My view, as both a holistic coach and a human being, is that being healthy, both physically and mentally, is critical to happiness and success.
I know many people who have great careers, happy families, fantastic homes and life is still a challenge for them. Some of them get out of breath walking up the stairs to get to their bedrooms, others have trouble sleeping because of excess weight gain, many more hate looking at themselves in the mirror because they do not like what they see. Being comfortable and accepting of your physical self is very important. It is not about being good looking, or photogenic. It is about loving and looking after yourself and knowing that you are fit and healthy and proud of what you are physically.
Our modern world has created such a personality cult around physical perfection that it is easy to just give up if you are not one of the chosen few with the right genetic combination to fit the current ‘good looking’ fad, believe me I know!
I also know that when I eat good food, exercise every day, meditate each morning and write a journal that I feel better about who I am. I think clearer, I am a better father and husband, a more productive employee or consultant, a more engaged friend and generally a more positive influence on my environment.
We can complicate this equation with studies, expensive programs and allow the industry that is centred on wellness, fitness and food to take over. The alternative is to engage a friend, a partner or if this is not possible a supportive coach to help you make changes to the way that you live.
My philosophy is that this needs to be about ‘Boiling the Frog’. You see if you put a frog into a pot of cold water and heat that pot gradually on the stove the frog will not notice the increase in temperature and eventually will die in boiling water. The point here is not that I advocate boiling frogs alive, or killing things slowly but rather that making gradual, incremental changes to life is the best way to effect meaningful and long lasting change. The ‘big bang’ approach with makeovers, sudden exercise or diet fads, new clothes etc etc is doomed to fail because the mental change needed to live life differently takes time.
We only live once and it seems a terrible shame that so many of us will end up living out lives that are perhaps 60% of what they could be.
Do some form of exercise everyday. It does not matter if this is walking, running, Yoga or a gym class. Just be more active. Our bodies are designed to be active and it is amazing what happens when we do what our bodies are designed for. Be honest with yourself when you think you are doing exercise, a raised heart rate and potentially some sweat is a good sign that you are making your body work the way it was designed to!
Tim is a Speaker, Executive Coach and Pragmatic Leadership Expert who works with individuals and organisations on delivering results and being more effective. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.timothykitching.com.