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Fitness verses “Thinness”

Here’s how to get started on a positive body image breakthrough and a vigorous cycle….

Sometimes we use “thinness” and diets as a metaphor for what we really want in life. We think, “When I lose weight, I’ll finally be happy.” Being thin won’t make you happy. Being healthy and well will improve your sense of satisfaction with your life and we learn to be content, with what we have or if you want, call it happy.  If you are constantly looking to others, you will always someone better than you or worse than you to justify where you are at with life. Or always be unhappy. You need to challenge “you” with the next step in your current fitness level and state of contentment. Set goals for you for fitness, and in time the pounds will drop off as you make better choices in all areas of your life. If you exercise and move more, you’ll have more energy, you’ll sleep better, your moods might be brighter and in turn you will lose weight, maybe not be thin, but you’ll feel better and be in better health. Take steps to be a better you and get contentment in that, not others as happiness is fleeting; contentment lives above our circumstances.

Those feelings of well-being that come from taking good care of ourselves – eating good foods, letting our bodies move/exercise, giving ourselves time to reflect, spending time with God and having meaningful relationships with people in crease contentment. Being thin alone won’t make you happy or content. Let’s say it again: being thin won’t make you happy. You will still be you, with your same concerns, just in a smaller package. What is it you’re really trying to get from your life?  Answer these questions and you’ll make progress to a better you.

First step…Make a list of barriers you have in your life…Once you put those barriers on paper, you can approach life in a new way! Your exercise will have more meaning – you’ll put in the sweat equity time, eat healthier foods because they will fuel your body, you’ll be in a better mood because you exercised and eat better…it is a vigorous cycle, instead of the vicious cycle too many of us get caught up in that leads to defeat, being unhappy and being dissatisfied with your life!

Second step…check your current fitness level. Do a few “tests”…Do a one-minute test of how many push ups, sit ups or squats you can do. Then challenge yourself to do more. Do you progress yourself or do the same old thing workout after workout? When was the last time you changed up your workout, or added a new exercise, or totally revamped your program? Tried a class? When was the last time you worked out?

Third step…take a GOOD and honest look at your food! Are you eating too many calories for your body to burn off? What are those calories made of? When do you eat? What are your go-to foods? Try to make better choices in your food, make a good, better and best list and move up to best. Don’t eat because the clock says eat, start listening to your hunger. When was the last time you were really hungry? Try fasting and skipping a few meals to get back in touch with that feeling.

So, being thin is and being the best fitness level do not go hand-in-hand. You can be overweight or thin and not be fit or be fit. Being a healthier you, whatever that may be is the first goal to reach contentment and a better level of fitness. There are people who are not thin; but are healthy and content where they are with their exercise programs, their wellness initiatives and their weight.  We can all work towards a better “me.” There are also thin people who are still discontented, have poor bone density from dieting and are losing their hair because of stress to be thinner and lack of protein in their diets. They are neither well, healthy or happy despite being a size six.

We all need to strive for good, better and best for ourselves. There are objective measures like the scale, body fat meters and your clothing size that can be indicators of general health, or help us set goals, but they should not be the main focus in our lives. Being fit and healthy is not a certain number on the scale or a size. It is being a better you, in mind, body, and spirit.

About Janelle Baldwin

Janelle Baldwin is a physical therapist assistant (PTA) and lead fitness trainer for Agnesian HealthCare’s on-site fitness center, called the ZONE. She is a certified weight trainer (CWT), a strength and conditioning specialist (STS) and a certified strength and conditioning instructor (CSCI). Her 15 years of professional experience ranges from home care and work hardening/conditioning with the Agnesian HealthCare Sports, Spine & Work Center for many years to her role as a certified personal trainer; teaching fitness classes for which she is trained and certified for and maintaining the on-site fitness facility.

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