How many times have you said to yourself: I’m going to get in shape or I want to get healthier or some other such statement? We’ve all done it, but what does any of this really mean? Vague terms weaving in and out of our sub-conscious don’t often combine into recipes for success…
Let’s Get In Shape!
GET IN SHAPE: what does that mean?!? Shape refers to a things form, so to get in shape implies forming your body to specific specifications. Have you determined what that shape is? 18 inch thighs is form specific, while skinny is a vague idea differing from person to person. Want to see 22% body fat? Or to fit into a favorite pair of jeans. All great shape goals, but without defining your goal, how will you even know when you’re there?
HEALTHY: even wiki is undecided on what the real definition of HEALTHY is.
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. In humans, it is the general condition of a person‘s mind and body, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain(as in “good health” or “healthy“). The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Although this definition has been subject to controversy, in particular as lacking operational value and because of the problem created by use of the word “complete,” it remains the most enduring.
Do any of these considerations enter your mind when you start your new healthy lifestyle? Do you think about how well your body works? Or where your stress levels are? Do you have past injuries that you’ve accepted as a part of you that could be helped through specific routines?
Breaking down what you want, then establishing where you’re at, can be invaluable. Is your cholesterol high? Is your blood sugar out of whack? Are you always tired? Constantly angry? Figure it out to find out how to best help yourself.
Let’s get fit!
FIT: Similar to getting in shape, FIT is another word that needs to be individualized to mak sense. Wiki says:
Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being or specifically the ability to perform aspects of sports or occupations. Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, exercise, hygiene and rest. It is a set of attributes or characteristics that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.
If you want stronger legs, concentrating on how many push-ups you can do isn’t going to directly influence your goal. Want a more well-rounded fitness level? You need to define where you are, however arbitrary that might be, to determine if you’re improving to a place you’ve decided upon. If you’re too lazy, or unfocused, to take a simple fitness test before you start, what’s your real level of determination and commitment?
What Should I Eat?
The most common question I’m asked is about diet. Everyone wants to eat better, but with so much contradictory information about what is good or bad, most people are overwhelmed. Typically, the first thing I say is to pick a system, then stick to it. Once this system is picked, ignore all other information about all other systems, and especially their definitions of good and bad foods. Just follow your system.
Paleo sounds fun? Great! Do it! Weight Watchers? Love it! Calorie counting? Fine, just remember to count them!
Better is another of those tricky words that doesn’t mean anything. Better varies in meaning depending on where your starting point is. If you usually eat 12 cookies, and a half-gallon of ice cream a day, eating 6 cookies and a pint of ice cream is better. Now, ask yourself if that’s really what you meant. If it is, that’s okay, just remember your definition. Maybe doing better than yesterday, everyday, is the perfect way to create some momentum. Just be clear with yourself on how you’ll track your progress.
Define Your Vocabulary
Be careful not to accidentally sabotage yourself by not being clear about what you want, or what you’re doing to get there. If you can’t clearly state, in intelligible sentences, what your goal is, and how you’re going to reach it, step back, do that, then create a plan.