One of the biggest myths about the health & fitness industry is that all those lean, fit, beautiful people have achieved a high level of HEALTH.
And so, we are led to believe that WHATEVER these lean, fit, beautiful people have done to get that is what WE should all strive to do too.
–>So that we can be just as “healthy” in that enviable state of physical achievement.
The truth is that many of those exemplary people in the photos we see or in those before-and-after highlight reels, are not often a shining example of long term healthy living, physiology, or psychology.
They are often an example of extreme discipline, hard work, and laser-focus on a very specific goal.
But the problem is that for most people, those qualities do not align with a sustainable, healthy practices or better health. Often, the result causes more harm than good to their physiology and even their psychology.
Having been there myself, I know how easy it is to mess up a perfectly good, healthy body and innocent mind when the only gauge of my success is the degree of discipline, laser-focus, and hard-work-at-any-cost I can display that earns me a smaller number or more enviable physique.
Believe me, it isn’t worth it.
But what IS worth it?
— Loving yourself instead of constantly competing with yourself.
— Embracing real life rather than wishing for a better life to live in.
— Creating your own place of peace instead listening to the outside noise.
I have a really amazing “after” photo, taken 5 years ago. It’s really great.
I even got a beach photo shoot to celebrate.
It shows off the manifestation of my dedication to getting the body I had always wanted.
But the reality is that my body was not happy at this point, and it did not want to stay like this – not because I “fell off the wagon” afterwards, but because my hormones were so off by that point due to my ignorance about what was really going to make me healthier and more fit for the rest of my life….
But, lo – I got so many compliments from people who witnessed this achievement….they wanted me to share my secrets about how I did it, and would suggest that maybe I could coach** them in hopes that they could achieve this too.
(** I was NOT a qualified coach at that time)
The terrible part is that I would never wish that super-lean, carved-out-of-discipline body on anyone. I would never, ever recommend to do any of what it took me to achieve that body to anyone else – because in the end, one’s mental and physical health would be at risk.
It still makes me super uncomfortable when people see those photos and compliment me on that body. They don’t know how screwed up I had become from all that, and all the healing that I have had to work through to actually become ((truly)) healthy again in both my body and my mind.
Unfortunately, I now know that it’s not just me who had experienced this….it is a very common issue amongst women, to varying degrees. My issues started even before I decided to take on extremes in diet and training….the fact is, is that I did not really have a good understanding at that time of the complexities of the body and that left me vulnerable to messing up an otherwise good thing.
I didn’t ever consider that I could become more unhealthy in my quest to be healthier.
Learning about what it takes to really achieve a healthy body and mind – outside of the noise of the media of the diet culture, and removing myself from the lies of the myths and common advice – has led me straight to a more defined understanding of what we need to do differently if we are ever going to escape that crazy diet-and-destroy way of doing things.
I still want to be my best self. But now I define what that is and I work *with* my body and mind – not against them – to achieve that. And my goals come from a whole different motivation.