Fitness is one of the most important forms of self-improvement possible.
I don’t mean that losing body fat or sculpting a ripped muscular body is the improvement. The outward manifestation, the physical body that you and other people see, is only a thing.
I have worked with many clients who had body weight challenges. After losing a large amount of weight they would look in the mirror and still see a fat person. That’s why the outward manifestation, the physical body doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
This is the reason I take a personal growth approach to health and fitness.
When you exercise first in the gym of the mind, you can improve your perceptions of yourself. You can create a psychologically healthier human being.
Flexing your mental muscle will make you stronger, create a stronger, better functioning, and a healthier body. A healthy body in turn helps “the mind” to be healthier on a couple of levels.
On a biological level, your brain need a steady supply of nutrients and glucose to work properly. When you exercise vigorously an often, and eat nutritious food 90% of the time, you’re keeping your brain healthy.
On a psychological level, having a growth mindset will help you go farther in life. You can improve your mindset when you
It’s not about looking at pictures in magazines or Instagram and wishing you had a body like someone else. To use an analogy, the late personal development leader, Jim Rohn, said,
“The greatest reward in becoming a millionaire is not the amount of money that you earn. It is the kind of person that you have to become to become a millionaire in the first place.”
Making the conscious choice to improve your health and fitness is an exercise in self-improvement. Notice how that word exercise shows up even in this context!
This could be the most important post I’ve ever written. Not because I’m brilliant. Not because somebody else hasn’t said something similar before. But because of the raw, universal truth of this message. To quote Jim Rohn again,
“Some people take better care of their pets than they do themselves. Their animals can run like the wind and they can barely make it up a flight of stairs.”
No matter how important you think your career is…
No matter how important you think following someone else’s rules and directions are…
No matter how important you believe it is that you take care of everyone else before your own needs…
Without your health you can’t do any of the above for very long.
Good health is a series of regular, consistent habits and behaviours practiced life-long. If you’ve decided to improve your health, don’t look to Instagram for inspiration. The problem with comparison is that you will never measure up.
Look within yourself. Look in the mirror of your soul and decide.
Find someone who takes a holistic approach. You are a unique human being, with individual needs. Your coach needs to find the balance between what you want to achieve and what you can commit to doing.
Sets and reps, time under tension, and loading don’t have to apply to working out at a gym, if that’s not what you want.
What about healthier eating choices?
Wherever you want to go is going to take time, more than you want to accept. Give yourself the gift of permission and self-love and accept that improving your health is not a quick fix solution for five easy payments of $39.95.
Chose a handful of small, healthy behaviours that you can begin to practice, but only start with one habit at a time.
This is the approach I use with my clients. They practice a single healthy behaviour for two weeks at a time. They keep track of their daily progress. At the end of two weeks they start a new habit, which builds upon the previous.
This is why I call myself a Flex Your Mind and Body Coach. No longer am I a personal trainer, a nutrition coach, or a health coach, or a chef. Yes, I bring of those skills to the work we do together.
But the REAL work I do, is the work we do inside the gym of your mind:
“Treat your body like a temple, not a woodshed. The mind and body work together. Your body needs to be a good support system for the mind and spirit. If you take good care of it, your body can take you wherever you want to go, with the power and strength and energy and vitality you will need to get there.” – Jim Rohn