Pssst, don’t want to read? Click the play button to have me read this post to you 🙂
Recently, I stumbled onto a podcast that shall remain…nameless 😉
In it, three women discussed how to create cleanse friendly meals, including eggplant parmesan, which involved swapping eggplant with zucchini, parmesan with cashews, and tomato sauce for “nomato” sauce (aka beets). So…in short…not eggplant parmesan.
This is how I found myself sitting in my car screaming, “ For the love of all that is holy, EAT THE *EXPLETIVE* TOMATO!”
I have no issue with beets, zucchini, or cashews. If you, or your body, doesn’t like tomatoes, then don’t eat them. However, I truly believe that when we find ourselves demonizing something as innocuous as tomatoes, we’ve crossed the line from health/fitness into dysfunction.
For normal people, it’s just not realistic…or necessary.
This got me thinking about my own “rules” for health and fitness. I hope this is common sense, but I’m going to share them with you, just in case it gives you a little inspiration aaaa-aaand lets you breathe easier that you’re doing enough.
1. KISS (Keep It Simple + Sustainable)
It’s SO easy to get caught up in pursuing the ideal. The problem is that if you spend a lot of mental energy trying to do everything the right way, sometimes you never get anything done at all. It’s like trying to build a castle with grains of sand, when you could build one out of big rocks. The big rocks are going to take you a lot further, faster.
Remember this the next time you find yourself lamenting that your workout wasn’t hard or complex enough.
Did that 20 minute walk improve your cardiovascular health? Does 30 minutes with weights make you stronger? Does eating a vegetable = more vitamins and minerals, even though you also ate cake for breakfast?
Figure out small actions that you can build into your daily life to promote better fitness. All those little things (sleep, water, low grade activity like walking, a moderate weight training, ect) progressively = better health.
It doesn’t need to kill you or be the world’s most perfect program. It just needs to be something you can do long term AND once you master those things, by all means, go back and refine what you’re doing. However, if you can’t hit the big target, the small sh*t is useless.
2. Explore your blind spots + practice things you’re “bad” at
I firmly believe that fitness should be enjoyable, buuuu-uuuut I also think it’s important that we’re mindful not to spend too much time in one aspect of fitness and we aim to be well rounded movers.
For instance, I naturally have a lot of flexibility. As a result, I spent my twenties pursuing activities that emphasized flexibility, because I was good at it and like most people, I liked practicing things I excelled at.
This was fine…until it wasn’t and I started experiencing chronic pain from my hypermobility. The thing that finally got me out of pain was working on my stability…and ultimately strength. Was it comfortable at first? Absolutely not. When I first started strength training, I felt weak and awkward. I wasn’t sure I was doing it right and I didn’t like how stiff I felt after my workouts.
I sucked it up cupcake, hired a trainer to help me feel more confident in what I was doing, and eventually grew to love what it did for me, but I had to get past the initial block of “this is unpleasant, weird, and I’m not good at it.”
It’s okay to be a beginner. It’s okay to be “bad” at something. The good news is that with practice, you’ll get better and in the long run, you might find you love it.
3. Understand why you’re doing it
Re bullet point 2, sometimes we’ll have to do things in the name of health and fitness that aren’t enjoyable in the moment. However, if you know WHY you’re doing something, it can be the difference between feeling empowered in your choice or being a victim to the experience.
Are you doing it for fun? For vanity? For longevity? To get out of pain? To be stronger? And if so, what is motivating the desire? Maybe that sounds obvious, but I don’t think we always slow down to consider the motivation behind our actions (or inaction).
There’s no right or wrong, but understanding your motivation can make the process a whole lot easier and it never hurts to check in and evaluate how to make the process work for YOU.
In summary: Eat the dang tomato…Lift the weight…Take the walk…oooo-oooor don’t.
Life happens, but you’re in the driver’s seat. Fitness can be infused with fun or suffering…simple or complicated…something that makes you more resilient or runs you into the ground.
The choice is yours. Remember that.