by Dr. Eryn Murphy
Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who has seen nearly every aspect of the health and fitness industry. I’ve been the trainer that wants you in the gym every day (hello job security). I’ve heard the arguments for eating vegan, low fat, low sugar, insert every other fad diet/trend here. The thing is- I firmly believe that health isn’t complicated, and neither is the journey to find it. Truth be told… its ridiculously simple.
I’ve got three nuggets of gold for you. Take them or leave them. But at the end of the day, I hope one thing resonates with you- keep it simple.
Celebrate your body’s ability to move. I love this for two reasons. First of all, the magic to health doesn’t lie in 100lb barbells or running a marathon. It lies in movement. Whatever movement speaks to your soul and doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out… that’s the movement you should be doing. Dancing, running, yoga, walking, swimming, lifting weights, all of the above….it doesn’t matter. Just move a each day! And perhaps more importantly- celebrate your body while you do it! Our bodies are literally designed to move- I have power points, lectures, research, and textbooks to back me up. And that capacity to move is not only accessible to the athletes. Think of movement as a way to thank your body for the way it supports you, not to earn dinner or burn off that snack. Do the movement you love (or at least don’t hate), and then give yourself a little high-five for doing it.
Eat food. The great news about nutrition? There is no single food that will kill you (assuming you have no serious allergies of course), nor is there one single food that will make you live forever. Cut yourself some slack! Eat the food that fuels your body for what you want it to achieve. Find nourishing, nutrient dense foods and then enjoy your dessert. On Monday enjoy your “super foods” smoothie because it sounds delicious and then on Tuesday enjoy that Nutella toast because today THAT sounds delicious (full transparency- the Nutella toast is my favorite). Calories? Those give you energy. They aren’t scary or dangerous. They are literally the fuel your body requires for survival. Carbs? Delicious and necessary. Fats? Delicious and necessary. Protein? Delicious and necessary. Dessert? Delicious and necessary… see the trend?
All health matters. Physical health matters. But so does mental health. On those days all you can muster the energy to do is lay on the couch and watch Schitts Creek for the 4th time? Your body needs rest…soak in the cozy. On the day that going to the gym seems to people-y, but your body feels ready to move and groove? You can go for a walk instead. On date night when you desperately want the burger with extra French fries- please hear my enthusiasm when I say EAT THAT BURGER!!! Physical health should not be at the expense of mental health. If the journey for physical health is exhausting, boring, miserable? You’re doing it wrong. I promise, when you honor your mental health as much as your physical health, your healthiest body will show up for you in ways you’d never expect.
So when it comes to fitness? Go move your body in a way that satisfies your soul. When it comes to nutrition? Eat the food that sounds delicious and the food that gives you nutrients. When it comes to health? Don’t forget about the mental health too. Take if from me.