In John Ratey’s book called “Spark”, he discusses the research behind exercise and our brain. It is apparent that our bodies are made to move. When we move, certain neurotransmitters, chemical processes, and hormones get released in the body that develop our brains and muscles. Quite simply, if we don’t move, our bodies don’t have a reason (from a phsyiological standpoint) to work efficiently. Exercise is for EVERYONE. Not just for the people with the perfect pictures on social media. During this blog, I hope to shed some light into why exercise is so much more than a simple behavior change. Exercise has the power to create life transformation from the inside out!
I consider consistency as the overall goal of fitness and nutrition. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about being strict. It’s about being consistent. We need to get rid of the word “successful” in the fitness world. What does successful even mean? Not everyone has to be on magazines, with 6 percent body fat to be successful. If your goal is to lose 5 pounds and you lose 5 pounds, that's successful. If you want to run a mile and you run a mile, you are successful. If your goal is three push ups and you do three push ups then that's amazing! We need to start viewing exercise from a larger more inclusive lens.
Exercise and nutrition are powerful tools that can enhance lives both from a short-term and long-term angle. There is extremely strong evidence to support this claim and most people know that information or at least don’t argue against it. So why is exercise and nutrition so hard to follow on a consistent basis for most people?
To answer that question, I want to ask a question. What’s your why? Why are you on your wellness journey right now? I believe our “why” is directly related to our ability to be consistent. I’ve discussed this idea with a number of people over the last couple years and I believe there is a recurring theme that prevents our ability to stay consistent. I’ve found that people who are focused on external views (what other people think of me) have a hard time staying consistent while people who focus on the internal benefits tend to be more consistent.
When you are concerned with other people’s views, your motivation turns towards “behavior modification”. In other words, I want to change in order to gain approval. When you focus on internal factors, your motivation turns towards “lifestyle transformation.” In other words, I want to change in order to benefit my own life.
Inconsistency feeds off of comparison and outside influences. You will inevitably have lots of ups and downs all your wellness journey (we all do). However, there seems to be significantly less turbulence when you are quiet in your own head. You have a quiet consistency and confidence driven by internal factors. This in turn allows you to enjoy the process and if you can enjoy the process, you have already won!
Spark is after lifestyle transformation not behavior modification. Don't sell the power of wellness short, let consistency play out and enjoy the ride. I want to encourage you to stay true to yourself, forget what people think, and focus on transforming your life. Your best is yet to come!