The biggest misconception we have about our body is that she is some kind of naughty child that we have to trick with pills to make us feel full, chain to a treadmill and swig down chemical laden shakes in order to look a certain way.
The brutal truth is you cannot become healthy through unhealthy means. Healthy living is not something you have to punish yourself for; a strong, athletic, vital body is our genetic default and your birthright! Unfortunately most people believe that they fail at their New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t have enough will power. In reality, using willpower to achieve your health and wellness goals is one of the most powerful ways to derail all your positive intentions.
Willpower is what you use to push yourself to impossible feats of human performance. Willpower is what you use to fight for your life in a dark alleyway. Willpower is what keeps you turning up for a desk job when you know your true calling is to be working outside. But when was the last time you used willpower to heal yourself from the flu?
You don’t need to smash yourself in the gym. You don’t need to count your calories and you don’t need to punish, push, force and make yourself miserable in order to become healthy.
Here’s what you do need to know about your body:
1. Every process in our body has a purpose and a message – it won’t go away until we take notice
Our body is giving us feedback signals all the time; getting bloated or gassy, having big energy crashes, and even where we store our body fat, all give us indications that there is something not going right in our body.
2. Cravings are a feedback mechanism that won’t relent until our body finds the nourishment it seeks
Our body keeps on sending out signals so our appetite can be satisfied for that nutrient, but with all the fake foods out there, we’re continually starved and malnourished. If your body is sending you cravings for sugar or starchy carbohydrates, it’s either because you haven’t eaten enough food that day or something in your life is stressing you out. You’re reaching for their comfort and calming effect (or you’re looking for a fun pick me up).
3. Ignoring hunger pains is like someone telling you to stop sleeping so much
You might be able to go a few nights with only 2 or 3 hours of sleep, but eventually you’re going to need a binge to catch up! Hunger pains are telling us that we haven’t eaten enough of the right types of food. It’s pretty hard to gorge yourself until you feel sick on lean proteins and fibrous green vegetables. Your body already has an inbuilt satiety factor that tells us “yep, you’ve had enough.”
4. Eventually you’ll have to rest when your willpower tank dries up
Whenever you force yourself to do something that requires a lot of effort it’s like you’re stretching a thick rubber band. You can pull it and stretch it and force it to change shape, but only for as long as you’re willing to maintain that same level of effort and concentration. Eventually though, you’re going to have to let go and all that momentum that propelled you forwards, is now going to ricochet and fling you back in the opposite direction. The only way to keep it out of shape is by applying small amounts of pressure over time.
5. Willpower is based on emotion and emotion is fickle
Your emotions are fluid and affected by your environment and your hormones. Using emotion based willpower to override your body’s inbuilt traffic control tower will always end in tears!
So what’s the solution?
The only way to make lasting change is by enriching the deliciousness of your life by including activities that you enjoy. Put all this together with people you love and always remember to honour your body by listening to her. Sometimes your body will want to go super hard in a workout and it will feel fun and that’s totally awesome! However, ultimately it’s more about how consistently you listen and the small habits you repeat day in day out. This is what will bring you the healthiest and best version of you.
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3 Rounds of:
- 300m Run
- 20 Step Ups
- 20 Push Ups
- 20 Tricep Dips
- 20 Mountain Climbers
- 20 Kettle Bell Swings
- 20 Sit Ups
As featured on the Move Nourish Believe Lorna Jane website