No matter what your goals are — slimming down or staying healthy — you need to genuinely find self acceptance and self love first. Too many people are beating themselves up and withholding self-love until they reach their magical weight, fitness, or health goals.
If you want to authentically improve yourself, fitness, and health, then you'll have to begin with loving the body you have right now. Instead of focusing on what your body looks like, focus on what your body can do. And for goodness sake, stop comparing yourself to others, and especially models and celebrities (who by the way, don't even look like their nipped/tucked and airbrushed images you see online and in magazines).
At the end of the day, your goals should be about staying consistently active, eating reasonably healthy, and staying fit. Believe it or not, even on a small scale, you can make significant health/fitness improvements with consistent and realistic efforts.
Also, stop worrying about having a six-pack. While visually stunning, six-pack abs are simply a false symbol of heath, strength, and fitness. Yes, that's what I said, it's a false symbol, because having a visible six-pact serves absolutely NO functional purpose for our bodies. Simply having a lean mid-section, does not, by definition, mean you are fit or strong, functionally or otherwise. On the other hand, despite some extra girth around the middle, one can be functionally fit, strong, or even an athlete.
So, let's stop confusing authentic strength and functionality with false symbols of health and fitness, and instead, commit to daily exercise, eating and all things healthy. To help you get or stay on track, here are five more ways to get and stay functionally fit, while loving the body you have right now:
Go ahead and take the staircase at your own pace, and you're still guaranteed to get a great mini heart pumping workout. Building exercise into our daily lives through activities like climbing the stairs, walking, gardening, and doing chores is one of the best ways to keep functionally fit.
Believe it or not, some people will literally drive around the corner to visit a neighbor. Why not save on the fuel costs, and take a little stroll? Your body and your trillions of cells will be so happy to move, and you might meet some new friends along the way.
One of the cool things about Philadelphia is it's a very walkable city. If you're trying to add some more fitness into your lifestyle, try getting off the bus or the train a few blocks before your destination. Did you know a simple 10-minute stroll burns about 50 calories, will improve lung capacity, improve your mood, and give you a burst of energy?
Increasingly, more and more able-bodied people are buying nearly everything online (including groceries), instead of going to the store. I get it, it's convenient, but I also think there are some unintended consequences for outsourcing so much of our lives. Pushing the cart, standing on your tippy toes to grab that last jar of pasta sauce, and squatting low to grab the big bag of flour is keeping you fit, and running into your neighbor or having a friendly chat with the checkout guy or gal, also adds benefits to your health.
Believe it or not, you will save yourself an average of about two pounds per year, by simply walking across the office for that conversation, instead of sending that text or email. While I know two pounds sounds trivial, but if you multiply that two pounds for fifteen years, that's a thirty pound weight gain. Now, do you see where I'm going with this?