When I was a kid and we watched Record Breakers, a programme about Guinness world record attempts, the theme song sang ‘Dedication’s what you need; if you wanna be the best and you want to beat the rest, dedication’s what you need’!
What’s the most important thing to keep us healthy? A little willpower, some knowledge, but overall, a lot of dedication to being as healthy as possible every single day.
It’s been mentioned to me before, ‘But what you do just seems like hard work, I could never do it’ or ‘you’re very lucky’. I’m neither lucky nor is my lifestyle hard work. My genes are average and I’ve been three sizes bigger than I am now. I used to be sporty in my childhood and teen years and I guess that gave me an advantage in some ways and I was born in the 70s when we climbed trees and rode our bikes and played outside, rather than being stuck looking at a screen.
I now choose to eat well 95%+ of the time because it makes me feel better. I’ve felt very crap in my life with thyroid issues, so I’m very keen to have energy, drive and lack of brain fog. I also know it makes me healthier now and in the long run. Yes, I know what to eat, but this has been acquired knowledge and I help people every day understand the correct way of eating and living. As for ‘hard work’ or ‘I could never do it’, well we all have to eat, I choose to eat correctly. Yes, training in the gym is hard work sometimes, but I’ve never regretted a workout and it’s usually fun! I schedule the time in my day and I do it. I have developed the discipline to not make excuses. I have non negotiables in my days. Yes, I faff and procrastinate like the best of us, but I try and keep it to a minimum, to not overthink and to just get on with it.
I am also driven. What gets me out of bed in the morning? To be the best at what I do. To be the best so that I can help people be their best, so that they can be fitter and healthier.
If I didn’t have the discipline to eat, live and train correctly, not only would my body break down and I’d get sick again but my clients would suffer, my relationships would suffer. It’s the same for everybody else; if you are not your best then relationships, work etc suffer too.
Sometimes the power of a familiar destructive habit has greater power over people than a lif -giving habit. Fear of the unknown can only be overcome by a strong will and wanting to do better. Until that moment is reached, the answers to regaining health and vitality are out of reach. There is a better path to take. The choice is ours; to remain attached to old familiar habits, or to venture out into unfamiliar territory and seek the help and counsel needed to effect positive change.
All functions of our lives are bound together, when the mind is down the body follows and vice versa. When the spirit is high, both the mind and body follow.
Which path do you choose?
Ally van de Pol is a Personal Trainer, Pain-Free Performance Specialist, Healing Diets Coach and Naturopath-in-Training.