As a mom, I naturally filter a lot of things through the lens of parenting. I was looking through this lens the other day, reflecting on my own childhood in comparison to the world my children are growing up in. The differences are amazing, especially for such a short period of time. It terrifies me.
There has literally been an explosion of technology. The pace of society has been completely changed, which has completely change our mental perspective. Some good ways and some bad (most all of which scare the crap out of me). It just seems so fast, demanding and promotes instant gratification.
But it is also amazing, wonderful and promotes an insane amount of information and knowledge, which as humans, we crave. Our amazing human brain is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. The pace of our modern world is a product of our outstanding knowledge and application of this knowledge.
But I want to talk about this from the position of our physical bodies, from my perspective as a fitness trainer.
- Knowledge and wisdom are not the same things.
- Instant gratification scares me.
- More is not always better.
I want to talk about all of these. Because this MORE mentality is not isolated to the children’s generation. This has spilled over into pretty much ALL generations, and in my profession, often does more harm than good.
People, I can’t say this loud enough or often enough…Our physical bodies just can’t match this pace. It is biologically impossible. Stolen meme alert…Your body is not Amazon Prime…it isn’t going to show up in two days!
Knowledge versus Wisdom
This is a deep topic, but we are only going to scratch the health and wellness basics on the surface…
We all KNOW that to get healthy/lose weight that we have to exercise and eat better. The WISDOM comes in when you apply this properly. You are not going to get in shape sitting on your couch, wasting money on crappy protein powders, thinking about bicep curls…I may or may not know this from experience 🙂
Because if you DO what you know, you will grow! (I totally stole this from a podcast…but I like it and it’s true)
But here is the caveat on this…you have to LEARN what to do. And there is A LOT of misinformation out there. At my job, Eupraxia, this is what we do. We are awesome at helping you cut through this and I love talking about this stuff.
Because our technological world does not filter for idiots and they are also allowed to share and post stuff. Which leads me nicely into point two…
Here is a snippet of what came up when I did a Google image search on “weight loss headlines”:
- Lose 25 pounds in 2 weeks!
- Drop 2 Sizes in 2 Weeks!
- Blast Belly Fat Fast!
- The #1 Weight Loss Secret!
No wonder people are confused, wanting fast results, and then easily disappointed once they get going. Because I know the #1 weight loss secret…are you ready? Here it is…
It takes Change. Hard work. Dedication. And most importantly, it takes Time.
I’ve said this many times, I will say it again here. You don’t want to lose 25 pounds in 2 weeks. You want to lose it FOREVER.
More is not always better
Now I want to talk to the people here who are IN this already. Who have started figuring this thing out, and maybe been at it for awhile. You have gotten some results, possibly some great results, and are now feeling stagnant, stuck or even burnout.
We are basically shaped by our environment to enjoy(or avoid) certain things based upon the response we get from the action. Our two main hormone drivers in this equation are Dopamine(pleasure/reward) and Adrenaline(survival/strength). So what happens if the response we get from an action stimulates these? Well then we are psychologically driven to repeat this action. Over and over again. And unfortunately even when it is at our own expense.
Because it is awesome when your clothes fit better
It feels amazing being able to squat that heavier weight.
People noticing and commenting on your hard work feels great.
Finally seeing your hard work pay off makes it all worth it.
And we want MORE!
But sometimes more is just MORE…and that doesn’t make it better. While working out likely won’t actually kill you, you CAN do too much. More often than not, when we feel like our progress has stalled or we are not getting stronger, our first response is often to go HARDER. If some exercise is good, MORE must be better. If watching what you eat is good, cutting calories MORE must be better. Low carb was good, LOWER carb must be better.
The problem with this?
I’m going to repeat myself here…your physical body can’t keep up with this. Exercising twice as hard does not produce twice the results.
- So if you are someone who has been at this awhile, maybe started off strong and are now wondering why you don’t have the same energy?
- Have you ever felt completely exhausted and HAD to workout anyways?
- Or maybe you have a nagging injury that just won’t heal…because you won’t take the time to let it?
If this is you, this is dopamine trying to convince you that you’re not doing enough. So to conclude here, I want to end with a few simple ways you can help remedy this. In short, I want to give you some knowledge 🙂 and it is your job to be wise with it.
- Sometimes LESS is more. Plan to rest and recover. It is important to know that your muscle grows/builds on the REST days. You break it down when you exercise. If you PLAN to rest, then you won’t beat yourself up for taking a couple of days off the gym.
- Sometimes LESS is more. (yes I wrote this twice on purpose). Just because you can squat the 80# kettlebell doesn’t mean you have to today. Especially if you really went after it earlier in the week.
- Do more of the RIGHT things. Like sleep more. Eat more healthy REAL foods. Do more things to manage stress, like hike, read, take a hot bath…whatever this looks like to you.
I want to end here with one of my favorite sayings. Because this last point here is NOT an invitation to be a weenie. It is invitation you to take an honest look at where YOU are at in your journey and hopefully take away something that will help you be a better you tomorrow 🙂