Ah. Now its time to go into quite grey area for many people. Do you now how may times I had conversation like this:
Client: Alex, I do everything right, but see no results. I eat well, I exercise well, but nothing happens.
Me: Well, if you don’t see results, it means you don’t do everything right. Or maybe you don’t do certain things that are crucial for you to see results.
Client: What do you mean? I exercise every day by doing this and that, I eat so well, I never touch McDonald’s ever-ever-forever. What else do you want me to do?
Me: Where do I start…
Today I decided to cover some of the areas, so I will be spending a little less of my energy next time I have this conversation. So less face palm moments will happen.
See, what’s obvious for some people, such as fitness and lifestyle professionals, may not be so obvious for others, who don’t deal with human body as their major object of work. However, it doesn’t excuse anyone from not taking proper care of themselves. Even if you are not a health specialist, you still want to live long, happy and healthy life, right? So learn how to take care of it.
Famous healthy lifestyle propagandists Charles Poliquin and Paul Chek say that reasons for any disease that can occur in the body are:
There are various sources of stress that we experience daily, both internally and externally. External stress is mostly linked to chemical and electromagnetic sources – radiation, sunlight, sound, and chemicals. Internal stress is mostly how our nervous system reacts. When someone is stressed, it is primarily activation of sympathetic nervous system and hormonal response -irritations, anxieties, nervousness, and depression due to our relationships, friendships, financial issues, traffic and commute issues, work tensions, etc., etc. Our body doesn’t differentiate much between various stresses – whether your boss had a bad day and yelled at you, or you got stuck in traffic on the way home, or your teenager talked too much on the phone and bill was huge, or you dropped the dumbbell on your foot in the gym – it is the same stress for body. Good news about stress – we, as human beings are adaptable to stress. We learn that in order to get further away from stressor we need to move, and change. Now, bad news about stress – when it’s too much of it, we break down.
To keep things simple and relevant to the topic of life hygiene, here are few scenarios that are the most typical:
- The person is exercising regularly and maintains reasonably healthy diet in order to lose fat and build strength. However, after some initial success he/she hits the plateau. Changing exercising and/or adjusting and cleaning the diet may be the first solution that can work. Changing the stimulus can lead to new results. As I said above, under positive pressure, especially when it’s a new pressure, we tend to change. New positive stress equals new results. It’s “working out”.
- Same scenario – person is exercising, clean food, and then boom, everything stops. Even new training and nutrition plan don’t work. In this case it makes sense to look outside of just fitness and nutrition related areas and into lifestyle. It may be that the stress is excessive and it becomes negative. 12 hour work day? Little baby that is teething and crying in the middle of the night? Parents have issues and you’re trying to help? Here is the key thought – when life becomes too stressful, don’t add to this stress by pushing yourself too hard in the gym. Results won’t come because you are trying to run the engine of your body on an empty tank of your energy. Instead of “working out” learn how to “work in”, distract from stressors, build energy, and rejuvenate. Things like light workouts, yoga, tai chi, gigong are just for the case like that. Trying to burn a 1000 calories in under an hour doesn’t belong here.
- Another scenario – person is dying working hard in the gym, but no results or results are extremely slow. When assessed, outside stress is manageable, the person has normal life. Diet is overall not bad either… So what can be the issue? Comfort zone with food. We all have our little treats that are so delicious but so bad for you. Have you ever noticed that when you just start exercising after a break, or for the first time, you immediately start feeling craving for those guilty treats? Your body is trying to even out the stressors – more stress while working out, therefore your body will look for comfort food to decrease that stress more frequently. Again, once you are aware of that trick that your body can play on you, you can progress more successfully. And, as it was mentioned many times before – you cannot out-exercise a bad diet, so having extra mile run on the treadmill doesn’t give you any permission for that extra slice of pizza. So put it down. Now. B-)
Another factor for our bodies to break down and experience all kinds of disorders and diseases, leave alone stagnation in the gym is excessive exposure to various chemicals that human body never had to deal before with. Water that we drink or bath in. Food that we buy or cook. Air that we breath. Household cleaners. Shampoos and soaps. Toothpastes and body lotions. Lawn fertilizers. Clothes. Gas in the cars. Air fresheners. Medications and pain-killers. Plastic containers, bags and boxes…
The list goes on and on and on. Can be scary, I know. But it is a game of tradeoffs – whether you are comfortable having your body slowly collecting toxins in it and eventually manifesting it with obesity, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease or something else along the lines, OR you keep working on cleaning your life and life of people around you. As for me, I choose second way.
Harsh? Maybe. But it’s something that we owe to ourselves to learn. It’s our responsibility as human beings to learn how make our life worth living. One of the ways is to make your body healthier. Toxicity is such a huge topic, that I will discuss it in greater details in my next blog.