I was sitting here about to type this weeks contest prep update, but to be honest it just felt like a ‘normal’ week. Clean eating and weight lifting have become part of my lifestyle, it’s just natural that I make the food choices that I do and hit the weights. I don’t really think about it anymore, it just happens. It’s become part of my lifestyle. It’s a state of being and a way of life.
I wish that someone would have explained to me years ago that I should consider the longer term view (not just how you want to look / weigh right now). Most importantly how can you ‘fit’ exercise into your life (so that you will enjoy it, make time for it, plan it in and keep doing it way after you have reached your short term goal)? How can you make a change mentally to eat cleaner or more healthier or have smaller portions or choose better snacks or eliminate sugar? How can you bring this new healthy mentality into other areas of your life to make it a better place holistically? For example, teach your kids healthy practices – get them involved in exercise and making good food choices, grow vegetables together on your balcony or garden, cultivate a positive mind and attitude to daily life etc.
One of the biggest learnings for me is that fitness and healthy living shouldn’t just be something that you ‘do’, but rather something you become 24/7 – by making good choices. In the beginning you have to find a way to fit healthy practies into your life, which will probably mean creating new habits so that it becomes part of your day and your (subconscious) decisions. That’s why it’s so important to find a sport or physically exercise that you like and enjoy, as well as adopt a healthy nutritious diet that is sustainable – not just something you do for a few weeks, but something that you carry through your life. You may have short term fitness / health goals (like losing X amount of weight, getting toned up or dropping a dress size) BUT more importantly you want it to be something that you can maintain when you get to your desired size / shape / weight.
Competition or no competition (off season), bodybuilding and I have found each other. It took a little time and effort to find a fitness / food regime that works for me and that I truly enjoy but there is no way I could go back to eating the things I ate years before and give up training – even if there isn’t a competition to prep for. Like I said, I see health as a long term constant in my life.
I’m thankful to the ups and downs to truly appreciate health. Quite interesting for someone who avoided the gym, had little interest in nutrition and never dreamt of stepping on a stage for a bikini fitness competition. It’s eye opening to see how you grow as a person each and every day, even though sometimes you don’t know how things will work out. You have to have focus and faith. That’s the other brilliant thing about fitness and food – they both require making decisions that push yourself both mentally and physically, and this makes you into a stronger person all (year) round, plus you can bring that strength and focus into other areas of your life.
Bodybuilding is something that I really grew into, I didn’t suddenly wake up one day and ‘get it’, it took a while and, interestingly, a change in mental attitude. A ‘Can Do’ mentality – which changes you both physically and mentally.
What are your goals and experiences? Have you found a way to fit health, fitness and wellness into your lifestyle?
Leave your comments below :)