Starting to prioritise your health and fitness.
Lacing up the runners and going for that first jog. Trading in the pizza and beers for broccoli and protein shakes.
We’ve all been there.
But how many of us have been there for what feels like the 100th time?
Getting on track with your health and fitness feels like a constant stop and start process for a lot of us, despite widespread acknowledgement of the benefits associated with a continued and consistent effort in looking after yourself.
Those of us who have been through one, two, or even three more months of consistent exercise and clean eating will agree that there’s no better feeling!
Even in just a small time you can notice differences:
- You feel fresh in the morning and are quick to get out of bed
- Not to mention you feel highly performant in bed ;)
- Genuinely enthusiastic about work, family, chores and hobbies
- Deadset addicted to the good ‘feels’ that come with exercise and eating healthy!
- De-stressed, patient, confident and open to new opportunities
- And by the time Friday rolls around a couple of cheeky beers and burgers taste just that much sweeter!
So… if we know what that feels like… how the hell are we back at square one… again?!?!
How can we go from experiencing all of that to:
- Snoozing past the alarm or browsing on your phone for 30 minutes in the morning
- Lack of sex drive and performance
- Anxious feelings about work and social activities
- Reliant upon sugar, processed foods, caffeine and alcohol to survive the day
- Inpatient and insecure with family and friends, missing opportunities to live and thrive in the open world
- Depressed, tired, and sluggish.
The answer is simultaneously simple and complex. Life gets in the way. Life is constantly challenging you to do the right thing by yourself. Stress comes from all angles. Relationships, family commitments, work deadlines, financial pressure, time management and so many other factors in life add to our stress levels. Juggling it all and still having ‘time’ for your own health and fitness is incredibly tough.
So what’s the solution? (I’m writing this blog asking myself the same questions, being back at square one … again!)
There is no secret society holding the keys to everlasting happiness, health, wealth and productivity. All of us are going through similar challenges, it is just the way that we deal with these challengers that differs.
The best thing we can do is monitor our feelings. Ask yourself - How stressed am I? Am I being productive? Am I looking after myself?
Ask yourself frequently. Answer honestly. And reflect upon your answers.
Be aware of the good days and the bad days, and don’t feel guilty or remorseful for either of them. Life is a rollercoaster. All we can do is prioritise our time with our best interests in mind. And this begins by looking after numero uno at a physiological level.
We are physically incapable of being our best selves unless we look after ourselves as animals first, and human beings second. We need oxygen, we need water, we need nutrition, we need to move, and we need to sleep. Only then can we start to look after everything else that life swings our way with the strongest, happiest and most resilient version of ourselves. Remind yourself of this whenever you start to notice your health and fitness slipping. When it comes to self care - you need to do the basics first, before you can prioritise your job or your ambitions... let alone care for someone else!
Then, in times of need, we must feel comfortable asking for help. We shared a great blog about The Secret To Living Longer earlier this year, and it turns out the strongest two factors for a long life were social integration and close relationships. Your friends and family are the most important pieces to this puzzle. Reach out to them and talk about your stresses, your problems, your goals, and your shortfalls. Talking about your issues helps you unload and unwind. It clears your mind and helps you stay on track with your health and fitness. Don't be afraid to talk - it ain't weak to speak!!
And if you are ever feeling lonely or stuck for someone to talk to, the DadBods Support Group always has your back.
This DadBod is signing out for now, and is determined that this time it is square one, for the last time.