What is the truth in fitness?
The truth is we must eat plant-strong whole foods to be healthy. The more whole foods we eat, the less we have to think about counting calories. If we eat more than we burn, we store it as fat. That’s truth, that’s biology.
What we eat matters as much, if not more than, how much we eat. Processed foods, processed fats, and manufactured sugars all play a role in wrecking our brain chemistry, our metabolism, our endocrine system, our immune system and our cardiovascular health. Frankenstein foods, as they are called, are not healthy for our body, mind or spirit. The truth is it’s best if they are limited.
We must move our bodies. Women over forty will begin losing muscle rather quickly without consistent strength training. This affects posture, core strength, balance, back health and joint health. We also need to lift for stress relief, mental health and a feeling of empowerment. It can be difficult to have pain we didn’t use to have, or lose the ability to do things we used to do. Lifting weights gives back that sense of I can do it.
We need to walk. The truth is we need to walk in our appropriate heart rate zone almost every day to get healthy and stay healthy. Becoming a lifelong walker is one of the best things you can do for your health and your life. It not only strengthens your body and works your cardiovascular system; it burns fat for fuel, balances brain chemistry, relieves depression and anxiety, reduces stress chemicals in your body and it makes you look and feel fabulous.
We need to drink enough water, get good sleep, say no when we want to, say yes to what is important to our long term well-being, and create a daily practice of all the things that keep us rooted in the truth and knowing who we are. Things like meditation, prayer, music, dance, and anything else that feeds our spirit.
What is grace in fitness?
Grace says it is OK to take this journey imperfectly. It is OK to try and try again. Grace says you do not need to have a perfect record to be successful. You can blow it and start again. You can have good days and bad days. You can melt down, get mad, cry. It is OK. You always deserve a second chance.
Grace says you don’t have to be a certain speed, or be able to lift a certain amount of weight. You can be any size, shape, and body type and still be fit, beautiful and fabulous. You can take time for you, without any weight loss goal at all. You can stop dieting and love yourself right where you are, because you are already good enough and already accepted.
Grace in fitness can heal your heart. When all the comparisons come up and you just don’t feel good about yourself that day, grace can turn that around and help you see yourself authentically, without judgment. When it seems like you’ve been working hard but not getting anywhere, or when it feels like the hole you’ve dug for yourself is too deep to ever get out of, grace will come along with just what you need in that moment to move forward. It might come in a word of encouragement at just the right time, or a shared understanding with someone who is struggling with the same things you are.
It is both. Truth and grace.
What I love about truth is it lets me know what to do. It helps me define my path. What I love about grace is it lets me know that I don’t have to do things perfectly. It helps me get back on the path whenever I need. If you get unbalanced with truth, you have lots of rules to follow and spend a lot of time beating yourself up. If you get unbalanced with grace, you may not hold yourself accountable to do what needs to be done. There is a wonderful balance to be experienced when you are willing to invite both on your journey.
The truth will set you free. And grace, well, it’s amazing.