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Feel Good, Look Good!
The saying “look good, feel good” previously used by the fitness industry for so many years will hopefully change to “feel good, look good”. It is frustrating to meet so many clients whose main goals are to lose weight in order to look good. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are feeling a little soft, inactive, and not good about your body then absolutely you should get motivated and do something about it. You just need to figure out how to do it successfully.
Working as a trainer the past 12 years I have found that people with strictly weight loss goals rarely succeed. Whether over doing it, self-sabotaging, or simply never being able to attain the goal weight they set for themselves, they are rarely satisfied with their bodies because they have such a hard time achieving their goal. They may reach their goal weight after several months of dieting, but frequently yo-yo back to previous habits, often left heavier and wondering what happened. Quite simply, dieting does not work. Becoming a fanatic exerciser does not work. So what does work? How does one feel good about themselves?
My favourite saying to help motivate clients in achieving their fitness goals is, “Eat as healthy as you can, exercise regularly, stand up tall, and have fun!”
Healthy eating does not mean dieting. Healthy eating includes light balanced meals, healthy snacks and small portions. Definitely allow yourself the occasional indulgence but balance it out with a long walk or workout. You truly are what you eat and if you eat better, you feel better. If you eat badly, you will likely feel badly.
Regular exercise does not mean exercising daily for three hours at the gym. Figure out what works for you but most importantly make sure you enjoy it and it is something you can do regularly. Some people find working out twice weekly, going for a run/hike/bike once to twice a week and a swim once a week is their perfect balance. Other people do a home routine in the evenings twice per week after their kids go to bed, play on a team once a week, and walk/play outside as often as they can. Look at times you have been the happiest and what sort of activities you were doing and figure out how to incorporate them back into your life.
Posture is an important component to feeling good. Try the simple test of slouching for 30 seconds compared to sitting as tall as you can for 30 seconds. Which made you feel better? Whether you are sitting, exercising, or standing, good posture is always a great habit.
And finally, having fun is one of the best secrets to success in feeling good. I remember sitting on a beach with a colleague once discussing beauty. With all sorts of different body types in bathing suits around us it was easy to see that those that looked the best were not the thinnest but those who were having fun and ‘feeling good’.
I hope this spring when you are digging out that bathing suit and creating your fitness plan, you can put a smile on your face and embark one day at a time on eating well, exercising regularly, standing tall, and feeling good about yourself and your body!