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Healthy perspective vital for fitness goals

Are your workout goals making you unhappy? Don’t use exercise and food as a punishment

As a woman who works in the fitness industry, I am constantly struggling with a love-hate relationship with my body.

I find myself nitpicking every single flaw I see; every extra pound on the scale, every bump of cellulite on my thigh, every roll that forms when I sit down.

I am embarrassed to say I have compared my body to bodies on magazine covers or social media and I have made myself guilty for eating some of my favourite foods just because they aren’t “healthy”.

I have found myself chasing that coveted six-pack like somehow it will make me happier.

I am not alone. “I just want to lose X pounds” is the main reason almost every single person who walks through our doors gives for starting or continuing a fitness regime. It doesn’t matter if they are “healthy” or “unhealthy”; an overwhelming majority of clients seem to think that a magic number on the scale, or a six-pack staring back at them in the mirror, equals healthy.

The problem is that the greased-up six-pack you see on a magazine cover has nothing to do with health.

To achieve the leanness needed to see definition, I need to eat less food than my body requires.

As a result, I became obsessed with my food intake, and with my personality. It was all I thought about.

When did health become so obsessive? Was the obsession with how my body looked on the outside really worth the unhealthy obsession with what I ate?

The thing is, your body deserves healthy food that nourishes you. It isn’t about how many calories you have allotted yourself that day; it is about having a healthy relationship with food, with exercise and with fitness in general.

This is a commitment to loving your body for ever. This is about loving yourself even with all the flaws.

If your fitness goals start to strip you of the happiness and fulfilment — stop! Reassess.

Are you really celebrating your body and what it is capable of if you are using food and exercise as punishment?

A healthy perspective on fitness, with the occasional guiltless chocolate chip cookie, is worth way more than any six-pack.

Cassandra Matcham is a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga instructor, studio and group fitness manager at Alchemy Fitness. She specialises in accountability and goal-setting to help clients reach their full potential. Follow Alchemy Fitness on Facebook: AlchemyFitnessBermuda or e-mail info@alchemy.bm