We had a seminar at Best Practice Personal Training in Bowen Hills last Thursday the 28th of May. It was cheekily called How to Think, Eat, Move and Look Better Naked in Winter. The real focus point though was our focus on long term sustainable change.
There were four speakers on the night each of which with a different professional background and area of expertise. I was talking about mindset, beliefs and habits on the ‘thinking’ side of things – four years of psych study and 10 years of hands on with clients will give you a bit of insight! Jean Paul Staats, a Chinese Medicine practitioner, presented on the benefits of intermittent fasting and how most if not all of the top selling diets are merely made up marketing exercises – he is very passionate about the ‘eating’ aspect in life. Then there was Dr Matt Platz from Alderley Chiropractic who explored the ‘Move’ side of things and showed us the importance of not only dealing with existing pain in the body when it is present, but also the importance of preventative measures as a maintenance strategy. On a side note, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, at Best Practice Personal Training we are all about being proactive when it comes to health. Why do we wait to have a problem and then go and try and fix it with pills? Doesn’t it make more sense to invest in behaviours that promote health and continued health? I can tell you from personal experience that chiropractic care can definitely be part of that strategy. The last speaker we had on the night who doubled as our MC was the fabulous Jenene Spencer from Healthy Wealthy International. She did a great job elucidating the things we can do to ‘look’ even better after thinking, eating and moving like champs! It is amazing how many well researched products are out there to give the extra boost to a healthy lifestyle. The hard part is knowing which ones are legitimate and worth your hard earned dollars. You should really check out what is out there and weigh them up for yourselves. I say look for well presented and credible evidence with your inquiring mind and you might be surprised at what can accelerate the other good choices you are making in your life. There are no magic cures out there though (as far as I know).
My personal philosophy with this fitness and health gig is to help our clients and members to simply become better (and stay better) than when they first engage in our services. It is not about myself or my trainers dictating to you what you should be aiming for. Sure there are principles that need to be adhered to, but my ideal and long term training/health plan for life certainly may not be yours.
There are two general concepts that must be understood. Expectations and Awareness. One is about being realistic about what is possible given your plan and regime, and the other is about knowing where you are really at. These two aspects are very often responsible for failure when it comes to successful change programs. The problem with expectations is that people often think 20 years of bad decisions can be turned around in an 8 week ‘bootcamp’ and that drinking 10 beers on the weekend instead of 20 should be enough to get the 6 pack abs they see on the cover of Men’s fitness. Sure both of these moves are mostly good ones, although ‘bootcamp’ rarely is (it is just too intense for most people starting out), but there is only so much you can expect in terms of physical change with these two factors. If more exercise and less drinking in unison is seen as a great first step on the path to a healthier ‘rest of your life’, then cool. The other issue is the ‘awareness’ thing. The amount of times I have heard people say all things in moderation when clearly ‘moderation’ has not been the MO for quite some time is baffling. The thing here is that you need to know where you are at for the level of healthy behaviours you are on. You know what I’m saying here right? If walking 2 days a week and eating so called ‘bad’ food only 2 days a week is a great step up from where you were previously at, then that is a good thing for sure, just don’t expect that you will make massive leaps forward. Some people are lucky in terms of getting results with minimal changes but it is the exception and not the rule – believe me.
Sustainable change and results you are happy with measured against known indicators of what is actually healthy is probably the ultimate goal, but if you have a different definition that is okay because it is in fact all about how it makes you feel. Just don’t kid yourself or be mystified if you are not getting what you want. If you have heaps of energy, never get sick, don’t over drink alcohol, feel low stress levels, sleep 8 hours a night, are not overweight, have a vibrant social life and feel optimistic then KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING!