What about Mental Health?

I don’t believe that all health and fitness plans fail because of a lack of willpower. This idea that we are too lazy to get off the sofa to do a HIIT session or don’t have the time to cook doesn’t sit with me. It is a simplistic view and masks a much bigger problem.

My view, is that many (not all) fitness and nutrition plans fail, not because we lack will power, our lives are too busy or because we’re lazy, but because of our emotional and mental health.

Putting on a face, doing what is expected of you at work and socially, requires a lot of energy. Some of us might not even be aware that something is not quite right within us, which is perhaps when we look to a diet and exercise overhaul – change the outside and the inside will follow.

 

Almost every magazine, social media influencer, personal trainer and nutritionist perpetuates this idea. No wonder we think that getting beach body ready will solve our problems – it’s EVERYWHERE.

 

Before I start on a fitness and diet plan with a client, we have an open and honest talk about what’s going on for them:

  • Relationships: are they heard and valued?
  • Career: are they satisfied?
  • Spirituality: how important is that to them, are they in touch with it?
  • Stress: coping mechanisms, how do they react?

 

These are the real issues, and why good intentions fail. When you ignore the niggling unhappy feeling and throw yourself into a grueling fitness and diet plan, you can’t cope. Something has to give, and usually it’s your new routine. Cue you feeling miserable, berating yourself, before jumping back on the bandwagon vowing to be more strict and ruthless than before

 

We need to get the fundamentals in check if we want to make life long changes.

 

If we continue to ignore what’s really blocking us, then of course obesity and diabetes are going to get worse. How can we possibly choose the gym over the couch when we are weighed down by problems we are not talking about?

 

There’s a reason for the saying “A problem shared is a problem halved”.

If you’re not blessed with people or a person you trust, or if you’re battling something dark, then do see a psychotherapist, counsellor or life coach.

Being heard without interruption or judgment is invaluable and it might just save you.

Who knows, you might get into a regular fitness routine at the same time.

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