I had a conversation with a woman the other day, who confided that she’s tried every diet, and every exercise program on the planet. She’s a veteran of Jane Fonda workouts, and has recently tried Crossfit. She’s done yoga, hot and otherwise, Bar Method, and Pilates. Listen, this woman looks fit and healthy. I don’t know more about her than what she told me, and her general appearance, but I got the feeling that she was looking for some guidance as to how to establish some regularity in her approach to training and nutrition. She has my card :).
A mostly regular strength and cardio program works if you enjoy it. When training is FUN we’re more likely to stick with it.
Enjoyment is relative and individual – it can be results-based, or loving the challenge within the workout. You might just love variety. Trying different things is fine. Be realistic about consistency and regularity – life happens.
Is your nutrition more strict or relaxed? Or do you stick to a daily plan of macros – knowing how much protein, carbs and fat you need at all times? If you’re working toward a bodybuilding or figure modeling contest, then yes, count and measure away.
For my own and client’s nutritional needs it’s about having a good idea about protein, carbs, fat, fiber, fermented foods, and all the colors and textures, mostly plant-based. I don’t quantify – weigh or count unless that’s truly necessary for a client.
There is no “should”. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, unless you’re starving yourself of nutrients, or not exercising at all.
I don’t offer diet or exercise advice. (Can we all agree that unsolicited advice is rarely welcome?) I’ll never tell anyone what they’re doing is “wrong” or “bad”, or that they “should” be doing something else. I’m a coach, and communication and understanding your needs will lead to success.
Your diet is whatever you eat. Is it working for you? Do you enjoy it, do you feel good, are you performing, optimizing sleeping, and is the way you eat sustainable for you, for your family, and for your social life?
We do have to train our muscles, which support our joints, to do what we demand from them. You might have a job that keeps you on your feet, or you might be more sedentary during the day, but play with kids or do a sport on the weekends. Either way, train for it, and yes, treat your body to good food, and include 30 minutes (broken up is ok!) of moderate to higher intensity movement during the day. It’s ok if you miss some days!
Allow for changes, bumps in the road that naturally happen in life, and you can stay centered, pivot, and prioritize in the moment.
It’s ok if you have no clear plan, no long term strategy…training for longevity, or to reduce the likelihood of injury sometimes seems very vague. Train because you enjoy learning something new (like rowing for sure!), because it feels good, or you like a challenge, or maybe just to get the jeans a little looser, or so you can do a few to-the-ground push ups.
Sometimes we all need to loosen the reigns a little bit.
If there was a relaxing of the “rules”this summer, it’s so ok, and I hope it was fun and mostly healthy!
Now that fall is approaching, if you’re feeling like you might want to take a fresh look at diet and exercise, let’s do it together, and make it work for you and your life.