Fitness and Health is not a number on a scale.

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Health and Fitness appears to me as the state of complete mental, physical and social well-being, and the ability to meet the demands of the environment to live a positive, productive and enjoyable life. 

Lately I feel like I am being bombarded with fitness pictures on social media. My Instagram feed is slowly becoming a display of slender, super sculpt and zero percent fat body parts. While I have nothing against those fitness accounts (hence why I follow them) I can start to feel I am putting a lot of pressure on my own self and I am being overly self-critical when It comes to my physical appearance. I used to make the mistake of associating a defined stomach to someone who is healthy and fit. Which in fact, is true, they are fit. That person has worked hard and followed a strictly healthy diet to achieve those results. My point is that someone not having a perfectly toned abdominal area, does not mean they are not healthy and/or fit. I am writing this post because someone told me they can't feel confident with themselves unless they lose a few extra kilos and become fit and healthy. 

Fitness and health is not defined by centimetres or kilograms. You are not your weight. You are not that number on the measuring tape. Losing a few extra kilos won't make you instantly happy with yourself. Yes, it might give you that extra boost of confidence you were looking for, but it won't make you happier, more worthy or better. It won't make you a better person. The person you are now is already beautiful. You just need to take a hard look and appreciate that. Find the good qualities you possess, those ones that make you wonderful and unique. Don't point at your flaws or weaknesses, you will bring yourself down if you do that. Be happy and thankful with what you have and who you are. Let yourself love yourself. Here are some things you can do that might help:

Firstly, learn to love yourself. I know it seems cliché, but if you don't love yourself you can't expect others to do it for you. Find those things that make you special, those things you are good at. It doesn't matter if they are little, they define the person you are and who you've become. Whether you are always kind to others, grateful and honest, or if you can sing or make the best pancakes in the country. Whatever it is that shines through you. If you keep focusing on the good things in your character you won't leave space for negative thoughts to come in and bring you down. You are you, and that's something special. 

Now that you have complimented yourself, try to compliment others. Tell a friend how much you care about them, or how nice they look today. Smile to a stranger, who knows? you might make their day. Nowadays it's easy, just send a nice text to someone you haven't spoken in a while. Doing good feels good.

You are what you eat. Therefore, the more natural, unprocessed foods you eat, the better. It does not mean you can't enjoy an unhealthy treat every now and then. That bag of crisps or that donut with sprinkles won't kill you; sometimes it will ease that craving. Just have them in moderation. 
Remember we are a "bunch" of cells constantly replacing each other and they nurture themselves with the foods and vitamins you eat. Packaged and processed foods won't give your cells the same vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as fresh and natural foods will do. You can still enjoy that plate of pasta. Just make it yourself. Play with your food! Chuck as many different veggies as you like in a bowl and make a rainbow salad. Make your food look pretty on your plate and take a snap before you eat it (like I did in the photo above :P). Eating good healthy foods will make you feel more energized, active and you will get a more positive view of everything. 

It's good to do things for others, but try to be selfish sometime in the day. Find that "you" time to do anything that makes you happy and fulfilled. It can be anything. Going for a walk, enjoying a relaxing cup of tea, reading a book, listening to music, having a nice and warm bubble bath, going for a swim, watching a movie... whatever it is that makes your own self happy. 

At last, but not least. Don't forget to move! Whether it is that you like: running, swimming, dancing or cycling… Just move your body. Stay active. All of us have busy lives, but even if its thirty minutes a day it will help you release endorphins and they will give you that extra boost and you will be in a better mood. 

And remember to SMILE because life isn't that serious :)

I wish you a very happy day,

Laura x

 

Running Therapy

I like running. Now I do. But I remember when the thought of me slipping on a pair of running shoes and throwing myself on the road to start running would seem very unlikely.

"Why do people run? What do they get from it? Don't they get tired? What's a good speed to run at? Where do I run? What shoes do I need? What do they think of when they run? Do they do it everyday?"  ...  " I can´t run. I was never the best at P.E. anyway. Oh wow, but I sweat too much. My face is gonna go red. I will get tired. I am not fit. Running is not for me... let's leave it for the professionals or people who have been doing it for their whole life".

Those were the questions I would ask myself and some of the excuses I would give to keep me away from even trying to go for a jog.

It was in 2010. Yes.. I would say that year I did my first proper run (if I can give it that name!). I happened to be in Sydney at that time. The weather was nice and warm and I was at home with so many things in my head. I still don't know what made me do it, but I was listening to a catchy summer song and I felt the need to get out and MOVE!. Probably it was the heat, or there was something in my breakfast that day... haha! -Kidding- That was it, without thinking about it, I grabbed the first pair of shorts I could get a hold of, a probably too-old-to-be-worn sports bra and a random T-shirt. Then... I grabbed my good old pair of Reebook Easy Tone (those shoes us girls used to be crazy about because they would get us fit and tone our legs and bum on our way to the shops! wooooop). Now, thanks to being part of Nike and living a daily life surrounded by trainers and runners I know those were NOT the ideal shoes to run in, but at that time I had no clue.  

I didn't even know what to take with me. I grabbed water, my phone, keys, a banana, a TOWEL!!!!, headphones and I still thought I was forgetting something. Obviously I couldnt even grab all that stuff properly, so I left mostly everything and only took my Phone (for the music you know :P) and my keys. 

I reemember I didn't even know how to start running I thought "Am I supposed to run as if I were to catch a bus?". so I think I started running at not a very recommendable pace for a very beginner like me. I enjoyed it for the first little bit - the breeze, the sun on my skin, the catchy tones I was listening to, the cute park close to Darling point, the smell of summer...- Then I started to overthink, I couldn't even breathe, I started to get hot, red and sweaty. I stopped at what it seemed a decent distance for a first run. I looked at my phone to check how long i did it for. Was it going to be 15min? 20? 30 maybe??... 7! 7 minutes. I only did 7 minutes and I felt as if I was going to die at any moment. I felt like I failed at it and I walked home thinking I would never do that again. 

The next day I went for another run. 

And the next.

And the next too.

And the following...

And before I could realise (it did take me months to be honest) the Nike+ Running app was on my top 5 Apps being used on my iPhone. I wasn´t fast, but I was stronger. I had more self discipline, I was healthier, I felt less tired, I started craving healthier foods, drinking more water regularly, I was...

H A P P I E R !

So to answer my own questions... People run to free their minds, to get out there and have some time with their own selves, to be healthier, happier, stronger, to achieve goals, to have fun./ They DO get tired, they do want to stop, They think of giving up... they just decide not to./ There is no right pace to run at. Run at your own comfortable pace, a speed that doesn't affect your breathing, a speed that let's you enjoy your run. Run faster when you feel like it, and run slow whenever you want./ Can't talk for everyone, but I think of so many random things when I run... or sometimes I think of nothing at all. It depends on how I am feeling. / They run when they feel like it. As often as they want. It can be everyday, every week or every month. It's entirely up to you.

There's no big leaps, only tiny little steps. Be consistent and don't give up, stay positive and you'll get there. Whether it's running or any other life goal you want to pursuit. 

You are good enough to get there!

Laura xx

Shoes: Nike Free Run 3 - Hot punch reflective silver sol volt