By Michelle Hastie
1. Calories In Vs. Calories Out: We were taught that the only way to keep a healthy body size and shape is to know how many calories we are eating and how many calories we are burning. We have been told that this is a no-fail exact scientific formula that you simply follow and voila you have results. Unfortunately this is not the case. It’s not an exact science. You can find people all over the world that consume more than they burn and maintain a healthy weight and you can also find the dedicated dieters of the world who are eating less/burn more and their weight continues to climb. We must reach for a better method and understand that weight is not an exact science. It’s emotionally, mentally and spiritually connected to us and we must heal all areas of our life in order to be truly healthy.
2. Food is just fuel: When I was a personal trainer we were taught to look at food as fuel. Therefore, if you wanted a gummy bear you wouldn’t allow yourself to have it because it’s just empty calories with no nutrition and no value to your health. While this may be true there is something these experts are forgetting. Food is not fuel, food is: pleasure, satisfaction, nourishment and fulfillment. If food was just fuel we would all be eating little food pills. It’s ok to love food, and enjoy food! Trust me, your body will thank you for it.
3. No Pain, No Gain: I have had numerous clients tell me this and I myself used to believe this. There is a theme in our society that in order to get the results you desire you must work hard. This is simply not true. Nothing else in nature works hard or struggles to get results, it’s just us. It’s a very human experience. When I was injured and stuck on the couch, it was the most effortless experience of my life. I was not working hard, I was not struggling… I was basically on vacation! And the excess weight melted off my body. After that I started yoga and practiced doing less and my body continued to transform. We are not meant to live lives where we sacrifice in order to live.
4. Weight is just about food and exercise: There is a foundational component to our health and weight that many people skip over… our mindset. In order to truly claim your ideal body it is going to require that you change who you are being. It really doesn’t matter what you are “doing” (ie. eating the perfect diet, exercising everyday) if you are “being” someone who is unhealthy. This being can take place in our external lives and it can also just be an overall feeling we have deep down inside. A healthy person can feel unhealthy and vice versa. If you are looking at your food and exercise you are skipping over the foundation of your life: who you are being on a daily basis. Start there first!
5. Some foods are good and some are bad: In my opinion all food is created equal. Food is not a human being with good or bad intentions, it is food. My best advice when looking at food is to look at it as simply what it is, then make inspired and empowered decisions about what food is good or bad for you personally. Start testing the foods that you have labeled as bad, is it bad for you? Does it create negative reactions when you eat it? Do you even like it? Then I would say it’s not for you. Test the foods you have labeled good for you. Does it make you feel energized and amazing? You get to create your own opinions on food regardless of what anyone else says.
6. You must be an athlete in order to be healthy and fit: Believing that you have to be an athlete can be very dangerous for us. This is where we see over exertion, injuries and frustration. The truth is there are many methods out there that teach health that are honestly geared towards an athlete. And I don’t just mean the person who plays soccer on the weekend, I mean the people whose career is to be an athlete. Remember, we all have different strengths and passions, we were not all born to be an athlete. So it’s ok if you don’t want to live that lifestyle. Think about your ideal life, what does it look like? How much do you want to work out ideally? What does your food intake look like ideally? Create your own life, don’t follow someone else’s or you will continuously stop and feel frustrated.
7. It’s all about what you eat: There is so much more to our bodies than food. It is definitely a topic that gets a lot of attention as it’s the easiest for us to outwardly control. We can remove food from our house, we can avoid dining situations, we can choose not to put food in our mouths. Therefore, it becomes the go to place to manage our health. The truth is our bodies are designed to take care of us. They already know how to do everything: digestion, metabolism and maintenance of a healthy size and shape. If we focus on body communication and understanding what our body needs and then working inwardly to connect to our bodies, we will have a lot more success than throwing out half the food in our pantry. This will create a lifelong bond for lifelong results.
8. The only way to be healthy and fit is to have strict rules and limitations: The truth is we are born with the incredible power of freedom and choice. We get to live as free as we desire every single day. Therefore you get to choose how you want to show up in the world. You get to choose your experience around health. And if I were you, I would choose a light, free and fun approach to health guided by body wisdom. Otherwise, what’s the point? It’s no fun to get results when the journey to get there was forceful, punishing and stressful. Allow health to be fun by being light around it and not being hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, allow yourself to be human.
– Michelle Hastie, President/Founder, As Seen In Shape Magazine, Total Body Health Solutions