Mental Health Needs to be a Priority
I can’t recall once in my fitness career ever being totally happy with myself. It’s always been about what I can change, what I don’t like about myself. I’ve always been motivated but I’ve always been anxious and this isn’t good. We live in a world that thrives on the concept of insufficiency and this makes it hard to keep a healthy perspective on diet and exercise. Because of this, it’s easy to see why eating disorders and mental health issues are on the up.
Buzz words in magazines and on TV are negative. ‘Dirty, bad and cheating’, are the words that are used. It’s all about changing what we hate about ourselves, taking stuff away that we like, making us eat stuff that we don’t want to, making us feel guilty about stuff we shouldn’t feel guilty about! Who in the hell wants to track every single calorie they take in on a daily basis for the rest of their life. This kind of living is detrimental to a healthy and happy life.
We reward people for being anti-social. Don’t go out for that drink, stay in and let your friends ruin their figure. You will thank us in the end. The end never comes! Do you really think this is beneficial to your mental well-being? More than likely it leads to a heightened state of irritability and this, in the long term, leads you to gorge and over-indulge. The cycle never ends.
We all know if we need to lose a few pounds, a mirror will tell us that. It’s a bit like that overdue bill or loan. We ignore it but we know it’s there and isn’t going away. It builds and builds until it spirals out of control yet we are afraid to address it. This can, and normally does, lead to anxiety or depression.
So we need to address it, but how? You’ve 2 main choices. You could fall into the pitfall of a quick fix, starve yourself for 6 weeks and go 110% at the gym at the same time, causing a massive calorie depletion and dropping the weight quickly (and losing muscle which is even worse as lean muscle is what keeps your metabolism high) but this will only make you even more irritable and you will fail, I can guarantee you that. And once you fail, the weight piles on even more quickly than the 1st time and you become even more depressed. On the other hand, you could have a rough look at your daily movements and food intake and decide to move 10% more and eat 10% less. This is much more do-able and you can still enjoy a little of what was described as dirty, bad and cheating in those magazines that promote the impossible dream.
Yes, it will take you longer to get to where you want to be, but you will be much happier while you are trying to get there.