Monday, August 29, 2011

Ask yourself this...How fit are you?

I had my grand son over the weekend and just enjoyed him. I ate what I wanted and I did not train or do any cardio at all....thus the increase in my weight. My goal this week is 129 on the scale, however, chances are slim to none that I will see that due to the fact that my TOM is 2 days away and I am behind in my training. I am so looking forward to my depletion training this evening.

I got a chance to visit all day with all of my daughters and my grandchildren on Sunday. My last blog I posted a picture of my little man and now here is a picture of little mama

I took this picture yesterday. She is 4 months old and a bundle of joy. This baby actually belly laughs and it is sooooo funny. She is having one of her belly laughing moments.

I did not log all my nutritional stats during the weekend. Suffice it to say that I had a less than stellar weekend nutrition wise. I ate over in my carbs as well as fat. I was somewhat shocked at the scale...I did not expect to be in weight by 8 pounds, but then I realized that I my TOM is right around the corner. What surprised me was that I did not look like I was holding that much water...or I looked pretty lean in the mirror...not as lean as Friday, but lean. My guess would have been 136 pounds. Oh well.

I read the following article by Scott Able that hit really home for me. Here it is.....

How the Definition of “Fitness” Leads to Yet Another Reality Check for You!

At many of my workshops we begin the session with a basic question, and you can try this one yourself. Right now, off the top of your head, write down what you have learned to be the true definition of "fitness." Not what it means to you, and not as a personal mission statement either; simply define the term "fitness" as you know it, then come back and read the rest of this. Please go do this first.

Now, I usually use this exercise as a fundamental illustration of the paradigm blindness that exists in the industry. Almost everyone who does this exercise the first time receives a failing grade. Why? Because they cannot define fitness in real terms outside of their own industry bias. I will give you an example below. But it occurred to me just how ironic the true definition of "fitness" is, in light of the types of emails I receive and the level of struggles many of my clients endure. So let’s get into it here. But first, let me ask: are you even ready to let go of your industry bias, in regards to the definition of "fitness," in order to learn a greater, but sadder, truth?

In these workshops, before I get people to write down their definition of the term “fitness,” I give them this example: let’s say we have an author in our presence - a true, best-selling, prolific, career author. This author smokes several cigarettes while writing, and he writes for several hours each day. He admits to taking a few breaks and enjoying a “scotch neat” to relax him to keep writing. He gets no exercise at all and pays little attention to his diet. Question: is this person “fit?” Use your own definition of fitness you wrote out above to answer this question.

I will tell you in advance that most of you will be wrong in your assumption - and why? Because you’ve been led to believe something about “fitness” that is incomplete at best, untrue at worst.

I submit to you that this author is as fit or more fit than many of you who are passionately involved in the fitness industry and I will outline why below. This may be a painful pill for many of you to swallow. But if you don’t get defensive and react to this statement, you may have an “ah-ha” moment of truth and awareness by the time you finish this article/lecture. Some of you will get it, some of you won’t; and some of you will live in denial of it. But here is the truth about fitness you should consider:

How is it an author who sits at a desk and thinks and writes all day, smokes cigarettes, enjoys some hard liquor and gets no exercise or addresses his nutritional needs – how can he possibly be defined as “fit”? And how can Scott Abel suggest he may in fact be “more fit” than people who exercise, move around, pay attention to their diets, etc.? Well, here goes:

The Definition of Fitness

The most unbiased definition of fitness is this: “Fitness is the ability to meet the demands and vicissitudes of daily life, with relative ease, with some extra energy available for emergencies or unexpected situations.” This is the unbiased general and true definition of what fitness reflects in and of people. How does our author fair then? Well, if he has no physical issues from sitting and writing day in and day out, then he is fit. He is able to meet the “daily demands and expectations of his life, with relative ease.” He doesn’t need to be able to pass a cardio stress test to be fit for his life or in his life. But there is more.

The Triangle of Awareness

Most of you whom tried to define “fitness” above get a failing grade (unless you’ve attended one of my workshops) because you only entertain one dimension of the definition of the term. “Fitness,” however, does not solely exist in the physical realm. What about the aspects, of mental, emotional and dare I even say spiritual fitness? These are, after all, components of total fitness. So, in the three-dimensional sense, I submit to you, that our hypothetical author is more fit than many of you whom consider yourselves to be fit, but are in fact NOT.

I think of competitors who become so consumed with contest day that their level of mental and emotional fitness not only suffers, but is crushed. Remember the definition of fitness is "the ability to meet the daily demands of life with ease, while having energy to spare." And this definition holds in both the mental and emotional realms as well. Competitors exhaust themselves to the point of emotional and mental apathy. They have no "energy to spare" for anything else in their life. They are "unfit" and "not fit" by this real and true definition of the term. You add in the effect of metabolic damage or metabolic burnout, and then even what began as a pursuit of physical fitness is thwarted in the competitive experience.

By comparison, our author example above is looking more "truly fit" in real terms. Remember that I said this author is a career author and quite prolific, meaning he “produces,” constantly and consistently, quality material. How productive is our dieted competitor in life, by comparison? This author can mentally, emotionally and physically meet the demands of his daily life with ease. He is fit. His life does not go on hold for 3-4 months as he crushes his overall total fitness via punishing his mind, body, and spirit in another realm. Therefore he is much more fit than the average physique competitor.

And you don’t need to compete to fail the fitness definition. Many people are writing me lately having tried an internet guru’s new diet on the net. They have crashed and are not only gaining weight but suffering mentally and emotionally as well from another failed diet. Well, I’m sorry, but on the finishing end of a diet regimen shouldn’t you feel better rather than worse, physically, mentally, and emotionally? Another failed grade, only this time it's not so much because you failed the diet, but because the diet failed you.

Yes, our hypothetical author’s fitness level is looking better to me all the time. Are you getting the irony of all of this?

Let’s Get into It Then!

Some people view the pursuit of fitness as just another life stressor to add to their day. They pile their fitness goals and ideas on top of their “to do” list. Therefore it is not “freeing” as an experience, but imprisoning. The pursuit of a diet and training regimen as a “fitness” indicator is supposed to be in harmony with your life, not separate from it. A diet and fitness regimen is not an external to measure yourself by; it should be a means of self-nourishing to help you be better at everything you do. Your training and dieting “fitness regimen” should provide a means to both put more into your life and still get more out of it as well. That is what fitness means, folks. So ask yourself the honest and yet ironic question: is my diet and fitness pursuit leading me to be able to meet the daily demands of my life with ease? Pretty simple question.

What is your truly honest answer?

We need to address the elements of what fitness is supposed to be contributing to your life. Now, read below, and rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the greatest) on how your fitness pursuits (including diet and training) are leading to you meeting the true definition of the term. Remember, while assessing the points below, ask yourself the question in terms of your mental, emotional, and physical “ability to meet the demands of everyday life.” Consider how your diet and fitness pursuits contribute to these Fitness Indicators.
I have a sense of longevity, a happier, healthier life and lifestyle
I live happier because of my diet and exercise pursuits
I have better, more sustainable energy
I am now much more comfortable with myself because of my diet and training regimen
I am a much more focused person now, in all aspects of my life, both mentally and emotionally
Because of my diet and training regimen I have much greater self-esteem
Because of my diet and training regimen I fit into nicer clothes, all the time
Because of my diet and training regimen I am much more confident

You don’t even have to “rate” the above points on a scale of 1-10. You can just answer yes or no to these fitness indicators. How “fit” are you looking now, in terms of real and true three-dimensional fitness?

Are you now, having considered all of the bullet points above, "more fit" as a result of pursuing your "fitness lifestyle"? If not, then something is wrong here. And if you have a coach and still are scoring low on these indicators, then you need to fire that person!

Look at these above bullet points again and what they speak to. Your fitness and diet pursuits are supposed to be empowering to your life. They should be enhancing your self-awareness and body-awareness. They should not be making you more body-image conscious. AND SHAME ON THOSE COACHES WHOSE FEEDBACK TAKES AWAY THE FORMER AND INSTILLS THE LATTER. Fire them already!

Since when did how you look and how you feel get turned upside down with regards to the definition of “fitness”?

You need to ask yourself in terms of the bullet points (the fitness indicators) above, and in terms of the definition of fitness being “an enhanced ability to meet the daily demands of life with ease.” Is my life better, and am I more fit, because of my pursuit of the fitness lifestyle and my diet and training regimen? Many of you will find you are actually in poorer mental and emotional fitness than when you began. How upside down and backwards is that?

You need to be able to do a quick check list that enlightens the difference between what a diet and training pursuit is adding to your life and what it is taking away from it. For instance, choose yes or no for each of the following bullet points:
I have a fitness routine that works for me, mentally, emotionally, physically (Yes/No)
I have an eating plan that works for me mentally, emotionally, physically (Yes/No)
I feel results from my “fitness” pursuits, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually (Yes/No)
I see the results, in my life, and for my life, from my diet and training regimen- mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually (Yes/No)

Remember, the true definition of "fitness" is "the ability to meet the demands and vicissitudes of daily life with ease, with extra energy to spare if needs be." This definition applies to your life mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, not just physically. This three-dimensional definition of fitness leads to wellness. True fitness is the key foundation for all aspects of triumph in your life, and for your life. Our hypothetical author above is “fit.” Are you?

How “fit” are you looking now? As fit or more fit than our author example above?

It strikes me as incredibly ironic, moronic, and even sad, that when viewed this way, a simple look at the definition of fitness shows how unfit many people become by compartmentalizing the fitness pursuit into the realm of training and diet only at the expense of everything else being "better."

And more's the pity that the coaches and trainers who get away with reinforcing this “unfit” and “not fit” element of focus back onto their clients! Life-fitness, folks, is about a whole hell of a lot more than how you fit your diet and training. It should be about how well your diet and training fits you! (And yes, I use the word "fit" here deliberately)

Coaching should be about coaching people, and seeing their needs and empowering them in process. The process “IS” the result.

So again, I ask the question, "how fit are you" because of your pursuit of diet and training? Is your life enhanced?

Some of you will get it, many of you will not.

But my hope is this serves as a huge wake-up call, especially for those of you whom actually pay other people to reinforce upon you a diet and training emphasis at the expense of an ability to meet with ease the daily demands of your life mentally, emotionally, and physically, rather than empowering your ability to do so!

A focus on externals like dieting and training, at the expense of internal subjective experience, is a travesty, not a skill set.

And so, let the bomb throwing begin.

I plan to blog about my thoughts on this blog as it pertains to me tomorrow. I have been doing some deep soul searching after reading this article.

Until tomorrow...... God willing that is.
-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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