To start the New Year, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the topics that I feel athletes become vulnerable to as it relates to diet and exercise. Athletes are very disciplined, dedicated and hard working individuals but tend to function on the side of extreme. Many athletes are so focused on an outcome that they forget to be kind to the body. Most diets and exercise plans require a lot of willpower and discipline. People fall in and out of programs because they are exhausting - mentally and physically. In turn becomes body shaming, critical judgement, self-hate and unrealistic body ideals. In other words, in a quest to become healthier, you lose sight on the first step of improving your health - being kind to your body.
I hope you find these videos helpful as you explore a new journey of good health, happiness and body kindness.
New Year.....New You?
As you count down the hours until the New Year, are you once again resolving that this will finally be the year where you will take better care of your body?
Despite the many ways that you can practice self-improvement, January 1st is strongly associated with making changes to your body size, weight and looks through extreme exercise and rigid dieting.
Sadly, social media has a lot to do with your body image and relationship with food.
Here are my thoughts on how you can start the year off right, without falling victim to the New Year, New You campaign.
Quick Fixes and Trendy Diets
We are a weight obsessed, social-media influenced, quick-fix seeking culture.
While there are many reasons why people diet, those with low self-esteem, poor body image, individuals with an addictive personality, anxiety, depression and feel pressure from society to look differently are susceptible to follow a style of eating that includes rules, good vs bad foods, strict eating regimes and social motivation.
Therefore, it's no surprise why so many people are tempted to follow a trendy diet that claims to improve mental and physical health, boost self-esteem, improve body image, eliminate cravings, boost energy levels, heal your gut, reprogram your body and achieve incredible results.
Don't be fooled! There are many physical and mental dangers of extreme dieting.
Let's talk race weight.
We live in a society that focuses on competitive leanness. Most athletes train, eat and live with the mindset that the leaner or more defined you are, the better you'll perform in sport.
Often this mindset gets messy. Whereas the initial focus for weight loss is to perform better, athletes can easily get obsessed with the idea of achieving the perfect athletic body image but sadly, sickness, injury, a performance decline and burnout occurs.
Do you nourish and fuel your body because it's an incredible vehicle that allows you to do incredible things in your sport or are you chasing a weight/image through rigid eating, calorie restriction and over exercising?
Gadgets and Trackers
Fitness tracking, calorie counting, body composition measuring and body weighing may not be inherently bad, unless you have an obsession with data.
An obsessive focus on numbers may encourage unhealthy attitudes, behaviors and thoughts related to your self-worth, body image, eating choices, exercise regime, athletic worthiness and self-esteem.
Are your gadgets and tracking devices doing more harm than good?