When I hear the words: exercise, workout, training, training log, heart rate monitor, or God forbid...burning calories...I don’t know whether I want to cry or y-a-w-n.
I don’t find the conversation or the practice of those things very stimulating or fun. And yet I “exercise” all the time. I’m complimented for it and even admired for it. People tell me they wish they had my discipline and willpower.
Here’s the truth. I don’t do ANYTHING (w/ the exception of going to the dentist and that one time I took my daughter to an amusement park) that I don’t really like. I have never been able to muster up discipline or willpower to engage in something I didn’t honestly love just for some notion of “I should”, or “it’s good for me.” Not my style.
Here’s the deal, if you hate it, it is NOT good for you.
For the record I run (trail running) and bike (mostly mountain) because it feeds my soul. Those are two of my passions. I connect to nature, Source, and to the deepest level of myself through these activities. Sometimes they are meditative or provide divine downloads and at other times they are purely freeing and playful. There is nothing like feeling the wind in your face and mud splattered on your legs. Love it. It’s not exercise, it’s a lifestyle and a soul passion.
Any fitness that comes from biking and running is an awesome bonus.
But here’s the dirty (because I love mud!) on fitness, weight loss, health….
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a body in motion. But that can be achieved through many things. The key is to give yourself a break and permission to enjoy what you really enjoy. Quit forcing what’s not working. If you hate the gym, don’t go. Don’t feel bad about it. Redefine what exercise is and how it can look. Do what you love. Experiment, explore, and keep only what feels good. Dance, swim, have more sex, chase the kids more, walk your neighbor’s dog.
Listen, I owned 3 fitness centers for 14 years. I’m a certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. I’ve studied with the best of the best and here is what you need to know. It’s simple.
Yes, movement (what most refer to as working out) is a big part of your overall health and wellness. We are meant to move.
But, the NUMBER ONE thing that is going to lead to chronic disease and kill us first is stress. (And while we're at it...stress leads to fat too. But, we'll talk cortisol another day.)
STRESS. Got it. So do more of what you love. Feel joy. Laugh more. Enjoy more. Do LESS, not more. And quickly and without guilt cut out the shoulds of life and anything else that really isn’t working for you.
The second factor, even more critical than exercise in terms of reshaping our bodies and energy levels is diet. What you put into your mouth daily.
People are exercising more than ever and we are in a state of increasing obesity and disease.
You can exercise until the cows come home, and if your diet is full of toxic, processed food, your body will not lose weight, be strong, or thrive with vitality.
Let go of all the overwhelming and conflicting diet info out there and the guilt over missed workouts and not exercising enough and follow these 7 simple guidelines.
Here’s the roadmap:
Live YOUR Passions (a.k.a. do more of what you LOVE)
Get good sleep
Drink pure water
Eat for vital nutrients — veggies, fruits, mushrooms, legumes, spices, herbs.
Remove animal products & processed foods
Move often and in a way that pleases you
So go unpack the gym bag unless you love the gym, then by all means…GO! Breathe a sigh of relief and maybe dance naked under the stars tonight. Be happy. Be healthy. Live more of what you love.
Sparking your EPIC!