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healthy mind

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More doesn't always equal more: over exercising will not get you in better shape just like being overly critical will not help you succeed in life

When I first got into fitness, I fell in love. I loved the way I felt, I loved how strong I was getting and exercise became my escape. When I started to see the benefits of exercising four times a week, I thought that if I did six times a week, the greater results I'd experience. I religiously went to the gym six days a week and reluctantly took the seventh day off- in my mind, more equaled more. I carried on working out like this for many years and over those years, I developed an abundance of injuries. The first injury I got was a stress fracture in my tibia (shin bone) from excessive running and jumping. At that time, running made me feel alive. I had gone through so much pain in my youth that running made me feel like I could escape everything for that moment. I would run 10-15km a day on top of weight lifting for another hour. The impact my body was taking was too great and eventually it broke down the best way it knew how.

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Failing Diets and Rebound Weight Gain

How many times have you gone on a specific diet, lost weight, and gained it all back?

If you're involved in the stock market, I'm sure you've heard all about Weight Watchers soaring prices after Oprah took a 10% stake in the company buying 6.4 million shares and being awarded to buy 3.5 million more. The stock more than doubled in it's worth and she made an estimated 70 million dollars in just one day!

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Weight Loss For Good

Have you ever been on a diet that claimed to be the "holy grail" of all diets? Have you ever tried so hard to lose weight, get a better body, eat as clean as you possibly could, only to find you fail?

You are not alone. 

This year, as in previous years, hundreds of thousands of men and women will make a New Years resolution to lose weight, get fit, and eat better only to find they fail and go right back to their old habits and ways of life. The reason why most of them fail is for one reason alone... they forgot to change their mindset first.

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Perfectionism Leads to Self-Abuse

When we think of the perfect person, we often tend to envision a person who gets everything done on time, always has a clean house, a perfect marriage/relationship, the perfect job, and the perfect body. We think of a person who is free from all constraints surrounding food and we think of a person that isn't affected by stress. If we were "perfect", we would never emotionally eat, we would always practice self-control and choose the right foods, and we would love to exercise and strive to have that hollywood physique day in and day out. Not only would we be perfect with our diets and exercise, but we certainly would know how to manage our emotions better. We wouldn't let the "little things" get to us, we'd laugh in the face of adversity, and any stress or conflict that came our way would be fought head on and head strong. This is the perfect person....or is it? This is not perfection, this is a fantasy. Perfection is the Enemy of Progress Saying Quote Bulletin Board

You see, we want fantasy but what we need is reality. Reality is this: you are a human being, you have emotions and compulsions, and you have needs. We want to play out like we need nothing in life or that anything we do need, we can get it ourselves. This perfectionism mentality will always lead to self-abuse. For instance, say someone wants the "perfect body" (if there is such a thing) and goes through extreme measures to get it. If indeed the person gets this perfect body (which they probably won't because of an underlying negative body image), what have they done in order to get it? You can go to extreme trainers who put you on macronutrient and calorie restricting diets, who force their ways of exercising on you, and you could very well lose the weight, but that weight loss comes with a cost. Overtime we try to shrink the body, force the body, or restrict the body, but the body will always fight back. You can absolutely lose the weight by extreme measures but it will be with extreme measures that you will have to take or keep to sustain that weight loss. For the majority of people this is unsustainable, and for the people who can sustain extremity, they will live their lives in fear, shame, guilt, and misery over their bodies.

Perfectionism is not a badge of honour, it's a ball and chain. Perfectionism keeps you in a state of chronic low level stress because everything you do will never be good enough. There is a difference between having a mentality of excellence and striving for perfection in everything you do. Again, perfectionism will always lead to self abuse in every area of your life. In the area of eating psychology, when a person strives to have the "perfect" diet or the "perfect" body, they focus on a goal that is extremely shallow instead of making their goal instead to walk in their purpose and to live a life of fulfillment. I hear clients say all the time "I just want to feel good about myself, have more energy, look good in a swimsuit, etc.." and that's all fine and good, but these things can start to take place before weight loss occurs because these goals don't require the loss of body fat, but a transformation in our thinking. When we focus inwards, the outwards follows suit. As Marc David says, "PERSONAL POWER=METABOLIC POWER".

Start to let go of perfectionism and welcome every imperfection that you believe to be there as a vehicle to grow and learn more about yourself. Perfectionism leads to negative self talk which puts the body under stress and triggers the stress response, which in turns inhibits digestion, activates sympathetic dominance, outputs insulin and cortisol, and signals the body to store fat and inhibit muscle growth. Perfectionism=Stress. Let go of perfectionism and you inadvertently let go of guilt and shame and you will start to adopt a new way of thinking. The body will have no other option but to transform when the environment is conducive to it.

 

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