It's challenging to stay fit and healthy when your surroundings aren't very motivating. You may set out with the best intentions then somewhere in between, you lose focus and decide to just go with the flow. Next thing you know, a month has passed since you told yourself you'd start over. You silently judge yourself or give up on yourself for not committing to your goal and you start to feel bad about the whole thing. This can happen with attitudes toward working out. Sound familiar?
You don't have to feel bad, you know. Yes, you can let things be, still take care of yourself and not deprive yourself of things you indulge in. The key is moderation. It's a concept that's been thrown around since forever but its always in the background of fitness and wellness trends. It may not be so popular such dynamic workouts like Soul Cycle or Cross-fit, but it definitely seems to be the most effective and the easiest practice to stick to.
When practicing moderation, you get to exercise the practice of your choice. You can create the best meal plan that will suit your particular needs. You can work out and eat whatever you want, whenever and however. Just be reminded, practicing moderation requires discipline too. You have to have self control to stick to the plans you made for yourself. And you also need to educate yourself. It's very important to know the pros and cons of what you plan to do.
Let me share some of my experience. But in sharing, please know that I am nowhere near-contented with my fitness level. I'm probably just like you, trying to make the most of my time. I want to be fit, but I want to be able to continue to be fit until I'm old, y'know? I used to enjoy actual sports like running and volleyball in my early twenties but now I prefer gentle exercise, like yoga, that calms the mind while it strengthens the body. My exercise preferences changed because my goals changed. I used to want to be swift and muscled and tan because of training, but I realized that my purpose was superficial and it really wasn't working well for my body at all. Maybe it's the way I'm built, or aging, I don't know. I started getting small injuries and lost motivation. I knew I wasn't enjoying myself anymore and I felt really bad about myself. If you've followed my blog long enough, you know I also had a few health issues last year. Exercise was part of the issues because, on top of working, I was working out too hard. I was being too hard on myself and my body showed the signs. My doctors advised that I needed to rest.
Practicing yoga came after about six months of complete rest. When I started all over, it was like being a new person. Everything seemed so fresh and full of potential. I was enjoying myself so much. But I must share, I had to rein myself in at times. Of course, there are yogis more advanced than I am and I wanted to reach that level quicker. If I had been my old self, I would have just gone ahead poured heart and soul into practice just to achieve those challenging poses and look cool. To be honest, I would have probably injured myself by now if I was 'the old me', haha! I made myself resist it. I told myself that I wanted to practice purposefully and not just so I can post a neat pose on social media. In displaying my 'achievements', I figured I would once again be a slave of what and how others viewed me while I went through my fitness journey. The idea of having an audience at this point didn't sit well with me so I tried to keep fitness posts minimal so I can enjoy myself more. I disciplined my mind to focus on myself during practice.
Now another challenge has presented itself. Sleep. Let me tell you, I am what you can call an 'avid fan of sleep'. I will exchange food for sleep any day, let alone exercise. It has been really challenging and very rewarding to be able to wake up and practice yoga for an hour before anyone else is up. Such a high! Unfortunately, that yoga high still cannot replicate the high of waking up after a full night's rest. I function better with 8-9 hours of sleep, don't judge me. Some might call me lazy, even. But hey, I've never ever been a morning person. On days when I've forced myself to wake up early, its because I'm running on adrenaline, man. It isn't healthy for me. I get bitchy and tend to binge on unhealthy food when I'm sleepy. I really must discipline myself in this area. I need moderate amounts of sleep to remain fit and productive.
So, I guess I need to manage my time better during the day so I can sleep earlier and longer, instead of procrastinating and ending up cramming everything I need to do right up to bedtime. I hope you've somehow understood my points on moderation in the midst of my ramblings. Kudos to you! You don't have to do like I do. Practice what you like! Soul Cycle, Cross-fit, running, gardening...do what works for you! Practicing moderation needs discipline and education for it to be beneficial. It's a complete lifestyle change. Maybe that's why it's not as popular? Anyhow, it's a more relaxed, laid-back, stress-free approach to being fit and I'm all for that!
Have a great day ahead!