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Top health and fitness lessons

A holistic approach: your body won’t be truly healthy until you’ve worked on the health of your mind and the health of your heart and your soul too

I know most people tend to review what they’ve done, what they’ve achieved and generally have a think about where they’re at in life around Christmas or in January when it’s the norm to make New Year’s resolutions.

But I’ve never really been one to follow the herd and often find myself doing a little life audit some time around the middle of the year.

So the last couple of weeks I’ve been having a good think about the most important lessons I’ve learnt about health, fitness and making the most out of life. And today, I thought I’d share with you some of my thoughts.

I hope they bring you a fresh perspective on things.

1, Who doesn’t want instant results? I mean we’re all looking for quick fixes, whether it’s losing weight, building muscle, making money, landing the perfect job, falling in love or just feeling fulfilled.

Yes, you can probably achieve all of these things quite quickly, but holding onto any of them takes consistent hard work over time.

Nothing that really matters is a one-time investment. So the real question is, are you prepared to put the effort in over time and go the distance?

2, Some weeks you’ll see progress and others you won’t. This doesn’t mean that progress isn’t happening, it’s just not visible to the eye.

This is particularly the case with exercise.

Our bodies are complex things and they take time to adapt and change. Cultivate patience, be consistent and trust the process — the results will soon speak for themselves.

3, Your health is so much more than the functionality of your physical body.

I used to think that “mind, body, soul” was just a cool slogan to wear on a T-shirt while you did yoga.

But your body won’t be truly healthy until you’ve worked on the health of your mind and the health of your heart and your soul too.

You can train all you like, follow the perfect programme, eat the most nutritious foods, but I bet it won’t really make you feel your best.

At various times I’ve physically been in phenomenal shape, but if I’m truly honest, I didn’t feel that amazing and I now know it’s because I was neglecting the health of my head and my heart. So don’t just own one of those T-shirts with the “mind, body, soul” slogan, live it too!

4, Meditating is hard! At least I’m not very good at it.

I definitely have an overactive mind that I find hard to switch off, but for almost a whole year now I’ve been “trying” to meditate daily first thing in the morning.

I say “trying”, not because I skip some days and am inconsistent with my ritual, but because I am accepting of the fact that my practice isn’t perfect. Some days I find “my zone” with ease, others it feels like I’m sitting in a heavy fog of thoughts that just won’t budge.

Either way though, I think the important thing with meditating is to acknowledge that it doesn’t need to be a life-altering experience every time, but just sitting quietly and calmly, and taking a few moments to be present with your thoughts can have a positive impact. Even if it may not feel like it at the time, your subconscious will be benefiting.

5, So many women I meet and work with let their daily happiness be dictated by the number they see on the scales.

This used to be me too. You wake up, step on the scales, if the number you see is in the “right range”, it’s a good day, if it’s not, well, it’s bad.

You spend the next few hours obsessing about it, and worry every time a piece of food passes your lips. This is ridiculous. I want every woman to know that number means absolutely nothing. That number can’t tell you how intelligent you are, how creative you are, how brilliantly funny, kind, caring and loving you are.

All that number can do is tell you your gravitational pull towards the Earth at that particular moment in time, and quite frankly, who cares about that?

6, I hate it when people label foods “good” or “bad”. When it comes to weight loss, there really is no such thing. There’s just “bad” portion sizes. One word — moderation.

7, We all fall off the wagon from time to time, overindulge in some naughty foods and drink a bit too much. But you know what?

It’s totally OK! Life is to be lived, you’ve got to have your yin with some yang, right?

I tell my clients not to beat themselves up and to have a plan in place to get back on track.

Remember, it’s what you do the most, most of the time that counts. So jump back on board the wagon ASAP!

8, Half the reps, plus half the effort, equals half the results; people still wonder why they don’t see the changes and progress they’re looking for?

Training isn’t easy, it’s painful, it’s challenging and, for most of us, it’s just not fun. I get it.

But we all know it’s also necessary. And if you’re going to show up to the gym, you may as well make it worth it. Chances are you’re spending just one hour of your day working on your physical health, which means you’ve got 23 hours to rest.

Don’t squander that precious time with lacklustre effort.

9, Goals are great and definitely useful, but they’re not everything.

That moment when you hit your goal and you get the glory is gone in an instant.

So whatever path you choose to take to get there, make sure you enjoy it and have some fun along the way. In the end it’ll be the journey to your goal that you remember.

10, Say “yes” more often. In the past I’ve been advised ‘that to be truly successful you need to learn to say no more’.

I think this works for some people, but I can honestly say that all the best things in my life have happened during periods when I’ve consciously been on a quest to say “yes” more.

So don’t be afraid to open yourself up to opportunities, and don’t be fearful to take action, you never know what might just happen.

Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with clients worldwide, including royalty. Contact her at www.beckywrightfitness.com or becky@beckywrightfitness.com