Do you ever feel as though you’re constantly trying to bring back the past? To get back to that life when things were seemingly so effortless, where just going to the gym every few days with your mates and saying no to the odd drink here and there were enough to keep you in pretty good shape?
That life where when work was finished for the day it was, well, finished, and where your biggest financial worry was finding the right outfit for Friday night.
Ah to be back in those days of bliss.
The saying goes we should learn from the past and whilst I believe that applies fully to some things in life (saving your tax money if you’re self-employed, buying Christmas presents in October, not staying out all night the night before something important) I also believe it’s taught us to have false hope when it comes to fat loss, being in shape and being healthy.
Remember when you didn’t focus on fat loss?
At least once a month I have a client tell me that they probably just need to start running again or maybe they should try an all-shake diet – because that’s how they used to stay lean.
And hey – I’m as guilty as anyone out there. I think back over my own health & fitness journey and it’s true that I did get very ‘skinny’ with running. With umpteen hours of cardio per day and minimal weights. With a high whole-grain, low-fat diet.
It’s also true that I was in my early twenties at the time, had pretty much no stress aside from part-time gym instructing and the occasional Uni class, got loads of sleep and had loads of play/down time as well.
And all that aside, I’m pretty sure I was not actually lean – just tiny and skinny. An important difference 🙂
The truth? I hesitate to say it gets harder as you get older, not because of the cliche and not because I don’t think it’s true, but just because I hate to wrap the whole thing up so negatively.
Trust me – there’s nothing worse than believing it’s all too hard to make it all truly just get harder and harder. It’s something I’ve personally experienced this year.
I guess it doesn’t have to be about it all being harder, but it definitely is about being smarter.
Assuming that simply dropping a few pieces of toast here and there or increasing your exercise will get you ‘there’ is nothing but a fantasy, and unfortunately all too many people are learning this the hard way. And yes, it’s not necessarily fair. And yes, there are people out there who do get results that way.
You might know one of them and secretly hate them just a tiny bit. Hey – that’s life and it is what it is. There’s no point questioning or getting worked up about it.
So let’s talk about being smart.
It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, because when all is said and done being in great shape simply requires you to eat, live, move and breathe as your body is designed to. That’s pretty simply, isn’t it?
Of course it’s not necessarily easy 🙂
If you look at it the other way, being in great shape is a complicated weave of sourcing all organic and minimally processed food, avoiding things you are intolerant to, ensuring your liver, kidneys, gallbladdar, pancreas are doing what they are supposed to be doing, balancing the right amount of heavy lifting with sweat training, getting enough sleep, just the right amount of stress, plenty of downtime or play, avoiding toxicity as much as humanly possible … um, brown paper bag anyone?
Here’s the thing.
You don’t have to be a genius at human or even your own physiology, and nor do you necessarily need to embark on an endless journey of testing, poking, measuring and prodding. I’m not saying it can’t help.
But the very very first thing you do need to do? You just gotta let go! You just have to let go of the past and the idea that what used to work is what you need now.
Because if I can tell you one thing for sure it’s that nobody gets results when their mind is firmly stuck on what used to work and why it’s not working now.
It simply doesn’t happen and it ignores the very real fact that just as your financial situation, your job situation and heck even what outfit to wear on a Friday night have changed, so too have your physical needs. ‘You’ are a different you to the you of last year, last week, even yesterday.
So (and I know it’s hard; I battle constantly to do this) try and relaaaaaaaax a little. Go with the flow a bit more. Be willing to test new things, even if they seem opposite to all that you believe or that’s worked for you in the past.
And if you want to know the things that I believe are first and foremost in importance, then scroll to the bottom of this post. It’s a small list and one that I could easily add to. But it’s a great start for most of us.
Life is Now. Press Play.
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