Thursday, July 26, 2012

Michelle's 4 C's of Health and Fitness

I am by no means a professional or expert in the area of health or fitness. This blog contains my stories, what motivates me, and second-hand knowledge from reading books about health, fitness, and nutrition. So today, I am going to share some rules to live by when it comes to health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition. These rules can be applied pretty much across the board for all areas leading to wellness. Here are my four C's of Health and Wellness. I know this is a long one, but please be sure to read all the way to the end.


None of the rest of these rules will matter if this one is not applied with diligence. We all know that there has to be a commitment to consistency, or your goals will never be reached. I know that I have not met my goals because I have not been completely consistent and committed. If you cheat on your "diet," you know that you are not going to lose weight, reverse a disease, gain more energy, or whatever it is you are trying to gain by following a certain "diet." Too many people think of diet as something that is temporary, but it is important to think of it as all things you consume in general. Be consistent. "Dieting" is not consistency.

When it comes to exercise, the same principal applies. You must be consistent. If you, or a trainer, plans a workout routine for your goals, you must be consistent. What good does a plan do if you only halfway follow it? What good is it to only go to the gym, or only workout, if you feel like it that day. Is it ok to take a day off if you are just really having a rough day? Sure, but that should be the exception and not the rule. The rule is consistency.


Challenge yourself when you workout. Being comfortable will not result in progress. I have found that often, and sometimes unintentionally, I don't challenge myself. I start doubting whether or not I can run one more mile, or if I can make it to the end of spin class, or I tell myself that I don't deserve or belong in the weight room. All those things simply are not true. Do not underestimate yourself. You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. I know that because I have realized the same thing. And along with that, it is important to challenge yourself to accept that you are worth the challenge. 

Many of you have probably seen my Lesser of Evils post and think that I need to challenge myself in the area of nutrition a little more, and to that, I'd say you're right, but it is a process I am challenging myself through lesser of evils. This week, I switched out half of the lean beef in our dinners for ground turkey. I am taking on a series of challenges to form new habits. Nutrition is definitely one of my weaker areas, which is why challenging myself to try new things and learn more about what I put in my body and why, and  I am trying to dedicate myself to make it a priority.


Now, in my Lesser of Evils post, I also addressed that nutrition and diet should be made up of conscious decisions. Everything you eat has a 100% direct impact on your body. I think as a society, we both forget and deny that fact. Be conscious of what is going in your body because it will affect your health, well-being, energy levels, and so much more. It is also important to be conscientious of the food as it is consumed. Mindless eating has no place in a healthy diet. You are better than that. Be conscientious of your health. We as a society also often put things off until there is a problem. Be aware of how your body works and feels, and take care of possible health issues as soon as possible. Be on offense instead of defense, and start being proactive about your health.

I have been reading The Body Sculpting Bible, and I learned something that is so simple, yet very fascinating to me. When working out, it is important to focus on the work your body should be doing. If you are lifting weights, it is important to think about and focus on the muscle that a particular lift should be targeting to monitor whether or not you are targeting what you should be. In spin class today, I noticed that the instructor kept pointing out the same thing. She would say, "This jog should be working your quads," and things like that. I was then able to hone in on my form to get the right muscles moving. When running, I have also found that it is important to focus on what my body is doing. I know that it can be difficult when you feel like you can't go any more, but when you get to that point, it is time to focus on breathing and relaxing the parts of your body that might be tensing up and expending extra energy.


Lastly, it is important to be cautious. Although challenging yourself makes change happen, pushing yourself to the point of injury or over training is never going to be advantageous. Paying attention to your body, while keeping your goals in mind, and being honest with yourself, is going to really help you be cautious when you're training or adapting to changes in your diet. Keep in mind that changes should be realistic and balanced between challenging and cautious. 

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