"Strive for health, not abs..." Guest Editor Chloe Cleland.
While there is no harm in wanting to work towards an aesthetics driven goal, whether that be wanting to build muscle or lose weight, there is some level of danger with being driven purely by the pursuit of an ‘ideal body’. Sorry to burst your bubble but what you see on social media is NOT an accurate representation and only fuels the pursuit of idealised ‘fit aesthetics’.
The perfect lighting, fresh tan and perfectly angled pose all help to curate a perfect social media pic. Don’t base your goals around what you see and say I want to look like… because I can almost always guarantee that that idealised standard is not real world and certainly not sustainable.
Comparison can quickly become toxic. Setting unrealistic standards, striving for perfectionism and almost self-sabotaging from the start.
Instead flip that mindset to a feeling or performance-based goal:
I want to feel… ‘fit, strong, healthy’...
I want to be able to… ‘run around with my kids without losing my breath, lift heavier, or do 10 push ups’…
Through altering your approach, you remove the self-inflicted overarching pressure of trying to become what you’ve been conditioned to believe is the pinnacle of #health. Instead, it leaves room for you to focus on and fall in love with the process of becoming the best version of yourself. It’s you vs you! You’ll fall in love with the process, become addicted to feeling your healthiest and smashing PB’s!
Focus on where you are currently at. Bit by bit your actions begin to compound. Nothing needs to change overnight. It’s about integrating healthy changes into your lifestyle until before you know it, you’re doing the things you once found difficult without even noticing.
Top tips for creating sustainable healthy habits:
- Find a form of exercise you LOVE. This may take some trial and error but once you find a form of training that works for you it won’t feel like a chore and you’ll find yourself genuinely excited to train.
- Make it habitual. Every little action compounds. Start to gradually integrate daily healthy routines into your life until you find yourself doing them without even noticing. Start small and gradually add on with additional habits / lifestyle swaps.
- Don’t restrict / demonise. Factor the things you love into a balanced lifestyle. Leave room to enjoy and live your life.
- Work at it every day and stay consistent. It takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit and even longer to break old ones. It won’t always feel easy but it’s on the days when you push through regardless, that things really start to change.
Based in Melbourne, Chloe is a trainer at @fkit.melb and studying a Bachelor of Nutrition with a passion for healthy living!