Aristotle has been quoted as saying; “we are what we repeatedly do”
So much has already been said about bad habits and change we were reluctant to approach the topic especially during these early days of our blogs inception. Nature verses nurture and from there the arguments and confusion build. Can you change? Should you change? Is it all of you that needs changing or just a few things maybe a couple of bad habits? Is change even a relative word with regards to health and fitness?
As trainers the joke ‘no extra charge for the psychobabble’ is common. Session convo often touches on personal issues, more specifically ones dealing with them. While working hard to be fit we come face to face with ourselves, our limits our strengths and yes our mood. As it should be, health and fitness is personal, it can be shared but at heart it is you knowing you.
Are you inclined to either accept responsibility for your fitness or blame things? The factual answer is likely to be neither. We usually feel some level of responsibility for our fitness condition then hit the ignore button and temporarily throw in the towel. Back and forth we go from one hurtful state to the other…yes hurtful. It can be hurtful to our health, both physical and mental as well as hurtful, through the side effects of poor health, to others.
Yes, think how feeling bad about your behavior may come out in your personality. Think about how pretending to be blissfully unaware how your lack of fitness encourages you to cut corners in life. Cutting corners means shortcuts and there are none in fitness. Too often this means trampling across another’s lawn with the notion that you won’t leave a mark. Enough people go about things this way you and everyone grass is all but destroyed. Like all aspects of health threats exacerbated by stress…it’s simply a matter of time and pressure. A numbers game you best not gamble on.
Doom and gloom aside what is our point?
Well we have a luv for the science and history of health and fitness. We surely promote heeding the wisdom built before us. New technology should meet the acid test of comparison to tried and true however progress is unstoppable. Not necessarily good or bad progress mind you, just change…things change with time and pressure. You are changing as you read this. Your body chemistry is designed to give you the sense of homeostasis as best and as long as it can however you are not actually staying the same. Important decisions about later today, later tomorrow and the distal future are being made with or without your wake state input or consent. Which brings us to the hub and essence of this particular post.
The human brain may be your most important organ in the sense that…well if we have to explain, this little article is mute. If your brain is well you have the foundation, if your mind is healthy you have most of what you need to be and stay strong, enduring, comfortable and. The actual combo to deciphering an overwhelming number of nutrition, exercise, health and fitness opinions and options is T-H-I-N-K.
Somewhat trite analogies aside people ‘think’ its so complicated while others ‘think’ it is over complicated, it is neither. This is not the type of thinking we mean that is thinking you already know something and wish it could be a ridged fact. Health and fitness can get complicated because you are a highly complex organism. Humanities understanding of chemistry, biology, physiology etc., contains extreme detail. The saving grace so to speak, is from a systems science standpoint (said three times fast ;n) there is elegance thus useful simplicity to it all. Respect the details and look for proof in the overall health and fluctuations of the forest.
Our last post touched on basic methods to watch for trends. This if you choose to absorb (and you can and should personalize) is where it all starts and ultimately comes back to. Who you are is heavily colored by the non stop interactions of your life. There are patterns in the chaos though ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory ). The ones you may force on things so they might sit still long enough for you to take a breath and deal, aren’t the only ones though. Here is our addition to the topic:
“You were what you repeatedly did” – WeFit
WITW are we psycoblithering about right? Right that is, if you want to make personal sense of that quote you can’t accept or reject it…you must think about it for a moment. Ignoring is a guess and a personal judgment call, if that has worked for you in fitness then have at it.
Taking time to think about something is not giving it power unless you are weak. In fact, you don’t actually need to concern yourself about time or energy to think. Look into the science of the brain and mind for fun…time and energy are far different than we tend to quantify in everyday life.
Fitness of mind supported by body, will always save immense amounts of time as well as conserving all forms of energy. Thinking…and yes including with – through and amongst your feelings is primary. ‘Just do it’ doesn’t mean turn off your brain it means ‘get to it’. Put down the mind puzzle for the moment and experiment with action.
What we are saying is certainly Aristotle was on to something by why stop there? You’ve got to ‘do it’ because you aren’t a fixed in time thing. Rules apply and as Aristotle said “A is A” things have definable characteristics but the combinations and permutations are unimaginably vast. You aren’t actually what you repeatedly do, that is metaphorical. Real everyday practical measurement of ‘you’ can’t be taken that way.
To be completely over the top about the subject consider: modern science and modern mystics are actually agreeing (whether they acknowledge it or not) on a fundamental truth. Everything is in flux all the time. At the smallest scale everything is neither a fixed position particle nor an ethereal wave of undulating energy…it is something which is defined by both and likely more.
Kidding around aside, reality including you – your mind and your body is dynamic not static. You are only part what was born and what you have done. Regardless of what that is:
if you think about who you are as it relates to fitness, rather than how fitness relates to you, things become clearer.
Health thus fitness isn’t about someone out there’s ideas as they relate to you it is about how you relate to your own body and mind. How to eat today is as much a matter of who you are and what you want as what a human needs. What is best, chicken or fish for dinner? Well one is more calorie dense with more EFA’s and the other is easier to manipulate flavor with but who are you? How many calories today thus far? What have you been eating and what are your goals including timeline? What absorbs better for you and how much satiation is sensible at this point…and on and on. It’s not over complicated in practice just personal.
We are not fixed in time anymore than space. If we need to freeze things for a moment to analyze them then think of it this way:
We are an expression of what we have done and who we may wish to be.
So does any of this amateurish waxing philosophic have a practical point?
You bet it does. Hate to put it that way but to actually find your fitness you must think then apply…rinse and repeat. There are no real fixed ‘best’ fitness ideas. When you think, apply and repeat it becomes clear that best is purely contextual. We can give you our best recommendation with what we have to go on at the moment but the more individualized the better the outcome. The idea that an explicit, cleverly sold idea manipulates minds is only applicable to sheeple. Even if you make mistakes you can always change them. You can’t go back because you aren’t what you were then. You can do far more, you can decide and implement with more info and experience than you could…back then.
Certainly regular reinforcement shows benefits as seen with all the pictures, quotes, jokes and such online. Follow, as net lingo says, a good resource and regular snippets can help organize and build fit behavior. Much more importantly though is that we understand that choice always exists. To learn, to know and to alter isn’t painless but what is? Really think about that question…what if anything has zero potential to have some so called pain associated with it? Maybe the pain of change isn’t pain at all. Perhaps it is just a warning to make sure you know what you are doing.
As we can acclimatize to everything from cold temperatures to living in a drastically different culture and circumstance, pain is too simple a term to slap on change. Challenges small medium and great are life itself. It doesn’t take a genius to know that fitness drastically improves life’s success rate at acclimatizing to change. In fact, given decent fitness and thoughtful choices ‘change’ wont even feel or seem unsettling. Change will just be a fluid state where in the big picture there is plenty enough of what really matters staying timeless.
Know you can change and reinforce this by thinking about how you relate to issues of health and fitness.
Ask yourself…more than once: what is your body type, lifestyle, family heritage, history, future hopes, immediate needs? What if anything has worked for you? Why not again? What has changed and how can you adjust along side? Then branch out to input from family and friends and finally acquaintances.
It is amazing what you discover and can benefit from if you ask the right questions. Those familiar with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy know the implied joke of the number ‘42’. If you don’t its worth looking into (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answer_to_The_Ultimate_Question_of_Life,_the_Universe,_and_Everything#Answer_to_the_Ultimate_Question_of_Life.2C_the_Universe.2C_and_Everything_.2842.29).
The point is the right (clear and personal) questions lead to even better ones and provide boundless usable recommendations about how to take care of yourself. We can formulate and calculate with the best of them however the appropriate questions must be asked. What is the best food or best form of exercise is too vague for the answers to be anymore than a crumb of stimulus for real inquiry. When someone notes something about themselves to us it is a good sign. At least then we can start considering implications and get them to aim the mirror more precisely.
Remember and know – while you read to the end of this post (or even if you jumped ahead) you have changed…how is very much in your control.
Be well and share if you care to.