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5 Things You Never Thought Of To Get A Really Fit Body

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(photo by Duchessa)

You want to be leaner, hotter, happier and healthier right? You want to look sexy, feel confident, and most of all finally fit properly into those skinny jeans? Duh, right – who doesn’t?

Of course you want all of that to happen NOW (if not sooner!) and you’re prepared to do the hard yards. You just know that once you get there you’ll feel more confident and happy in other areas of your life.

You’ll be able to relax more. Enjoy yourself. Heck you’ll probably even be more successful in business. Everything will come together. Everything that you’ve dreamed of, hinging on those pesky extra kilos or still-wobbly bits.

And you will get there. You’re determined. Resourceful. Driven. You are, in fact, Woman Incredible. Just look at all of the stuff you do; the way you juggle. SJP in the movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It” has nothing on you.

Except.

You’ve been trying for a long time now. Working your butt off, eating cleaner than you can ever remember, avoiding toxins, choosing organic foods, taking the odd moment to be grateful, working on your sleep quality and on stress management.

You’re a virtual paragon of health and wellness. A ‘by the book’ success. (Assuming it’s a paleo kind of book of course ;))

So WHY is it still so hard? Why is it still not QUITE working the way you think it should be by now?

I have a theory, and it’s all about what I always say at the end of my posts –

"fit body"
I’ve been using this tagline for 5 years or so now, and it’s still as powerful to me as it was back then.

Because here’s the point. It is really really tough to ever achieve any goal if you have trained your mind to always think about what’s still missing, what you ‘should’ be doing next, what you still have to change.

It’s admirable to plan ahead, but if your inner mantra about your body includes words like ‘if only’, ‘if I just’, ‘I still need to’, ‘when I finally’ … well, you’re screwed. Just a little bit. And likely – you’ll never get ‘there’. Why? Two reasons –

1. Every day, all day, that little voice in your head is telling you that your dream body exists somewhere in the future. So when exactly is this future arriving? Have you set a date? Or is it always going to be just that – the future?

2. You’re so busy worrying about when you’ll finally get everything working for you, that you’re incapable of tuning in to your body’s present needs. The problem with this is that good nutrition, a happy and healthy lifestyle, and even what sort of exercise to do to get a really really fit body depends on you figuring out what works best. You can learn ideas from me or anybody else until the cows come home, but we’re all different. If you only ever play by the rules you’ll never find out if you were accidentally in the wrong game the whole time.

5 Ways Pressing Play And Living NOW Can Get You A REALLY Fit Body

We agree that life is now, yes? And that we want to ‘press play’ on our dreams immediately? So. You have to apply this technique to everything, and it’s particularly relevant to how successful you’ll be at finally getting the body you want.

Let me explain –

1. Know what to eat.

You don’t need a masters in nutrition to get a smokin’ body. Once you have a good understanding of which foods to eat and how to put them together, it’s down to you to LISTEN. When you focus on the now, you get to learn what works for your body. You start noticing when you just ‘know’ you need more protein. Or fats. Maybe even more carbs! When you get to this point you don’t eat just because you think you should, and you don’t eat just what you should. The truth is you have your own personalised nutrition blueprint inside your head, and it’s more specific than what you could ever pay anyone for. And it changes over time.

If you’re not listening because you’re constantly worrying about what you’re not doing right, then you’re basically just gambling that following the latest nutrition rules will work for you on a personal and lasting level.

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(photo by ollycb)

2. Properly prioritise

You’re torn between pushing to fit in that extra training or spending time on your business/career/with your kids. You deviate between thinking you should stay up late preparing healthy food or spending some time just relaxing or maybe even sleeping.

The more I prioritise things that I think will get me in ‘amazing’ shape the more I find myself falling down a slippery slope of forgetting why looking a certain way really matters to me. I’ve had many instances where I’ve found myself putting other areas of my life aside in order to fit in extra training, or foregoing social events as I’m worried about what I’ll be served.

Truly, I don’t think we can have it all (depending on what ‘all’ means to you) – but I also don’t think that making our entirely lives revolve around being clean and fit is a smart idea. My utmost priorities have to do with using my talents (purpose), building quality relationships and memories, and giving value. I want to look good because I feel good when I’m in shape and healthy. I don’t feel good when day after day I’m leaving a cluttered home or business behind in order to stay on top of going to the gym or organic store. So I compromise. Gym sometimes, at home training other times. Batch cooking food but also knowing when it’s fine just to get take out and have a fun and relaxed night with my family.

What really matters to you when all is said and done? Is it checking off your weekly workout plan and eating perfectly, or is it enjoying life and living on purpose? And how can you incorporate all of those things. ‘Pressing play’ is about living your dream life now, which means living according to your ideal or values now, rather than putting it off for when you have time.

And if it can help keep you in better shape as well? Well then it’s certainly worth thinking about.

3. Sleep better

In Charles Poliquin’s most recent post for Woman Incredible he wrote that “sleep is the most under rated element in achieving optimal body composition. Just four days of disrupted sleep will raise your morning blood glucose dramatically“.

I think we all hear this sort of thing (be it sleep, stress management, time for play etc) and we believe it in theory … but there is this constant fear to do with not doing ‘enough’ exercise or not eating just that little bit better, or even just not staying on top of house and computer work and those things seem to win out.

If I let myself sleep in or have an afternoon nap even though I feel good about it I also feel a little bit – naughty. Like I’ve been bunking off. And certainly I’d be less inclined to go around telling people how I spent an hour napping than telling them how I spent the whole day blogging or otherwise working/being ‘productive’.

"fit body"

(photo by Lenscap)

But wouldn’t you say that in general it is easier to achieve things (it comes more naturally) when you feel relaxed and motivated? This morning I actually did let myself sleep in until 11 past 9 (precisely!) and it was the first time this month I haven’t set the alarm for 5.30am. It’s now nearly 1pm and I’m only just starting to ‘do’ anything.

But my motivation is really high, I feel refreshed, I had a great morning with Alyssa and I have absolute none of my usual ‘tired so need coffee/chocolate/comfort) feelings. I also feel happier. All of these things compound over time. Just imagine a life where you mostly always felt refreshed, motivated and raring to go. Would you eat better and find it easier? Would your training be more effective? Would you have less feelings of stress and therefore further manipulate your hormones toward fat loss?

Or would it just be incredibly scary to think of losing control or losing time? The science on hormones says that getting enough sleep keeps us leaner, easier. I say it helps you feel happier and enjoy life more. And that’s a combo worth at least testing.

4. Avoid emotional eating

The points I’m making here are designed to all build on each other.

When you press play on life every single day you make better food choices, you’re able to relax and enjoy life more (and therefore sleep and feel better), and you naturally find yourself prioritising the stuff that ‘actually’ matters to you.

All of this has a domino like effect on the usual stress relief triggers you may turn to.

For me my stress relief go-to over the years has long been food. For many years I had a full-blown eating disorder which came about from so-called ’emotional’ binge eating. But even now, I have to admit that when I feel really stressed or overwhelmed I want to turn to food. Binge eating is more common than you might think, and that’s because it allows us to ‘stuff down’ the stress; to escape at least for that short period of time.

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How quickly could you 'stress eat' these goodies?! (photo by kodakgold)

Logically, when you build habits of eating better, living on purpose and doing things that matter to you, you are less inclined to seek that stress-relief escape. But here’s the thing. Many very driven women who are living ‘on purpose’ and love their lives are also stretched to the max. They are way over scheduled, and have a habit of being unrealistic about how much they can humanly achieve in one day.

Sound familiar?

I know that even as I’m writing this I’m laughing at myself, as it seems that no matter how much I ‘self-develop’ my one weakness is to over commit myself. And then get into a massive panic when I don’t keep up with my own expectations.

What I’m trying really hard to do (and would like to think I’m getting better at!) is to remind myself of the ‘why’ of each thing I do. And realise that a lot of that stuff really is about feeling I need to keep up.

When I let go of the shoulds and musts, what I really want is a happier and more connected life.

And that is something I’m capable of right now, simply by letting go of the need to immediately and perfectly implement every idea I ever think of.

So this point has been very round a bout, but I think you get where I’m coming from.

Let go. Delete some stuff from your list and your life. Trust in yourself to do what really needs to be done, which is the stuff that ties in to who you want to be as a happy and purposeful woman. And that can start right now, today. Less stuff = less stress = less trigger for urgently needing to unwind = at least a good dozen less packets of Tim Tam sales over the year 🙂

5. Feel happier, calmer, in control

It all comes together, doesn’t it? When you think every day – even every moment – about how you can press play right now then you naturally feel happier and more at peace. You realise that the ultimate control is letting go of control; acknowledging that you have no control over most things but that you do have the power to live every day as if it were the last one that truly mattered.

When you make a decision to stop worrying about keeping up, impressing others or even caring what they think then yes you might be judged or perhaps even flounder around being ‘unproductive’ for a period of time but that it doesn’t matter. That the only thing that matters is that you’re true to you.

Which might mean being a gym maniac one week and then barely leaving your house the next. It might mean anally counting calories or protein grams, learning every little thing about nutrition and hormones, or it might mean just making one small change every week or every month. Trusting in the process and also in the fact that letting go of stress and enjoying your life more can in fact give you a hormonal advantage when it comes to getting a really fit body.

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And remember –

Life IS Now. Be sure to Press Play!

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