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  • Kate

What Are You Really After?

Serious question when it comes to eating clean and exercising...what are you really after?

As I've been around many women and men who are health-oriented, I started to sense a pattern this past year. Many people walk into the gym saying "I want to get healthy" But what they really mean is, "I want 6-pack abs, 0% body fat, and to look ripped" ......

Why do I say that? Well, let's look at our actions...

We count calories and limit fat and carbs. We weigh our food to get exactly the right amount. We choose processed bars and packages. We grab supplements and pills. Especially magic weight-loss & fat-loss ones. Low-fat, fat-free, no sugar added (...lie), sometimes no meat. No oil, no saturated fat, no cholesterol. The focus is on what we CAN'T have. Give me rules. And the exercise? Every single day. No matter what. Sometimes 2 and 3 times a day if our schedule allows it. High intensity - push, push, push! If something hurts, pop an Advil and get back in there. Measurements? What's the scale say? Let me look in the mirror. Are my arms defined? Are my thighs smaller? My pants size better go down... And sleep is interrupted, probably from the number of pre-workout supplements...

But here is the thing...if we were really working towards health, the only thing we would be worried about counting are nutrients, vitamins and minerals. We WOULD be limiting...but only any type of processed food. We wouldn't be focused on a set of rules, but rather, we would eat foods that allow us to feel alive and well. We would be moving in a way that was kind to our bodies and joints. This doesn't mean we would cut out high-intensity workouts, but we would choose workouts that make us feel great, both during and would be different for everyone. We would be listening to the tweaks and pains instead of just pushing through them. We would be kind to our body and provide it adequate rest and recovery...because that is what it needs to be healthy. We would work to have a normal sleeping pattern, aiming for 8-9 hours a night. We would check our measurements in hours of sleep, hormone balance, the decrease in number of pills we take, the decrease in number of doctor visits...

Which one are you?

Are you after health? ...OR vanity?

These two different thoughts became magnified towards the end of last year for me. I started realizing how backwards most of us had this idea. My hand is raised. I was scenario number 1 for a long, long time. I just wanted to look a certain way. I saw women in bikini and figure competitions, fitness know, they are plastered all over social media...and thought they were the picture of health. But the fact is, you cannot measure health on the outside. I have NO idea what is going on with those women's bodies. I have no idea about their happiness. But I DO know when I was at my "smallest," I was also at my unhealthiest in terms of hormone regulation, mental clarity, body image, moodiness, and just overall happiness.

Here is the real truth, when you focus on health, everything else will fall into place. You can

stop worrying about the scale. Your hormones will be balanced. You will be happier and more stable, and therefore learn to have a self-respecting and self-accepting body image. You will stop striving to look like other people, because they aren't YOU. You will eat for nourishment and you will workout to respect the body you have.

I am encouraging you to think about what you eat and what you do everyday...and I want you to think about how this is contributing to your health. Are you really happy? Or are you just following a set of rules? You know yourself better than anyone else. You may not know exactly what foods to pick or exactly what exercises to complete...this is why there are professionals in these fields...but no one knows you. Do not discredit what you know about yourself. If you know that you cannot stand the taste of salmon, then don't eat it! Ask for a substitute. If you know that running hurts your knees, then don't run! There are plenty of other ways to move. Make yourself and your health a priority. Be your own advocate for your health.

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