Written By Sam Jones
Your Fitness Journey
I’ve been in the personal training game for some time now, I’ve worked with a whole host of people, all who have come to me because they are at a stage in their life where they need change. When initially quizzing them on why they are here, their response usually goes along the lines of ‘to lose weight’ or ‘to look like this woman’ – whilst pointing to an Instagram famous bikini model on their phone. The majority of new clients make reference to physical aspects of their body which they would like to change. I then proceed by highlighting ‘the bigger picture’…
The bigger picture for me starts with the fact that we literally are what we eat, look at your hands whilst you’re reading this, they are made up of nutrients that you have consumed at some point in your life. Why am I highlighting this point? Well, what you eat and how you train literally effect every aspect of your life. Not just your body shape, but your energy levels, your sleep, your mood, your stress levels, your hair, your skin, your mentality, the list could go on!
So as you start your fitness journey, or if you’re stuck in a rut along the way, take this new holistical approach. Realise that this spans way beyond the inches lost on your waist, or the number of abs showing through your stomach, this is about bettering yourself across all fronts of your life. We live in a modern world not suited to our genetics, where processed low nutrient food, stressful jobs and sedentary life styles are ‘the norm’. And these things negatively show through in our lives not just in the form of weight gain, but fatigue, stress, anxiety, depression, illness.
We can counter act these things by going back to our ancestral genetics. Years ago, we would hunt for wholesome foods on the Savannah’s of Africa. There was no work related stress, there were no crisps, sweets or fizzy drinks. We’d get our exercise from hunting and nutrients from our prey.
By exercising; lifting weights, running etc, by predominately feeding your body with wholesome foods, you start to adhere to your genetics and they will thank you in a whole host of ways. You will still start to get the body you crave, your general well-being will improve, your sleep, energy and mood will also improve. You’ll be massively lowering your risk of future diseases, and statically increase your life span. I hope you are getting a feel for ‘the bigger picture’ here, it’s something I ingrain in clients from the start, something I drill into friends and family when asked about health and fitness.
The Bigger Picture
For me, my fitness journey started many years ago like yours probably is right now; just wanting to be happier with the way I physically look. Very quickly however I learnt there was a bigger picture, it was about bettering myself as a person, these foundations were laid out by good food and exercise. Remember as mentioned above you literally are what you eat, you are how you train. When you sustainably feed and train your body how it is genetically designed to be, in a balanced approach, you see all parts of your being improve. I always say to clients I wish you could test drive your future healthy body how you would a potential new car, because at that point you would have no doubts about committing to your fitness journey.
An important thing to note however, is that this does not require perfection. Perfection for one isn’t attainable, but most definitely isn’t sustainable. Another part of ‘the bigger picture’ is the length of your journey, it’s never ending. We are sold quick fixes in this industry; ’12 weeks to your perfect body’ etc, but unfortunately these are not reality, and even if they were you still need to maintain your new healthy body.
The point I’m making here is that ‘bad’ foods must play a part, just in the right balance. I, like 99% of people have no intention of competing in a bodybuilding competition, I merely want to maintain a healthy physique all year round, and be generally fit and healthy. Personal trainers have a reputation that I am trying to quash; one where people think we never touch ‘bad’ foods, that we lead this perfect life! I love feeding and training my body properly, but I also love the occasional burger and ice cream. The key is to find your balance of good and ‘bad’ foods, generally for clients I initially shoot for an 80% whole-food approach and adjust over time according to their body and goals.
From this day on take this ‘bigger picture’ approach with you along your fitness journey. Realise it takes a commitment to yourself, to your body. But if done in a sustainable balanced approach will literally change every aspect of your being. Health should open your life up, not restrict it.
“Learn to love yourself, we are all beautiful in our own right!”