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 – Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong: Body Image, Motivation, and Developing Long-Term Habits

Molly GThis episode of Lift Like a Girl TV features the amazing Molly Galbraith, co-founder of Girls Gone Strong.

To say that Molly shared a wealth of information is, quite honestly, an understatement.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the topics covered in this episode:

  • How to deal with feeling obligated to look a certain way
  • How to be comfortable in your own skin at all times
  • The importance of, and how to, practice compassion and self-love
  • Why motivation won’t last forever, and what to do instead
  • How to stop obsessing over “forbidden foods”
  • The downside to cheat days and what to do instead

And a whole lot more so be sure to watch this.

There may even be a random dance sequence.

(My camera froze a few times so you’ll see some glamorous still shots. At least you’ll get a good laugh. You’re welcome.)

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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, and Keep It Off

Lose Fat Easily
photo: all rights reserved by matteobragaglio

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.

Confused yet? Don’t be.

It all begins with an intense focus on your actions.

Focusing on actions (e.g. strength training three times per week) instead of outcomes (e.g lose 15 pounds of fat) is a not only more effective, but it can also be enjoyable.

What? Have fun while losing body fat?

No, I’m not going crazy, and I’m not pulling your leg.

You’ve been led to believe that losing fat is a grueling, miserable process that leaves you exhausted and hungry. (Or “hangry” as some people say: hungry + angry). It’s why people unenthusiactically utter, “Ugh, I have to go on a diet” instead of screaming with the utmost joy and excitement, “I get to go on a diet!”

But it’s just not true. You don’t have to succumb to dietary misery or work out for hours and hours every week to achieve your fat loss goals.

All you need to do is follow seven simple steps:

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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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51 Rules to Become Your Own (S)hero. Write Your Own Rules, Build a Body You Love, and Live an Awesome Life.

SheroThere’s no shortage of rules in the health and fitness world.

Heck, I’ve created some such as the 6 (Sane and Simple) Rules to Lift Like a Girl, Get Results, and be More Awesome, among others.

But while I think it’s terrific to look to others you trust and adopt some of their rules, I think it’s equally important to write your own set of rules.

Specifically, when it comes to building the body you want, you need to do what makes you feel best. Set your own standards and don’t blindly follow fads or strive to achieve the look “they” say you should have.

I call this Becoming Your Own (S)hero, or for men, hero.

Let’s define this whole Become Your Own (S)hero thing first. What does that even mean?

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