Hey guys! It’s a beautiful day here in Calgary – it’s windy and crisp feeling but the sun is shining through big clouds and change is in the air: After 44 years in power, the conservative party is out in Alberta after last night’s provincial election and the New Democratic Party is in. Regardless of your thoughts on the results, it’s a historic election and change is on it’s way. More big news from last night: the Flames didn’t give up and came through with a win in overtime against the Ducks in round 2 of the playoffs! THAT was exciting, even if we were just gathered around the radio listening and hoping for the best – it was electrifying! So fun to be in a playoff team’s city.
Lastly, our church has a new pastor! We went to the member meeting for church last night to vote on the candidate, James Paton, who pastors an international church in Amsterdam currently. We’ve heard him preach a few times and he ended up being voted in by 96%! I’m so excited to see what God is going to do in our city, our hearts and those who are hurting around Calgary and seeking answers in life through James. (Welcome (back) to Calgary!)
It’s something from that last point that prompted this post idea in my brain… People had a chance to email questions to the (now lead) pastor-to-be and ask in person at the meeting, and although I can’t quite remember the question itself, I do remember James’ answer:
I want to be more known for what I’m for than what I’m against.
This is his goal for the church too – to be known for the things we stand for and not for the things we stand against.
It immediately resonated with me and got me thinking…as a woman, a Christian, an athlete, a personal trainer, a wife, and daughter, a friend: What am I known for?
As we all know, there is so much information online about how to train and also how NOT to train. There’s people doing IIFYM or IF and people telling you that both approaches are wrong. There’s consistently information on both sides of the track and sometimes the message is “don’t eat this, don’t eat that, don’t train that way, don’t rest like that,” etc.
On the fitness side of things, I’m definitely in the camp of:
– Do what’s effective for your body and goals, prioritizing sleep and recovery while still challenging yourself.
– Do what you enjoy (okay – there are times you have to do movements you don’t love, like the Sotts Press which is mentioned in this article. Sounds terrible but I have to try it!).
– Keep learning and have fun!
You want to lose weight and think cardio in the form of running is the only way? Don’t stress yourself out by being a runner if it’s hard on your knees and you don’t enjoy it. There are plenty of other forms of cardio you can get in! Are you going after the long, lean muscle look of Gweneth Paltrow? I’m not going to tell you that’s wrong and you need to look like a CrossFit girl instead. In other words, there’s more than one way to skin a cat – isn’t that great?!
In terms of nutrition, my views have shifted and changed since I first started training in 2008. Although I haven’t “dieted” before (in terms of trying Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, etc), my approach at times was more restrictive and focused on “burning off foods” with jumping jacks or burpees before bed and heading out a run the next day after an indulgent meal. I didn’t think it was unhealthy, but my actions showed an improper relationship with food at the time. Now? Moderation 365, baby! It works for me, and I do think that for most people it’s a great long-term approach to eating and living.
So why do I spend time going over my views on nutrition and training with you again? Because I’m reassessing what I’m known for. Is it the tips I give on this blog to avoid weight gain or get the most out of your food’s nutrition and the experience of eating? Am I known for the things I tell people NOT to do in the gym or for the encouraging others to find what works for them and do that well and consistently? Hopefully, in both cases, the latter.
I asked Troll while down in LA with 2XU if I should be following a training plan (Paige just wrote a great post on this!). I wondered about my gains in the gym and what I could be missing out on in terms of leaning out, gaining muscle and seeing change. He asked me some questions in response:
“Are you able to move the way you want to in life?” (yes)
“Are you maintaining weight in terms of clothes and body fat (he specifically said NOT the scale)?” (yes)
“Are you happy?” (yes)
“Well there you go.”
Huh. It made me pause and reflect: I’m able to do what I love in life outside the gym because I’m consistent inside the gym, not necessarily following rules or plans or being too strict with myself but encouraging growth, fun and learning, and maybe that’s enough!
If you’re training for a triathlon, a body building competition, a marathon, or a specific amount of weight loss, sure, there are things you will have to do more specifically with your training and nutrition. But for the rest of us? Don’t get too caught up in what you SHOULD be eating or how you SHOULD be training and find what works for you and do it CONSISTENTLY.
On a related note, I want this blog to be a place where you come and are encouraged, motivated, uplifted and inspired to be great, to embrace life, to be healthy so you can BE YOU. As a Christian I want to love you as readers and friends and be known for how I treat people, not for a list of rules or regulations. As a friend, daughter and wife I want to be known for all the things I stand for and lift others up, not for the things I’m trying not to be in my relationships.
What do you think you stand for? Are you more in the “what you don’t stand for” camp than the “stand for” one? And let me really put myself out there and ask, as a trainer (and blogger!), what do you think I stand for? It’s always good to hear that perspective from other people because sometimes it’s things you don’t see (for better or worse!), and I’d love to hear your opinion.
Thanks, as always, for reading and being part of my journey! Have a great rest of the day, guys. Live well & be well,