Stepping Out of the Gym: Your Fitness Level May Be Affecting More Than You Think

A general misconception about fitness is its relation, or believed lack thereof, to other parts of our lives. Many people talk about their “fitness life” or “gym life” as if it is something that is completely separate from their … what “actual life”? … HUH? So the things you do in the gym don’t count as things you do in life? Or it’s that belief that maybe one’s convenient shoulder turned towards their unhealthy habits are only affecting their six pack development and not having any affect on the rest of their life?

Either way, these assumptions in both cases are SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH. I am here to expose something that I think many of us avoid thinking about. Our health and fitness level affect … EVERY. SINGLE. LAYER. of our lives. ALL OF IT.

To use an analogy that I really child-heartedly get a kick out of every time I hear because I think of the movie Shrek (*insert emoji crying face here*) … Our lives are very much like onions. We have so many layers. We have work. We have careers – yes sometimes unfortunately those are two different things – We have family (some having their own growing families as well as their parent/sibling family AS WELL AS their extended family – oh man) We have friends. We have hobbies/interests. We have ourselves. Now right here is where many people would list having their “gym time”. And yes, if it isn’t something that is work for you, it isn’t something you do with your family or significant other, it isn’t quite a hobby or interest, you can list it as another thing that you have as a layer. My argument against this is that your time to exercise or your time to cook and make sure you are eating well and properly to fuel your body shouldn’t be a layer in the sense that it shouldn’t be something that is optional.

You see an onion’s layers can be peeled off. They can be stripped. What happens when we quit that job? If we choose NOT to have a family of our own – or we just aren’t there yet. We lose our parents. We cut back on our hobbies to make time for other things… We are taking away layers, not always permanently but they are still not existing for that moment. Our health and fitness shouldn’t be something that we can be stripped of or something that can be placed on hold to tend to another layer. Our health and fitness bleed through all layers. It is what keeps those layers fresh and in tact. It is what keeps us in tact.

So how do you get to the place where your fitness regime and schedule isn’t just “another thing on the list” but is something that becomes an innate part of you?

Well folks, I think this comes for some as an awakening experience – like it do for me – and for others as someone telling them to wake up and think. So I ask you right now… if you had to tell me ONE reason you are engaging in fitness or health at all what would it be? What is your one thing that you think your fitness/health level, or lack thereof, is affecting?

Got it?

Okay great…

Now I ask you, what if I told you that there is SO MUCH MORE than that one thing? That your health and fitness level is greatly impacting things in your life you probably don’t think it is? For those of you who aren’t fitness professionals (personal trainers, body builders, professional athletes, etc), what if I said that your health and fitness have a huge impact on your job and career? Yupp…

Why do we think that the thing we spend so many hours of our lives doing isn’t affecting by our state of health? Maybe it’s because it is generally assumed that it isn’t necessary for someone to be in superior physical fitness shape to sit a desk 40 hours a week. What if I told you that is entirely untrue… What if I told you that being in good physical condition, being strong, having good posture, flexibility, mobility, being seen by a chiropractor often as affect how our body responds to sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week? What if I said that your emotional state and ability to focus and concentrate well are severely comprised when you are eating sugar all day long, not drinking water, and not exercising?

These are things that I think go unacknowledged far too often. We talk about our performance IN the gym or in tests of physical fitness. We talk about being healthy for our families; teaching our kids how to be healthy and eat well. We talk about weight and other pressing medical conditions affected by our eating and our exercise. But rarely is it talked about that all these things build up and ultimately affect the one thing we spend most of our lives doing… work.

Over the next few weeks, I will posting articles talking about specific professions. Thanks to some great people, I was able to get into the minds of people in varying careers and jobs. They told me the things that work and don’t work for them, when they realized that health and fitness was a real priority for them, how it affects the job they do on a daily basis, and even their advice for others in their shoes. So join me for what will be an awesome series. Every Friday through the month of October, “Stepping Out of the Gym” will explore how our fitness leaks into this important part of our lives.

If you have an example of how your health and fitness affect your career or want to share your moment of realization please do so! I love hearing from all of you and your stories! πŸ˜€

Advertisements

Love Your Real #Selfie

For those of you who do not know, this week (February 22nd-28th) is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I am sure most of you are aware of the existence of eating disorders… but are you really AWARE?

Up to 24 million people suffer from an eating disorder. Twenty Four MILLION.

Common eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating.

Eating disorders do not have a specific host or target. Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, races, cultures, genders, socioeconomic status… Everyone.

In fact eating disorders are extremely prevalent amongst athletes and even the “fittest of the fit” …Β [For more awesome info on that and an awesome Instagram challege check out THISΒ post byΒ my kick ass fellow GGSA]Β 

So how do we make ourselves knowledgable on this topic? And why should we bother to?

For starters you never know who is struggling with an eating disorder. The woman on the treadmill next to you that looks super thin but you just think maybe she’s a marathoner. The man who is a bodybuilder and you envy him for being so cut and in killer shape. Yeah. Sometimes we don’t really know why people do what they do but maybe we should.

Eating disorders are extremely serious, life threatening, and just super debilitating.

From the time I was even in middle school I struggled with extreme body image issues. Like not just your normal teenage girl trying to wear makeup to be cool like the other kids issues. Like hating everything about myself and weighing myself 4x a day issues. It took me probably 12 years from the time I was 10 to just about two years ago to be able to actually look myself in the eye in the mirror and think that maybe just maybe I actually was pretty. I went through so many painful years thinking if I could make my body PERFECT, be skinny enough, have a big enough butt, have that ridiculously absurd thigh gap… maybe then I would be pretty. Maybe that would make up for the natural beauty I thought I somehow lacked.

Back in November I did a “No Makeup Challenge” (which if you didn’t see it then you can catch my re-cap here) Even after all the progress I have made with loving myself and my body, it still taught me things I didn’t think I was still hiding from myself. I am happy it did because I can truly say over the last 2 years that I have come to love myself… Every perfect imperfection.

IMG_8725

I can now eat pizza without wanting to kill myself or weighing myself multiple times the next day. I can look at my less than perfect body in the mirror and know that I am still awesome.

And I credit a lot of that to crossfit. Getting in shape, seeing my physical imperfect body conquer amazing feats I never expected possible, and just feeling and knowing that I am in shape, fit, HEALTHY regardless of the number on the scale has completely changed my world, my life. SAVED my life. Now I wouldn’t tradeΒ my tough, strong, healthy, beautiful, and imperfect self for smaller size jeans or a “skinny body”. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Β Find YOUR healthy.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Β Love it with everything you have.

IMG_8697

 

Eating disorder awareness is SO IMPORTANT because I truly believe that until you know what it’s like to look at yourself and be disgusted with every inch of you, it is hard to understand how UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING it feels to love yourself. And everyone… man or woman, old or young… deserve to know that feeling.

Please I really encourage each and every one of you reading this to go toΒ http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ and learn more about eating disorders and what you can do to help the people around you.

And everyone… You are ALL amazing. You are ALL beautiful, perfectly imperfect works of God. You ALL deserve to love your real #selfie. ❀