This post isn't fitness related, but it's one that is close to my heart.
Today, as we look to the sky while the thunderous jets pass overhead, let's remember just how small we are and the monumental responsibility and sacrifice those in the armed forces have had upon them to secure our freedom. Whether it's Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day, or not, our small 'Thank you' is the least we can do for the people who have protected--and are still protecting us and our country.
Let us not limit our gratitude to a few days of the year as these men and women devote their lives to our country and it's people. They do not limit their work, so should we not limit our appreciation. Thank you to all those in service and who have served. Thank you not just for today, but every day we wake and enjoy our families and freedom.
80/20 (or thereabouts)
It's been said before, but it's worth repeating: Strength and muscle are made in the gym; physique is made in the kitchen. You can't out-exercise poor nutrition. You can strengthen every muscle you want (and there's nothing wrong with that), but if you want to see all the hard-earned results, the striations and sinew, proper nutrition is a must. Though it may seem like a 50/50 thing where exercise and nutrition play equal parts in fitness, the truth is it's more like 80/20 (nutrition and exercise, respectively).
That 80 percent is really tough to do, but it is doable if you really want it. By just cutting out a few things here and there, or replacing them with something healthier, you can make a big difference inside and outside of your body. We must work the 20 percent to grow from the inside-out, and the 80 percent to shrink from the outside-in. In this way, we meet ourselves in the middle.
Image is Nothing
For the love of all that is you, don't ever compare yourself to anyone else. We've all heard we should never compare ourselves to the models in magazines or on TV. Yes, some eat well and exercise regularly and others may be born lucky, but they are also photographed and touched up in ways that are meant to be pleasing to our eyes. It's marketing and it sells products. We owe some of this burden to the cuts of childhood where particular situations taught us to compare ourselves
to other people. Over time, these old wounds have scarred over into supposed fact--rules by which our subconscious governs our supposed aesthetic worth. As such, the vision of our true selves is skewed.
'His chest is bigger than mine' or 'Her tummy is so toned; I wish I had a tummy like that' are negative thoughts built on those old feelings of inadequacy. This is damaging to our psyche and often makes us feel as if we have no chance of ever achieving the body we want. Everyone's body is different, so having a vision that some part of your body will look like what you see in print or on screen, is unrealistic. Never aim for results that aren't based on the motivation to be better than yourself. Your abs, arms, or thighs may not look exactly like the image you have in your head, but that's fine; they will be your chiselled abs, impressive arms, or truly toned thighs that are unique to you.
Here's the catch-22: the more we exercise the better we feel; the better we feel, the more effective our exercise becomes. The trick is catching a wave in that maelstrom of energy and letting it carry us along. If we focus on perfection, we become miserable when the results take us elsewhere. We need to be happy with what we are given, confident in what we are now, and excited about where we are headed. There's no such thing as 'perfect' anyway. It's an unattainable idea similar to the way 'infinity' is an idea: Though we count on it, we never get there. There is, however, the best possible 'you' trying to come to the surface of that swirling vortex, and it's time to get wet.