Happiness is not about a size 2 figure, It’s about a good breakfast and feeling great about everything you accomplish in your day. Let that motivate you - strawberries, cakes and the simple joys of life
Words Annabel DaSilva
“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.”
I read this quote on the internet a few years back and it has been a motivating factor over the years. I have shared the same philosophy to those around me and even when I train. I have grown to be the person I wish I had the support of while growing up. I am a hardcore gym rat but that doesn’t mean I isolate myself from the simple joys of life. I have listed down a few key things for you to keep in mind as you try to stay fit during this pandemic.
Staying healthy is at the top of nearly everyone’s priority list, and our daily choices can determine just how healthy we are. Not everything is in our control, but the habits and approach we take to our health can often make a difference between being healthy and unhealthy. Two areas we have the most control over are our diet and exercise. These can both have huge effects on overall health and can be some of the main factors in preventing diseases and other complications later in life. Preventive healthcare measures like proper diet and exercise can also help you cut down on medical costs as well as lead a longer and healthier life.
There’s a lot of advice being offered right now about how to keep yourself physically healthy during the coronavirus pandemic such as washing your hands and practising social distancing. But managing mental health during this time is just as vital to your overall well-being. So while it is happening, take steps to address your psychological well-being as well. If you’re not proactive about taking care of your mind and emotions during this time, you may notice a decline in mental health. The best way to keep yourself feeling great each day is to focus on being fit. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself - inside and out. Working on building your immunity will help you stay mentally fit, physically strong and feeling happy rather than exhausted.
When it comes to exercise, you’ve heard of the term 60-40 ratio where you focus on your diet and 40 per cent at exercise. In general, you should be aiming for at least two-and-a-half hours of medium-intensity exercise per week, or a slightly lower amount of high-intensity exercise. Mixing aerobics in with things like weight training or sports is a great way to vary your workouts. Make sure to stretch before and after exercising, and take appropriate safety precautions. Both diet and exercise, especially the latter, can have major effects on your mood. Chemicals in the brain called “endorphins” make you feel happy and positive, and these are triggered by most forms of exercise.
Is there a thing like a perfect diet? No! It changes person to person, but in general, some of the best foods you should regularly eat include:
Fruits and vegetables
Nuts and legumes
Try to balance items like dairy and oils, along with meats and poultry. Try to avoid sweets, overly salty foods, trans-fat-heavy foods and overuse of alcohol. Pay attention to calorie count — your needed amount will vary based on your size, age and gender.
Tips which you can use for every aspect of life but especially when it comes to your personal journey with fitness:
Habit building: “Dress for the role you want, not the one you have”
Ask yourself - how do I envision my future self? What are the habits I need to develop to get there? Asking yourself the right questions will always help you keep track of your progress.
Creating a routine for yourself and setting a time for certain priorities is everything. Science shows that it takes humans 2 weeks of consistency to make or break a habit and while doing this patience and consistency are your allies.
Be patient for results, it’s not an amazon package delivery.
MOST IMPORTANTLY REMIND YOURSELF, I AM STRONG. I AM CAPABLE. I AM BEAUTIFUL. I CAN DO THIS
We live in a time where the internet and social media have corrupted us with instant gratification and wanting things to happen now. Realise that this is a long term investment of your time and great things take time. Too often we get caught up with “how to gain 15lbs of muscle in 12 weeks” or “Losing 10lbs in 30 days”. It does not work like that. You want to be progressing. If you are working, the results will follow. Don’t define your progress by a time frame. The right behaviours are developed through consistency, not frequency. A little bit every day is better than once a week.
Quit comparing yourself to people on the internet – you can’t scroll through your journey. There’s no perfect size of pretty – All sizes are pretty.
Understand that even the most elite, the crème de la crème, were once beginners. What they have on us is years of consistent work. So do not use that comparison as a reason to demotivate you. Instead, use it as motivation to see that it is possible to reach those heights if you are dedicated to your goals. Stop with the “all or nothing” mindset and remember the most important part of your life today is that you love your body, all curves are good and never look at yourself with shame.
Most times we see the size 4 figure on a magazine or Instagram and most people start to get uncomfortable in their own skin. We disregard our own bodies and it’s a wrong mindset to think, if I cut down a few pounds to look like that girl, I will be pretty too. No! You’re pretty the way you are. Work on your individual progress and exercise to be in your best shape.
Most importantly remind yourself, ‘I am strong. I am capable. I am beautiful. I can do this.’
“I am going to work out every single day of the week for an hour each time. I’m going to eat healthy, cut out all sugars and sleep early.”
It’s awesome to be eager to want to completely change your lifestyle but the problem with this thinking is when our high standards aren’t met – it leads to a lot of discouragement and feeling overwhelmed. Solution for this? Start small. Do not overload yourself with so many things at the same time. Focus on establishing a routine that you can handle. Then when you have accomplished that, add a little bit more, and a little bit more. Pretty soon you will have established a habit. Then that habit will become a lifestyle.
Love yourself where you are now
Rather than aiming for a goal so that you can be happy, you should aim at being happy first. No job, no dream body, no new home or car can fulfil that. Confidence is one of the first things that you gain when you learn to love yourself. That confidence leads to self-respect and when you respect yourself, you treat yourself much better. Respecting yourself means having more discipline over your body and your choices. Exercise and eat well because you love yourself and you want to take care of yourself. It should never be seen as a punishment or a chore.