, however, is more of a balance between body, mind and spirit. (I know what you’re thinking, it seems hokey, and new age-y. It really is not)
The tripod that I mentioned earlier, which involves exercise, rest and nourishment focus on your body (your physical). Your mind and spirit, now those need a whole other kind of discipline and TCL in order to truly feel fit (a little about that later).
So some of the faux pas that I have noticed in my own fitness journey are:
#1. Fad diets
These are JUST awful. Lets be honest, they don’t work and they screw up your system in the long run. Your body needs quite a lot of nutrients to be healthy, so suddenly cutting out carbs or shocking your body with random “juice cleanse” or detox programs is not going to do you any good in the long run.
My ONLY diktat to myself when I have felt tempted to try a new diet, (which promises you the moon), is: I will only try it if I can consistently keep at it for the rest of my life. If not, Sorry, I’m sure it works as a temporary fix, but it is not for me. And the reason I stick to this rule of mine, is because I have tried these when I was in my teens and early 20s, and my body bounced back, simply because of age. As we grow older, the first thing that takes a hit is your metabolism, and please, for your own sake, don’t mess with it anymore.
#2. Low-fat or Zero-fat ingredients
If you see that something is low-fat or zero-fat, especially things that are supposed to fat in them, I’ve got two words for you to always remember: Chemical Shit-storm.
There was a time when ALL the food that humans consumed was “Organic”, sadly we don’t live in those days.
So if you see the label and it says, non fat, or gimmicky names like which suggest that it tastes exactly like an ingredient, but doesn’t have any of the ingredient in question in its contents, you can be sure that it is probably not good for you.
So stay away from such chemically enhanced products if you can help it.
#3. Fad workouts
The reason I avoid fad workouts is the same reason as above, my fitness goal is not to lose weight, but to be healthy and fit! As should be anyone else’s who wants to change their bodies for the better. Don’t go hurting yourself because you pushed yourself to do a workout which weakens you in the long run.
#4. Obsessing over results of friends (or worse, heavily photo-shopped celebrities)
This is a BIG one, and unfortunately I have been guilty of this. But here is the thing, every one of us has a different body, every single person has different issues, different problem areas, different environments, different resources (time, trainer, food etc.) so it is actually the most unfair expectation to keep from your body that you expect it to behave the same way as the billions of other people in the world that you see around you or see pictures of on social media.
Embrace the fact that you are unique, and different from the rest of the world, and love what you’ve got, and make your fitness goal about enhancing your body to be its fittest best.
#5. ONLY focusing on the body/ the physical fitness
This is something that I said earlier, and at the risk of sounding hokey, I’m going to say it again, fitness is not ONLY about the body. Sure, your body being fit is what the rest of the world sees to determine whether you are fit or not.
And the day I write posts which advocate seeking approvals or validation from the outside, it’ll probably be the day after never.. :)
(I digress) Yes, physical fitness is Very important, but equally important is your mental and spiritual health. Focus on having a happy and joyous disposition, and feeling balanced, take a walk, clear out the clutter, unfriend those toxic people, say no to things that do nothing other than cause you stress, meditate (if that’s your thing), go for a swim (the noiseless calm when you’re under water, can be the most relaxing feeling ever). Develop a good attitude and build your own self-esteem, and believe me, you will start to feel so good (no matter what dress size you wear), and if that isn’t enough, the people around you will take notice as well (don’t think its possible? well, try it for yourself).
The Energy you will exude when you love yourself is something fantastic! <3
#6. Internet things
I know its the 21st century, I know that the internet is accessible by anyone and everyone at all time, and yes it makes life easier, and what not.
But perhaps it is exactly this that crowds us with a LOT of unwanted noise. (the irony is definitely not lost on me, considering you will find this post on the internet). And I am not talking about opinions and advice that get around, I am talking about the miracle pills, or corsets that shrink your waistline, or the tea which will melt away the fat, as if by magic. Trust me, the ONLY thing losing weight because of these miracles potions and pills is your wallet!
So try to think about what you choose to spend your hard earned money on, and more importantly what you’re willing to put into your body (if you mess this up, you can’t buy another one, so treat it accordingly, with the care it deserves).
Well, those are the 6 biggies in my book. And if you can, please avoid them.
And hopefully this post will inspire you to start something today which you can keep up for the rest of your lives (baby steps, people).
Until my next post.
Stay healthy, and be awesome!