Health and wellness is a very popular topic these days with more and more people taking greater notice of how they look and feel. However, with disease rates and illnesses on the rise is the concept of health wise to be so prominent in the public domain.
With depression and low back pain being the biggest issues that lead to loss of labour and the NHS being under constant strain, it would be fair to say that we are currently in the midst of a poor health epidemic. In my humble opinion, poor health hasn’t even started yet. That is, of course, if we carry on doing things the way we currently are in an industry that is supposed to provide positive health and wellbeing.
Of course I am using some scare tactics of my own to raise a very important point. That point is that all the fitness industry seems to do these days is tell us what is unhealthy and what we should steer clear of.
Being fairly gullible myself I got to a point where I was living off virtually salads. I have had issues with food for as long as I can remember. I would binge on as much sugar as I possibly could because it gave me a brief gratification.
In all honesty it was a response to my self-loathing and something I battled for quite some time. I fell for everything I read and attempted to go vegan via vegetarianism. I then gave up gluten, dairy and sugar for an extended period of time.
It was the longest that I had given up foods that I thought were bad for me. What I didn’t expect though was that it actually made me feel worse. Not necessarily physically, though I was ridiculously thin and getting weaker and weaker, but more to the point, mentally. I felt low. I felt separated during my social events, I felt restricted in everything that I ate and had to think quite a few days ahead to ensure that I avoided certain foods.
And that is the problem, avoid. The way the fitness industry is going there will be nothing left to eat! There appears to be so much attention on the things that are supposedly bad for us and not enough attention placed on the benefits of some of these foods.
Now I am not saying that a burger and chips everyday is a highly nutritious meal. What I am saying is that there are plenty of benefits in foods that we are told to avoid at all costs. Take dairy for example its loaded with vitamins and minerals yet we get freaked out by how cows are treated, how it is pasteurised and how many chemicals go into these products.
As an unorthodox Personal Trainer, I tend not to look at what we see on the surface. Instead I look deeper. By this I mean I look at the thought process. Our thoughts and beliefs create our reality. For me, health is a state of mind, not necessarily about what we eat.
Nutrition is important of course but the way we think will dictate the way we eat. We can use will power to override behaviour patterns but more often than not they will revert back to run in alignment with the beliefs we have of ourselves.
Therefore when we revert back to these so called unhealthy eating patterns we end up feeling bad about ourselves. We hold the belief that what we eat is bad for us which subsequently leads to guilt and inner resentment.
This is what leads to illness. The idea and belief that what you put in your mouth is bad for you, not necessarily what that thing is.
When I changed my views on food my whole outlook on life changed. I knew that whatever I was putting into my body was serving me in a positive way. Therefore bit by bit I started to naturally eat better. All those years of trying and failing at eating what are perceived to be the right foods but one simple shift in mindset and all of a sudden it becomes a piece of cake (excuse the pun).
I now eat guilt free. If I want some sugar, I have some. The interesting thing is that now I rarely have any. I just don’t fancy it. It used to satisfy an inner need but I have found that in myself now therefore sugar has become somewhat redundant.
I forgot how much I love milk. I now drink a pint of whole milk after a workout. Its full of good stuff and consists of carbohydrate, protein and fat. For me the positives outweigh the negatives.
Like everything in life there is a good side and a bad side. I believe that if we nudged our thinking toward the direction of good and create a more balanced perspective then all these disease rates will start to fall.
Start to love yourself. Everything about you. Know that whatever you do you serve your body to the best of your ability. You’ll soon start to notice a change in your habits. Not everything is bad for you, despite what my industry says.