You have been ‘good’. Very disciplined in your eating, lots of movements and you are sure to have shed some pounds away. Then you reach home and get on the scales! This is the crucial moment, when your hard regime would be rewarded. But your scale refuses to budge from the previous reading! Worst, it has climbed up! This is the moment when all your resolves come crashing down! You convince yourself, it is just a number. But you yourself do not believe in it!
Got stuck in the number again? And lost the resolve? What do you do next?
- Skip breakfast to further punish yourself? You know your body is craving for food after fasting the whole night. And so is your mind.
- You panic and ‘double’ your resolve to get the number down. You stress yourself. Stress does not help you lose weight. On the contrary, it is hard to lose weight when we are stressed. In addition, it can lead to many long term ailments.
- You no longer have trust in the programme which your trainer had given. You decide to improve, by adding extra laps, higher weights to fatigue your system. That can lead to injury or acute soreness and can prevent you for exercising regularly.
- You give up. “This is not for me!”. And you get back to the pre-exercise lifestyle, because you have convinced that this is not for you. Those who can eat anything and still do not put an once are really blessed! It is an unfair world!
- It’s just not our habits that not are being dictated by our thoughts, but we end up shaming ourselves. we lose confidence and self esteem.
Does this seem familiar? Have you been through one or more of the above before? If not, then you are truly blessed, whether or not the world has been unfair to you. You have reached a point of self acceptance, self-compassion and you know your inner wisdom. If it does, then here’s a consolation. It took me a long time to realise that I am not defined by a number – be it my weight or my dress size!
I receive mails from all over with similar issues and most of my clients have been through one or more of the above situations. Despite doing everything as per their diet chart and exercise plan, the moment those numbers start heading up, the motivation levels and self esteem head down! Here’s how I fight back. And I advice my clients the same:
- I never deny myself a good breakfast. After a night of fasting, my body deserves it. It has given me a good rest; and it deserves reward. A good breakfast not only satisfies your body, but also your mind. Your mind gets unstressed and is ready to face it’s daily share of challenges. A good breakfast should not be a large breakfast. A god breakfast contains the right balance of essentials – the proteins, the carbs and fat – all of which together nourishes your body and soul. Mind it, a glass of smoothie with right ingredients can often be more healthy and filling that a full plate with sub-optimal nutrients.
- I enjoy my movements. I stretch my limits, but not beyond the breaking point. And it is not always at the gym. With my busy schedule, sometimes a long, brisk walk gives my body enough exercise than 30 minutes on treadmill. I listen to my body attentively and it responds by telling me how I can improvise.
- The truth is I’m no longer in my 20s. I’m in my 40s and so there is a massive change happening within me – the hormones, the metabolism. Women are gifts of nature. Each month, women go through a lot of losing and repairs in their body. Why subject our body to more wear and tear? On the contrary, we need to be kind to it. And realistic. I do not aspire for the weight which I carried in my 20’s. I carried it proudly then, but today I will require a lot of ‘punishing’ schedules to carry it, and not look good!
- So how do you define your fitness as you mature in life? Fitness need not always be about your looks and weight and dress sizes. Fitness, at any age, is about feeling energetic even after a hard day’s work.
- If you workout daily, you know how you become more flexible, agile and strong than before and how that agility and strength continues to grow. I may not weigh the same as I was at 25, but I am definitely more flexible, agile and stronger than at 25. And that is how I define my fitness.
- As you grow, it is important to understand your archetype and behave as one. Being your archetype is important as that is how you can guide the thought process of previous archetype to the new. In our 20’s we have the archetype of prince/princesses; while in ’40s we need to adopt the archetype of Kings/Queens. So the desire for 6 pack or size 0 dress should give way to something else.
- Our body weight is a reflection of our emotions and how we ingest the outer world stimuli and process it inside. For me the ‘Hurrah’ moment in my coaching is when my client realises ‘bigger purpose’ in their lives. It is when they can assess their position in any relationship (home or work or social) and get empowered to say NO. This NO leads to many YES in their lives. It may sound strange, but that is very important in your journey to health and fitness.
- Despite what the display on your scales show, despite the number on the dress tag, the good news is, we can still exercise, move freely and according to our ability and make changes in our lifestyles. A number (your weight or your dress size) does NOT reflect a healthy body and mind. The glow on your face, after a hard day’s work, your attitude and your behaviour at work and home does. And that also provides you a sound sleep. When we accept ourselves with kindness, love and self-esteem, we change our relationship with our body and mind. And our body and mind responds back with equal (if not more) kindness.
So, how many ‘boot camps’ or ‘fitness months’ or ‘fitness quarters’ have you attended and not gained anything? Or gained temporarily? In fitness, ‘one size does NOT work for all’. Subjecting a group with a same exercise and diet results does not lead to all losing weight. No two persons are alike, and nether are two bodies. A boot camp is a temporary relief – like a paracetamol. If you really want to get rid of the headache permanently, you need something else. There are many coaches who realise this and adapt their interventions to meet the unique individuality of their clients. And then, there are others, who just want to ‘cash in’ through their boot camps! You decide for yourself what works for you.