By Cassandra Spencer, @NaturalFitMom
You know what popped in my head recently? The fact that people often want to know “what is the quickest way to ______ (tone up/lose 10lbs/grow a booty/lose the tummy)”. But I honestly cannot recall ever being asked how to KEEP it.
"There does not appear to be as much interest in maintaining results as there is in obtaining them."
I continue to be surprised by the trends and fads being hyped to get a result. All kinds of drastic measures have been brought up. Examples include, but are not limited to; fasting, juice only diets, no carbs, hours of cardio, waist trimmers, laxatives, sauna suits, saran wrap….and yes, I consider all of these “drastic measures” because none of them represent a real change, but instead they are a ‘quick fix’.
There does not appear to be as much interest in maintaining results as there is in obtaining them. And although great lengths will be taken to get the result, I think we can all acknowledge that the more challenging part can be in the maintenance.
But why? Why is it that we find it more gratifying to achieve than maintain? Does it have anything to do with the praise and acknowledgement that comes with achievement? And the lack of external validation that comes with regular every day maintenance/self-care? Have we been conditioned to believe that the only ‘health’ that matters is what we think health looks like? I mean who cares, if you’re starving, vomiting, rearranging your internal organs or injecting cement into your butt cheeks to achieve it…you got the look, even though you might be miserable.
Achieving and maintaining the look of good health through traditional methods takes more time and, at first, no one but you may notice. No one may see the notch you are down on your belt. No one may see the extra energy you have throughout the day. No one may see that you’re holding your head a bit higher with new confidence. But aren’t you worth it?
I don’t know, I could be wrong, but it is my theory that at the heart of a healthy active lifestyle is love of self. TRUE health is holistic. TRUE health is body, mind and soul. TRUE health will have you craving good self lovin’.
"It is my theory that at the heart of a healthy active lifestyle is love of self."
Maybe the ‘quick fix’ the health industry needs is more personal/internal development. What if we learned how to love the hell out of ourselves and let that be the motivation instead of a ‘bodycon’ dress for the big reveal? What if with our #transformationtuesday pics or #progresspic we tout more than our macros and fasted cardio, but an area of doubt we’re learning to overcome or self-limiting belief we just smashed? What if our “90 day transformations” started with a personal development book and recommended weekly TED talks? How different would health and fitness look if we truly valued emotional health as much as physical fitness? How differently would we value results if your relationship with self was factored in?
Fun fact about me, is THIS is exactly what happened. My personal development began in my MBA program. When I graduated with honors, so damn proud of myself for doing this as a married, working, mother in her 30’s, that I wanted more. There was an incongruence with how I felt about myself on the inside versus what I saw on the outside. My desire to get fit (yes, beside losing the baby weight from my youngest) was simply to bring these two aspects of my life in harmony.
My genuine love of self, drove me to want to eat better, feel better, have more energy and make sure I was doing right by me in every way.
I can only speak for myself when I say;
Having a fit body, but hating what you see is not good health.
Loving who you are on the inside, but not being able to find external beauty is not good health.
Being physically strong, but emotionally weak is not good health.
Good health is good health.
It begins and ends with how much love you are committed to showing yourself over time. And while we aren’t taught self love the same way we aren’t taught reps/sets and macros, we can CHOOSE to find value in it. The most important muscle on your body is….. your heart. The least you can do it train it as much as your glutes!