The world of fitness is one DEEP rabbit hole. There are so many intentions behind it.
The overweight person who starts exercising to lose 30kg. The girl or boy who starts going to the gym to look better for the opposite sex. The person who exercises to have more energy and feel better for the day. The mother who exercises to have the endurance to play with her children. The elderly who exercise to maintain their daily function. The athletes who train day in and out to win competitions. The bodybuilder who trains to have all the muscle and no fat on stage. The person who trains to be able to lift 150kg. The person who trains because it gives them a sense of purpose and achievement outside of work.
Where do YOU fit in?
If I cast my mind back to when I were 17, I started going for jogs as a form of exercise so I could lose my stomach fat and be more appealing to boys. How silly.
The pure intention to lose fat from jogging to please someone else meant that 1. Exercise was a chore and a punishment for eating too much. 2. Exercise was a reflection of my insecurities.
Over the years, my goal to have abs and a toned body consumed my life. I decided to enter into a bikini ‘bodybuilding’ competition, where I was in the gym for 2 hours a day for 6 days of the week, eating a strict meal plan of 5 meals a day – only meat and vegetables for each meal (Including beef mince and broccoli at 5am :S) and developing so much stress and anxiety about going out for food or even spending time with friends and family that I completely lost myself.
This was 2 years ago. I have now found the happy medium.
I am in the happiest, healthiest AND fittest place I have ever been.
I now train at the gym for no one but MYSELF and with the purpose of self-challenge and achievement, to practice discipline, to have energy and feel good for the day ahead! I preach doing any exercise or training regime that YOU enjoy, because all sports and forms of exercise will allow you to be fitter, healthier, lose weight, get stronger, but ONLY if you can stick to it!!
If you are severely under- or overweight, then for the sake of your metabolic and cardiovascular health and wellbeing, then you need to eat and exercise in order to balance out your body.
However, if you are considered in a normal weight range, then fitness SHOULD be about having better energy levels, mental wellbeing, longevity of your physical and physiological body through moderate exercise training (Whether you like to do 2x or 6x weekly in the gym, or go for swims or bike rides, or even stay active through the gardening and walking to the shops) and a balanced eating habits (Consuming mostly whole/unprocessed foods and small(er) amounts of yummy treats).
If you are a slave to the gym or eating program, and cannot enjoy your personal and social life, then that is NOT fitness nor is it healthy, no matter how ‘good’ you may look. If you are exercising everyday, but cannot control your intake of junk food, then that is NOT fitness.
Each person has their own intention to exercise and train, but make sure that it is one that you do for nobody but YOURSELF and you do as a POSITIVE reinforcement in your life. It must be something that you enjoy and balances out with other areas of your life.
If done right, fitness can change your whole perception of life. Anyone who is lacking direction and purpose can start with fitness at any time. Fitness allows you to have a routine, to challenge yourself and grow, and gives you a HUGE sense of achievement. You will rarely see anyone who is exercises regularly and is depressed.
Fitness IS the CREATOR of happiness and ambition.
For more information about health, fitness and training, check out The Motion Mechanic.