If I see one more “The Most Effective Fat Burning Diet”, “Three Exercises To Be #bottyqueen of every beach”, “New Detox For a Shape of a Lifetime”, How To Lose Weight Before Summer – a New Diet”, “Slim Waist In Two Weeks”, “She Ate This Food And Toned Her Whole Body In Just Two Weeks”, “Say This Word 3x Every Morning And Lose Up To 6 Kg In A Month”, … (continue the series)
…I swear I’ll move to Mars!
Now that I took out my frustrations at the expense of what I cannot influence, I’m going to focus on what I can, which is your perception of health and everything that it (really) is.
When I was little girl, I didn’t deal much with the idea of health because I was lucky enough to grow up in a family with mother being a medical doctor who has been physically very active all her life, and a father being a businessman with a sports background. But the world was different then. There was more time to stay present and to feel both ourselves and others. Life was… slower? Yes – I think that’s the right word.
At home there was no highly processed food full of added sugars. We ate food from the countryside, there were no gallons of chocolate and sweets at home, but they were not forbidden either. In fact, everything was allowed and it was clear as day that when I eat a piece of meat and vegetables, with a mountain of green salad, I didn’t have much desire left for a tom of ice cream or two Milka chocolates. Sleep hygiene has always been taken care of because my brother and I have both been active in sports since childhood. When something bothered us, we sat down as a family and talked about it.. Not turn this into some kind of pseudo-fairy tale about Andrea Solomun’s idyllic life, let it be clear that even I, in such extraordinarily great conditions, somehow managed to have a troubled relationship with food, numerous injuries, and made many wrong health decisions while growing up. And of course, it all had consequences. Some people learn from their mistakes, some don’t. I managed to learn and grow. And I will be doing that as long as I am alive. And when I die, I plan to haunt you with messages to move and increase your protein intake :P
Long story short – I realized what most of us already do – there are no shortcuts and quick fixes when it comes to health. We all know this theoretically, but when it comes to practice… eeee, nothing happens. Dead zone. Like, I’ll start. I’ll do it. I did it but gave up. I can’t do that. It’s hard…
Awareness of one self and interception got lost in the speed of life, life became more superficial. It is as if we have exchanged the greater amount of discomfort and stress, which enables us to grow and develop, for longer amounts of the smaller portion of stress that we live with as if it were normal. Which is a silent killer. In fact, we have become weaker and less resilient to this world because technology helps us survive. We survive, but we don’t live, and we’re snug in it as if it’s okay, because an average pf life and health is something that is enough for us.. As it is, neither it is nor it is not, it gives us room to complain, but it is not bad enough to take action and change it.
I say: No, no, and no.
Okay is not good enough when it comes to your life quality. It’s NOT! Because that “okay” accumulated over the years actually means a downward curve, because simply existing and not taking action on your health at the cellular level is equivalent to a continuous slow disappearance of energy and health, and thus, yourself. That alone isn’t visible enough, so we don’t notice it for many years that it is a sure pathway into a shorter life. Unfortunately, most people only realize this when in their older years when there is no technology or magic wand that can help them (us) maintain optimal health for the years left. Then, most often, we spend another 10-20 years in the bottomless pit of agony and medication, without a trace of energy and most importantly – joy. Without the ability to enjoy life.
I am already known for bringing up an unpleasant topic – death. Death is inevitable. We don’t choose it, it chose us. But – we can choose whether we leave this life joyful and full of energy and life or after months in a hospital bed, rotting and waiting for our suffering to finally end.
I know these adjectives are really harsh, but they are meant to be. Life is not easy nor does it caress us. And after years of working with clients, I have realized that packaging harsh truth in a box with a red ribbon only delays facing the truth and our/your progress.
But let me get back to how I want to present to you the entirety of health and achieving longevity:
We achieve quality of life by optimizing: SLEEP, NUTRITION, MOVEMENT, STRESS and the SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL ASPECT OF LIFE (I’ll call it LOVE).
These five points are the pillars on which you build everything else. They are never perfect because that would mean we are robots. The point is to continuously juggle and balance them throughout your life to find temporary moments of balance. Harmony in (of) life. It’s a game you should love and hate at the same time. The work that should continuously motivate you and be the core driver of energy, not only for yourself, but for the entire universe. Because everything is constantly changing, and accepting that and achieving flow means being in balance with yourself and the universe.
I will start from sleep – sleep is your rest, the time when the body regenerates, when it throws out waste and creates new tissue and new cells that enable you to be mentally, physically and emotionally functional. It slows down aging and dying at the cellular level. Sleep is the crown of your health, and if there is anything to start with when you have any health issues, it is SLEEP HYGIENE. I will talk more about this in upcoming blogs.
Nutrition is your fuel, and we are a car with an empty or full tank An empty tank means the inability of driving. The quality of the fuel is what allows you to drive poorly or really well. And how well the car can run depends on your engine. This is where movement comes in, because it raises our performance capabilities at the cellular level. We don’t have only one engine. To simplify, we have three engines – the heart, the brain, and then the largest organ for movement – muscles. It is equally important to tune the rest of the parts continuously, but without the engine the car will not drive. By moving, your vehicle becomes more efficient, and so do you. Of course, assuming you have enough fuel to keep the car running.
Well, now imagine, there’s a storm outside, and your car is in bad shape because you haven’t serviced it, it’s low on fuel, and you haven’t driven it much, so it’s in poor condition… And then the storm hits. It won’t handle it well. In other words, damage will occur. Right now, that’s my metaphor for stress. You are only ready for it if your sleep, diet and movement are in order. A stressful job, problems with a partner, kids at the peak of puberty, a neighbour and his crazy wife… Again, continue the series, because the list just goes on.
And then… Love. Something none of us can live without. That one thing that can give us more health and well-being than anything else. Friends, family, loved ones, relationships that need to be nurtured because they are also a key aspect of our overall health.
Most often, people start from the assumption that they have to train and be on a diet in order to lose weight, because the definition of health in today’s world is much too often being thin. WRONG! I know a lot of thin sick people. And ultra-fit sick people. I don’t know many healthy obese people either, but that’s a topic for another post.
Let’s go back to the definition of health, because it seems to me that it is interpreted in the wrong way these days. . It includes physiological tests (blood, urine, stool within normal ranges), optimal energy levels, physical and mental fitness appropriate for your age and goals… And, of course, many other things that make up the integrity of your overall body balance in the absence of disease. Just in case you didn’t know, newsflash – you can’t burn many calories through exercise, even though many people exercise to exhaustion to lose weight. So training, to the shock of many, is one of the things that can contribute to weight loss, but it’s not meritorious for weight loss like caloric deficit and high-quality sleep. I’ll dive into that topic another time.
Starvation is NOT a solution. Excessive cardio is NOT the answer. A new detox is NOT a solution.. Small steps with consistency ARE. The smallest ones that you don’t understand will change everything. For example, getting up ten minutes earlier to stretch. A walk to the second floor at your job to use the toilet Walking an extra bus stop to work. Eating more protein and being full, so craving less sweets. Removing the idea of food restriction because of later labelling food as good and bad and yourself as good/bad person. Realising 12 HIIT workouts a week is not sustainable or healthy, but introducing two 30-minute strength training sessions per week is. Going for a walk-in nature once a week for an hour or two. . Spending time talking to people you love and care for, instead of typing on you phones or watching another meaningless episode on Netflix. Removing the cell phone from the room where you sleep… You get me? THAT’S IT. And not all of this at once. Choose at least two things you can do and only move on to new ones when those become habits and new routine.
All those headlines at the beginning of this text are one big BULLSHIT we all swallow because it’s hard to take responsibility for our own failures and accept that it will be temporarily difficult. Oh, terrible even. Stick your finger in that painful spot and, as I like to say, poke it, while learning about yourself. Find beauty in exploring the deepest parts of the universe of your own mind and body through that discomfort. Collect interesting valuable data about yourself and then by learning about yourself, grow into a more resilient, capable and better human being for yourself and for others.
It is messed up, this entirety of health. However, remember – you have the power to grab the wheel and drive that car, … but only when you prepare it for the ride. The ride of your life! Because that’s all you have. One ride. So, let it be a ride to remember, instead of being stuck in the parking lot.
In creating a healthier everyday life, the &Body program can greatly help you. It is designed to allow every individual, regardless of physical condition, to exercise at home, push their own limits of endurance, work on the functionality of their body, and learn about small changes that literally mean life. From sleep hygiene to relaxation methods and breathing exercises, the lessons, videos, and manuals of the &Body program are your ally on the path to health. And finally, more importantly, a sustainable way towards building new daily habits and routines.