This did start as an Instagram comment, but I realised it was a bit epic, and I feel it’s an important message, so thought why not get it out there as a blog post, as I’ve not written one for a while!
Recently, I’ve been feeling amongst the whole fitness and health universe there’s a lot of ‘if you don’t do it our way‘ you’re doing it wrong or ‘if you don’t do it like this‘ then you’re wrong – instead of congratulating and encouraging those who wish to change their lifestyle to a healthier more active one and sharing that there ISN’T just ONE specific way to do it!
That it will take time and your best bet is to do things gradually. You’ll be more likely to maintain the healthier lifestyle and you’re less likely to fall off the wagon if your changes are manageable. For instance, when I started to change how I was eating I didn’t try and change everything at once, I initially started with breakfast and slowly incorporated making my other meals healthier over a period of time.
There’s a constant barrage of faddy diets and routines being thrown at us courtesy of social media – and the conversation that surrounds them suggests if you don’t follow them you won’t get the results you want.
I feel in this day and age there’s very much an all or nothing mentality – ‘if you’re not going to go at it all guns blazing, then what’s the point?‘ sort of attitude, which I think is kind of sad and off-putting to those trying to improve their lives.
If you want to count calories/macros then count them, if you want to have a more ‘feel your way’ kind of diet then do that.
If you want to have a completely ‘clean eating’ diet and that makes you happy and healthy – great, but if you want to eat some chocolate or cake during the day that’s fine too!
If you want to drink protein shakes and take supplements then take them, if you don’t want to, then don’t.
If Juiceplus+, Herbal Life is your thang – feel free to do them but don’t push them on others because it may not be someone else’s kettle of fish and that’s their prerogative.
If you want to work out in the gym then do, but if you’d rather work out at home then do that instead.
If you like to work out alone and just get it done, amazing – but if you prefer being with others and having that camaraderie then that’s fab too.
If you want to take selfies and share them on Instagram – it’s your choice, and you’ve worked for it, but if that’s not your thing that’s all good too!
If you liking working out in the morning, then do that, but if evenings are better for you – then guess what? That’s fine too!
If you like high impact workouts – do all the jumping, if you want lower impact (or that pelvic floor isn’t want it used to be…ahem…) then there’s always an awesome alternative!
If you want the muscles of the gods – phenomenal, I admire your dedication, but if some definition is what you’re after that’s marvellous too.
If you like a hard and sweaty HIIT routine – go for it, but if a good walk is your happy place then do just that!
As long as you’re attempting to be active – you’re doing more than a person sat on the sofa, but in the same breath if you need to rest (which is just as important as the exercise) than a day on the sofa now and then isn’t going to do any harm, as long as it isn’t all day, every day!
I think like everything in life – it’s a case of ‘Everything in Moderation’ – you follow this sage advice (given to me on many occasions by my wonderful daddy) you can’t go far wrong.
It’s not a competition if you’re just aiming for healthier more active lifestyle – your way isn’t better than someone else’s – it’s just better for you. It’s what fits around your current lifestyle and schedule – everyone is different. Don’t compare yourself to others (I need to heed my own advice there!). What works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else – we are not cookie cutter people – we are all different, with different needs and requirements and this is what makes the world great! Let’s embrace these difference instead of making people feel inadequate as they can’t do what you do – because undoubtedly there’s something they can do that you can’t!
The only things I’d say you shouldn’t do is take unnecessary and illegal substances to help you achieve that dream physique, it’ll do you no good and to be quite honest it’s just stupid in my opinion – there is no quick fix, you do have to work for it, but you can make it an enjoyable journey.
Don’t overtrain – your body will not thank you for it and it could actually be more detrimental to your health than being inactive – listen to your body, rest is so important to give your body time to recover and heal.
Don’t be so restrictive with your diet that you end up denying your body important nutrients that it needs – and this in the long term isn’t sustainable, you’ll just end up craving everything you ‘shouldn’t’ eat or damaging your body beyond the point of recovery.
I am not saying that there aren’t supportive people out there in the industry, as there are and they are amazing but they shouldn’t be the minority – the whole fitness and health industry should be supportive and adaptable to each individual’s own personal requirements.
Let’s support each other so we can all be more active – realise that someone else’s lifestyle/situation is different to our own and therefore different things will be suitable and as things change, then we should be encouraged to adapt. At the moment I do a lot in the morning at the gym, but with the summer holidays coming, meaning my kids will be at home, and my Gym Instructor/PT training rapidly approaching, I will probably do more home based workouts courtesy of Fitness Blender and Alex Crockford.
I just want to everyone to feel that a healthy and active lifestyle is accessible for anyone who wants it and that we will all support each other whatever our appearance and end goals.
Does anyone else feel that the fitness/health world can be a little bit judgemental or am I just being oversensitive?
I would love to hear other peoples thoughts/opinions and experiences… 🙂 xxx