Author: Amber French
Many people ask me what I have learned in my many, many (many) years in the fitness industry and over the years my answer has changed. “Go hard, leave it all out on the floor, weight bearing exercises rule, cardio , cardio and more cardio” have been replaced with a much more peaceful and kind message. It’s not that those other answers aren’t correct; they will all play a part in getting you to your fitness goals. But now I know that fitness is way more encompassing then all of those mantras.
I have trained and assessed many clients and have shared in the success of many of them. I have also lead my staff to train and succeed with thousands more.
After all that time, I have truly found my balance when it comes to fitness. I have learned what it takes to make my body happy and how to ask it nicely what I need it to do. And it very simply boils down to 4 things.
Those four things are consistency, behaviour, accountability and play. Let me walk you through it. Our bodies completely regenerate every cell in our bodies every 7 yrs, so your crash diet and 75min cardio sessions that make you want to puke aren’t imprinted on your cells that tell the new cells how they should look and act. But many days and weeks and years of small forward moving “right” steps will. It is better for your body and your weight loss journey to do something that makes you sweat for 30mins then to “hit” the gym 3 times a week for a hard core 2hr training session. Your body likes repetition (that is not to say that you do the same thing every day) but it will respond to your daily doses in a positive and a lot more effective way by making this a part of your daily routine.
Acknowledging your behavior and addressing triggers will change your life!!! When I am asked “how I did it” my answer lately is I stopped watching TV….Yep, I would reward myself nightly after the kids were down to at least 2-3 hrs of late night TV. Not only was it robbing me of much needed sleep. I was 10 feet from the fridge and my “will power” would usually only get me to the second commercial break. TV was mindless and a reward and it was my time to undo all the good I had done during the day. Once I recognized that if I wanted this weight loss journey to be permanent and not to be such a struggle I knew I had to change my behaviours and address my triggers honestly.
I cannot say enough good things about journaling. Whether it is a good old pen and paper or an app on my phone (I use both) accountability is a GIANT GAME CHANGER in the world of weight loss. Most people think it will deter you from eating the third (or thirtieth) fun-size chocolate bar (which it may) but for me it also got me out of my head when I was about to hit a “well –I-ate-a-cupcake- might-as-well-turn-the-rest-of-my-day-into- a-whirl-wind-of-wrappers-and-peanut-butter” if I referenced the journal, accounted for the already consumed cupcake. It hit pause on my spiral and sometimes showed me that I was still well within my target for that day. It stopped the negative talk in my head and replaced it with cold hard facts. If you can commit to this, I guarantee you it will change everything.
Lastly, I have discovered that play or enjoying your activities are crucial to the maintenance of a healthy weight loss journey. Gone are the days of near tears, watching the clock of mind numbing, repetitive cardio sessions. Now I split my days between, swimming, cycling, yoga and running. All of which I enjoy. I keep the sessions short and I am hitting every possible body part and muscle consistently and with kindness (which my body appreciates). I no longer need to force myself to work out because I truly love my 30 mins a day.
Please stop fighting your body, it truly loves you and is just trying to tell you that what your doing isn’t working for you at this time. Listen, relax, and breathe.
Choose what feels right and the results will follow, along with a renewed sense of self-worth and an invigorated love for moving your body.
I wish you peace and kindness in your weight loss journey. And don’t forget if you wouldn’t say it to your dog/cat or child when you are teaching them, don’t say it to yourself. It’s just as unacceptable.
About the Author: Amber has been in the fitness and recreation game for over 15 years (not including school!!). She made fitness her life because as the age old saying goes, study and teach what it is you need to learn. In other words, she’s battles with some weight issues for many years and wants to share what she has learned along the way.
You can follow her @TheVeganHouse