When “Health and Fitness” Isn’t Really Healthy, and What to Do About It

Health and Fitness
photo: some rights reserved by Jeanette Goodrich

Health and fitness.

Think about that phrase for a moment: health . . . and fitness.

What does it mean? While the exact definition my vary from person to person, I think it expresses a sentiment of improving your quality of life by building a strong, resilient, functional body that ultimately serves you.

The details such as exactly how’s that’s accomplished (whether through strength training, organized exercise, sporting events, physically active hobbies, etc) can be debated, but one would think it’s about establishing sustainable habits so you not only reap short-term benefits, but long-term benefits too (e.g. decrease risk of disease, etc). And, ultimately, a health and fitness regimen should enhance your life, and not dominate it.

However, if you thumb through some of the latest magazines and scroll through popular websites, that’s not always the impression we’re getting.

Health and fitness.

Some resources have turned it into a game of constantly striving to reach a lower body weight coupled with strict dieting methods and long, grueling workout routines. Often it looks like a race to see who can eat the least and work out the most. And sometimes the information is just downright degrading.

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Lift Like a Girl TV – Meg “Fit Bitch” Brown

Meg Fit Bitch BrownThis is the first episode of Lift Like a Girl TV. Whoop!

Today’s episode is an interview with the incredible Meg “Fit Bitch” Brown.

Here are some of the show’s highlights:

  • Great tips for moms who want to balance health and fitness with their busy schedule
  • How fitness and finances are related, and how to be successful in both areas (this is awesome!)
  • Why “diets” suck and how to develop long-term habits that stick
  • The key to developing long-lasting motivation to ensure you achieve your goals (and maintain them!)
  • Much more!

Let’s get to the video.

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The Nutrition Survival Guide (Don’t Become a Diet Zombie)

Fad Diets
photo by Tau Zero: some rights reserved

Fad diets create zombies. There, I said it.

Diets tell you not to think for yourself or listen to your body — to simply “follow the rules” at all costs.

And, unfortunately, many diets just drain people, emotionally and physically. I think the quote, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread” from Bilbo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring can be applied to many people who try the latest fad diet.

They’re hungry, and confused. Oftentimes they walk around in a zombie-like trance, but instead of drooling over the thought of “braaaaaaains” they dream about taking a bite of a sandwich, or piece of chocolate. Then again, some people are so famished they’d gladly gnaw on a chicken foot.

Many diets cause people to become robotic in their actions, disregarding any feedback from their body. They simply follow the rules at all costs, no matter what their body may say in return to these actions.

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Let Go: How to Get Rid of Anxiety Caused by Health and Fitness (And Why It Will Help Achieve Better Results)

Let Go To Reduce Anxiety

I would feel great. Things would be going well. But then, I would start over-thinking and over-analyzing everything and the stress and anxiety would return. The stress would swell up within me and it felt as if a violent tornado swept across my brain; damaging, destroying, and uprooting everything in its path. Once it’s gone and the dust settles, everything is in shambles and the only thing left is unidentifiable catastrophic damage.

Rebuilding will be a long, arduous task.

Let’s rewind and start back from the beginning.

When I began breaking free from my binge eating and other obsessive eating habits, I knew I had to just let go. I had to stop obsessing over every tiny detail when it came to what I ate, when I ate, and even how I approached my workouts.

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7 (Simple) Steps to Lose Fat, Without Even Trying

7 Tips to Lose Fat Without Trying

Fat loss is always a hot topic, but now that’s it’s spring time here in the USA, everyone is preparing for the upcoming swimsuit season. And that means a lot of people are trying to lose body fat.

Unfortunately, many people will attempt to lose fat rapidly and in an unsustainable way. They’ll revolve their life around a diet and rigorous gym schedule, no doubt.

But today I’d like to propose a much better approach to fat loss. When done this way, you can lose fat without even trying. That’s because even though your goal is to lose fat, you’re not going to try to lose fat.

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Does Your Fitness Regimen Pass The Test? Why You Need to be able to Answer Yes! to This One Question

Fitness Regimen
photo: some rights reserved by WingedWolf
Whether you’re currently following a fitness regimen or you’re looking for a new workout program and possibly even nutrition guidelines to embrace, you need to ask yourself an important question:

“Will I still be able to do this one month, six months, and a year from now?”

If your answer isn’t a definitive Yes, then it’s likely time you adopt a new approach or move on to the next possible solution.

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Stay Lean Without Tracking Your Calories or Macros in 4 Easy Steps

Stay Lean Without Tracking Calories
photo: some rights reserved Paula Guinto
This is a guest post from Armi Legge of EvidenceMagazine.com. I rarely discuss counting calories or macros, so this article is a great place to start for people who currently track their calories/macros and want some easy steps to gradually stop doing so, or to make the process much easier.

You want to be lean.

Maybe you’re not obsessed with your appearance, but you want that athletic look that shows you care about your body.

You start counting calories and you lose weight. You’re thrilled, but at the same time, you don’t enjoy it. After a few weeks or months you get sick of logging your food into an app and weighing your plate before each meal.

You get sick of reading food labels before you eat anything. You get sick of obsessively trying to find the lowest calorie version of every food.

“Whoa, can’t have blueberries, they’ve got like 30 more calories than strawberries.”

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Nutrition is Complicated: You Can’t Trust Your Body or Figure It Out on Your own. Or so you’ve been told.

nutrition is complicated
photo credit: some rights reserved by Susan von Struensee
At least — that’s what most fad diets cause you to believe.

Many diets operate under a simple principle: you can’t trust yourself or figure out this whole how-to-eat-well-to-build-a-great-looking-and-healthy-body thing on your own.

You need a diet to tell you what to do.

That’s why many fad diets come with a set of non-negotiable rules or other specific dos and don’ts. Follow the rules completely, and good things will happen. Slip and deviate from the diet even a little bit, and you’re going to fail.

This is the “all or nothing” mentality that many diets create. Either you’re on the diet 100 percent, or you’re not. There’s no wiggle room. And, unsurprisingly, many fad diets can lead to disordered eating habits and binge eating as a result of their rigid rules.

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A Weekly Example of How I Currently Eat, Work Out, and Why I Do It This Way

food and workouts

“What does an average week of workouts and eating look like for you?”

I’ve been asked this question quite a bit recently; so it’s time to answer it for you. Below you’ll see a glimpse of last week’s workouts, meals, and why I’m currently working out and eating the way I do.

Before we move on, please let me say that this is how I am working out and eating at the moment.

The workouts are tailored to my goals and needs and the foods I eat are the ones I enjoy. Please don’t read this and say, “This must be how I’m supposed to do things,” because that’s probably not the case. I strongly believe in tailoring your workouts and eating habits to your lifestyle and preferences, and that’s exactly what I do.

I encourage you to do the same. Please keep that in mind as we move along.

Let’s begin with last week’s workouts. First, I’ll reveal my goals and why my workouts are structured the way they are.

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Confessions of a Personal Trainer: Experiences with Binge Eating and Over Exercising

confessions of a personal trainerIf I sit still for a moment, close my eyes, take a deep breath and relax, I can remember it like it was yesterday.

The disordered eating habits I battled. The binge eating episodes. The horrible, cruel, and negative things I would say to myself on a daily basis about my diet failures and how I didn’t look a certain way. The high standards with nutrition and working out I placed on myself. Basing my self-worth on the number displayed on the bathroom scale.

Obsessing over my perceived “flaws” and trying so desperately to “fix” them. Feeling like a total failure when I couldn’t stick to my diet and spiraled into a restrict — binge — restrict cycle. Forcing myself to perform extra workouts because of the frequent binge eating episodes.

For several years, this was my reality; disordered eating habits combined with over exercising and an abundance of negative self-talk — and I hated it.

After all, I was a personal trainer. I was supposed to have everything under control.

I knew that my actions and thoughts were wrong — binge eating, revolving my life around a diet, constantly engaging in negative self-talk, working out at least twice a day to the point of total exhaustion — but I just couldn’t break away from the horrible habits I had developed.

I felt like a hypocrite and total failure.

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