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So You Want To Look & Feel Your Best
Most of us have a desire to look good, but it can feel almost impossible to get in shape when you spend all day sitting at work. This may not come as a big surprise, but…
You’re living in an image-obsessed culture fuelled by other people's need for financial gain.
Every day you’re bombarded with messaging that tells you you’re not enough. Not slim enough, not muscular enough, the wrong colour, height, shape, weight, clothing… the list goes on. The expectation to look attractive can be overwhelming.
Just so you know, you’re made to feel this way so that you’ll buy products and services from big companies. Always remember that.
Do You Have A "Desk Body"?
If you spend long hours sitting down most days for a long time, your body will adapt to suit what you ask of it (ie not very much!). A sedentary lifestyle leads to a range of issues, including:
- Obesity & weight gain
- Lack of muscle tone
- Accumulation of fat around the belly
- Hunched posture
- Hip & groin tightness & strains
- Back, neck, shoulder, knee, wrist pain etc
- Poor coordination & balance
- Lethargy & low energy or even chronic fatigue
- Impaired cognitive function
- Impaired sexual function
- Poor sporting performance
If this sounds familiar, know that it’s not completely your fault - that’s the life many of us are funnelled into at this point in humanity. People are slowly taking steps to improve that. Be sure to include yourself in any campaign, project or movement that promotes a healthier work/life balance.
Let's be clear - the real issue with a "desk body" isn't how it looks, but how it feels and performs. Regardless of this, our fitness and nutrition efforts still seem to centre around looking good, losing weight, and becoming more attractive…
What Is The Perfect Body?
When you consider why you find a particular body attractive, you’ll realise it’s because that body suggests that the person inside is healthy, happy, able, and confident. I often feel like we’re trying to reverse-engineer health and fitness. We see fit & healthy people and make it our goal to look like them, when really we should be aiming to think, feel, and perform as well as they do, in our own unique way.
I usually spend at least an hour with new clients helping them to figure out what it is that they actually want. This kind of deep introspection can be a challenge, but it’s well worth the effort. Start by answering the following:
How do you want to feel in your body?
How would you like to feel about yourself, including your appearance?
Which sports or activities do you want to be able to enjoy for the rest of your life?
What skills would you like to learn?
The perfect body is the one that allows you to experience all the things you enjoy, do a bunch of cool stuff, and feel great about yourself. Looking great is simply a by-product of mental and physical fitness and wellbeing.
The "perfect body" is one that's built for purpose. Filling our lives with meaning and living in alignment with our values makes us attractive.
How To Get The Perfect Body
If you want to look like a runner, then act like a runner.
The same applies to models, swimmers, bodybuilders, dancers, gymnasts... you name it.
Train, eat, think, sleep, and LIVE like the people with your ideal body type. Figure out what they do and how they live so that you can emulate that and see similar results.
Your body is an incredible machine that adapts to the activities you repeatedly ask of it. It responds to what you eat, how you think, and how you spend your time. Genetics play a part of course - you can’t really change your height or base shape, but you’d be surprised at all the possible forms you could take on.
Perhaps on reflection you’ll decide that you don’t want to live the low-calorie model lifestyle after all, or that it’s not realistic for you to consume 3,500cals and train for 2-4 hours every day like a bodybuilder. That’s fine. We have to make conscious decisions and work within our limitations. It’s much better to release yourself from unrealistic expectations than live in a world where you feel like you’re not enough!
Learn To Live Your Best Life
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, there’s no way you can resent your body for adapting to that. You might be tempted to take up a punishing exercise or diet regime to whip your body into shape, but unfortunately that won’t solve the problem long term.
The real solution lies in visualising and creating a balanced lifestyle that you love. For that, you need clarity, patience and sustained moderate effort over time. Start now. Take small steps. Be kind to yourself.
I know it can be hard when you’ve got work and family responsibilities. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck, without a lot of options. Take it from someone who helps people like you every day, you’ve got more options than you think!
Here are some small changes you can make:
- Get a standing desk
- Walk more
- Practise mindfulness
- Discover your love for exercise (if you’re a mammal, you love to move… trust me)
- Learn about nutrition and your personal needs
- Petition your employer for a better work/life balance, for example flexible working hours or a more relaxed dress code (say no to posture-altering footwear!)
- Download my free ebook to help you identify areas for improvement in your life
- Get specific, tailored exercise programming and nutrition advice from an expert who can design your plan to fit into your existing lifestyle and help you make manageable, realistic changes over time.
Learn the 10 things you need to live your best life
Click here to learn how you could benefit from Online Personal Training
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