When it comes to creating a healthy, balanced approach to life, your body and your optimal health, the ‘All or Nothing’ mentality just don’t seem to work for everyone. What I have learnt and observed through working with many Pilates clients, is that taking a wholistic and realistic approach to being healthy is where I have seen outstanding results. Learning to love yourself and deciding to nourish yourself daily with food and movement is what can transform your life. – I have had the privilege of walking with many clients as they have improved their life by learning to be intuitive and listening to their bodies. Getting in touch with what their bodies need nutritionally, and also how to move to feel strong, flexible and connected.
So often, I hear people tell me that they have decided to become healthy. They have signed up to fitness programs and eating plans with the goal of getting fit and losing weight. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is great!
Just ask yourself these 3 questions to give yourself the best environment to win.
- Look at your weekly commitments and realistically check if you can add your workout times without other areas of your life falling apart. Maybe you could re arrange some things for a season, or reduce your commitments so you can focus on your health for a time.
- Another area to look at is the timeframe you have set yourself for your goals. Be realistic and give yourself time to change habits. Allow yourself grace and don’t be too harsh on yourself if you over indulge one day, or miss a workout. Just reset and start again the next day.
- What is right for your body? Some people do well at running, others just don’t! But just because it works for one person, doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for you. Take into consideration what you enjoy, any injuries that need special care, and the people you have around you to inspire and train you.
You don’t have to be in pain and unable to walk the day after your workout to feel that you’ve given it your all. Pushing yourself so hard, that your body suffers can take you backwards not forwards. It’s about finding a balance. Feeling the work you’ve done in your body, without injury is what I aim for. Always remember that Pilates can be hard, but it shouldn’t hurt. On days when I feel like pushing myself, I will work up a sweat, and my legs will wobble as I come down the stairs of the studio. But there are other days, I sense I need to move more gently and stretch. I haven’t cheated on these days, or taken the easy route, it’s just learning to know what your body needs.
So really, what does listening to your body really mean? It all sound quite mystical! For me, this means noticing if I feel tight and responding to that by doing exercises that will release that tightness in my hips or back.
Listening to your body can also mean being aware of how much sleep I had the night before and responding to what you feel like doing. Is a walk better for you today?
How I exercise can even depend on the weather. Some days feel like there is more energy, like a bright, crisp Autumn morning. Even the time of day can effect how I feel like moving. After a busy day of running around with lots of appointments, I just need a gentle flow of movement with less to think about and more breath work.
If these things are not considered, it’s easy to feel disappointment. You feel as though you haven’t achieved your goals, that you are a failure, or that once again your wholehearted attempt to turn your life around has failed.
This doesn’t have to be case! Really – be kind to yourself. Take steps, everyday, to nourish and love yourself. I truly believe it’s the little choices, the small decisions that add up to ‘make you healthy’.