I wrote you many times that I care about being active and make healthy choices everyday. In my reality I consider myself as a FIT person. The question is, do we all have the same definition of being fit?
Probably many people think that I’m not fit, because I haven’t run a few marathons, my muscles are too small or I’m not strong enough. In the same time others think that I’m just too muscled, I’m obsessed with healthy food and I probably don’t do anything else than count calories. Well, everyone has the right to have an opinion, and all I can do is to tell you my story from my perspective.
I have been going through many stages of fit mania. Starting with being unable to run 2 km without short breath and fainting a few times during my trainings (my personal trainers saw that with their own eyes and probably couldn’t believe why 20 years old girl is so weak ☺).
Then, there was also a time when I practiced everyday, counting the macro and micro components and I didn’t eat anything out of the list of “fit products”. From one extreme to the other. I guess I must have had my own experiences in order to finally understand what’s the “fit attitude” all about. There is a quote of Frank Sonnenberg:
Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned
For a long time, being FIT meant for me that I had a perfect triceps and visible abs. This is the image of fit body we receive from the media everyday. Instagram, colorful magazines and movies are overcrowded with perfect women and men with zero body fat, posing for photos with a celery or with a new protein supplement. And it’s all right, as long as people don’t want to join their ranks. Then the madness begins, because no one will ever say us that achieving the perfect body is a full-time job.
Abs muscles, outlined biceps and muscular calves do not come from anything other than iron discipline. And our whole fit world only fuels the feeling that if we join one of the fashionable diets, we’ll go to the gym and buy new running shoes, that’s how we will look like.
Being FIT is so fashionable now. Wherever you look all the people seem to exercise, eat healthy, count macro or micro components and drink protein shakes. Everyone knows a lot about body mass building. But you know what? Most of us don’t have a clue what to do and how to make healthy choices.
Listen to the professional bodybuilders and athletes, how much time and work they put to achieve the “magazine cover look”. This is a full-time job, so don’t believe that by having a lifestyle that is not professionally related to sport, you will suddenly look like that. It is not a secret that the pictures we can see are strongly edited in Photoshop, and athletes dehydrate before photo shoots to emphasize the muscles. Their silhouette usually has little to do with health, so ask yourself what is really important to you? Good look or health?
My friends say that I probably had chocolate 5 years ago and I’m on a never ending diet. Even when I try to explain them my reality, nobody believes me :) Then, I always smile to myself:)
You know that I am for maintaining a BALANCE in everything, also in approach to being fit. My attitude to eating is healthy, which means I have no obsession with it, I don’t count calories, and if I want to try something new, I just do it. I pay attention to the quality of the food.
I spend half of the year traveling to places where I want to (although I don’t have to) find a way to continue my healthy habits. The rule is simple. If I’m in a new place I willingly try local food that I don’t know. Believe me that local dishes are rarely fast food or processed food. You probably think about stuff like burger. I will eat it, except that I will choose not a roadside network, but a place that offers a high quality of meat, additives and will provide me with a real version of the burger.
I used to think that I must eat healthy, because I don’t want to gain weight. Now, the reason is somewhere else. Over the past few years, watching my body and its functioning in different contexts, I have found that I feel bad after eating certain products. Yes, I can eat fast food, but the next day I will have a bad complexion, zero energy to workout plus my stomach will hurt. In the first place, it will affect my health. And believe me – well-being is the strongest motivator for me and the most effective in healthy lifestyle.
The food should be a pleasure. The obsessive thinking about what and how should we eat missed the goal of healthy living. I have already been there. I used to want to control everything and it was like thinking about a white bear – when they tell you not to think about it, you can only think of it. The more I wanted to control what and where I should eat, the more waiting for each meal was anguish because I was still hungry. Once I ate, I immediately began thinking about when should I eat another meal. In result, my thoughts were dominated by thinking what to prepare, how to prepare and when should I eat it. I was paranoid. And I was unhappy.
My ignorance combined with incompetent advisors who were planning my diet as if I was preparing for the miss bikini competition. They forced me to measure the weight of the tomatoes for each meal what made me crazy.
Fortunately, I realized very quickly that if I want to improve the quality of my life, I have to change the way of thinking.
For the last few years I’ve been training with diverse intensity, depending on what happened in my life and how much strength I had. Sport is my passion and an important part of my life, but it’s only an addition to other plans, dreams and projects.
Many people may think that it’s easy to train, only when you have plenty of time for it. I can’t agree. If you want to find time, than nobody and nothing will stop you. There are million ways to do it. One of mine is to sign up for a gym that is open 24/7. I often go to workout at 11 p.m., but always because I want to, and not because I have to.
Another common question I am asked is: how often do you MUST practice to maintain such a silhouette? Firstly, I don’t have to, I just want to, and it makes a huge difference. Secondly, not the amount of training is crucial, but their regularity and frequency. Jumping around without a purpose six times a week, will not work out the body of your dreams. The intensive and accurate training doesn’t mean hours spending on the gym.
You also have to remember that there is no fast way to athletic body. You can lose weight in few weeks, but your muscles, strength and stretch will not be build in such a short period of time. All these resolutions of loosing weight “before the holidays”, “before the wedding”, “because I bought new jeans” are firstly ineffective, and secondly extremely frustrating. Racing against time, punishing yourself, making great decisions “I will start tomorrow” only puts a pressure.
Anything about being active should start with a question and a sincere answer:
Why do you want to do this?
Is it because other people are putting a pressure on you? Or maybe, because of your friend who lost weight? Do you want to feel more attractive, valuable? These are short-term incentives, and during the first crisis they will not hold your motivation. The main question is why don’t you want to do something with your body? Why do you allow your body to be weak? Is it not a self-sabotage? Is there really something more important than you?
If anyone asks me how I got to the present shape I always say that it is the effect of activity for the last 15 years. First dancing, then gym or running, being in motion very often. But mostly BALANCE. For all these years I’ve had a motivation to be active, exercise, eat healthy, because of my attitude of keeping balance. I have never had a serious injury, I don’t exercise until pain, I don’t go for a workout when I’m tired or feel bad, I eat normally, eat large portions, don’t do any diet. When I exercise, I do it with full energy and a smile on my face. It all makes me feel that I’m not sacrificing anything.
For me it’s the key to success in sport: THE BALANCE AND HEALTHY APPROACH. Sport is for us to live better, healthier, longer, not to fit into the newest trends. If you start thinking about it like this, it will become a nice part of your day, and it will bring you much joy and strength.
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton
And this also applies to BEING FIT.