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Why are you doing it??

14 July

Hope the title caught your eye.

Usually the thoughts in training programs are along the lines of how a person looks. There is little to no thought of how the person feels or how such a short term drastic change has affected them mentally. The reason I talk about this type of thing so often is that these are the type of programs that have over time affected me in a negative way.

Now don’t get me wrong the occasional challenge to eat clean, exercise and generally be healthier is great, as long as it is not the only reason someone is doing it or it is their first foray into getting into a health and fitness regime. We currently live in a time of instant gratification. Want a new TV? Just pop it on your store card. New car? Just grab a loan. Get fit? Take a pill/shake/do a challenge/grab that bit of gear from an infomercial.

And that last one is the problem. With everything in society we have wanted it faster and better than before. We want our expectations and desires met and satisfied immediately. The problem with living a fit and healthy lifestyle is that it is just that, a lifestyle. It does not end at the 12 week mark, the body of your dreams is not at the bottom of a tub of protein powder.
Time and again I see people embark on challenge after challenge, or the latest fad diet only to end up putting their old fat back on and then some. The thing I notice here is that the focus is on those results at the end of whatever it is you are doing. It is not on the process, and in particular the reason why you are doing what you are doing.
You see you need a valid reason why to do anything. And exercising and eating well are no exceptions to the rule. If you have no real internal drive to exercise, if you are focusing on the outcome, not the process you will revert to old habits and worse still suffer emotionally.
The problem I see is that there is so much research into what happens when the human body is stimulated in a certain way and its effects then on physical health. There are very few studies done on participants mental well being during, at the end and down the track after they complete a program.

So before you start ANOTHER 12 weeks/fad diet/bottle of magic juice/bar/shake, ask yourself or your trainer why you are doing it, and if you or they don’t really answer you well enough, then maybe you need to look for a better solution to your problem.