Monday, September 15, 2014

Criticized for Being Healthy

A few months ago, I was at a family gathering and there was food all around me. Trying to make wiser choices, I reached the fruit salad bowl on the table instead of a cheesecake and suddenly heard a family member saying: “Why are you starving yourself? That’s not going to fill you up!”

I had a really bad binge the day before and hearing more than one person comment on what I eat was very frustrating. I was already criticizing myself and feeling like a failure because of the food choices I’ve made the day before and having one more person criticize me felt horrible. I was fumed. I mean, how dare they criticize what I eat, when they have no idea the sacrifices I’ve made and the binges I’m trying to compensate for? How dare they comment on my food choices? It was as though my family were to blame for my eating disorders. Whenever I try to eat healthy, I get absolutely discouraged. For one reason or another, someone had to find a reason to project their negativity and discouragement onto my life and I’ll have to deal with it. I came back home, feeling like a failure, my binge urges were as strong as ever. I thought to myself that if I’m not being acknowledged for my hard work, why put the effort anyway? I might as well just binge. I practiced “This method” and 20 minutes later, I had a thought…

It’s easier to blame those around you but the truth is; you are your worst critic. Being overweight all my life, the hardest thing to do was having the courage to go beyond my vulnerability and uncertainty to achieve my goals. When I started working out, 6 years back, it wasn’t the hurtful comments from my “friends” and “classmates” that prevented me from starting. It was my own fears, my own criticism that held me back from truly pushing myself to the limits. It took me such a long time to realize that just because people criticize me, doesn’t mean they really care about my choices. They just criticize and move on. It was up to me to let it affect me or not. The degree of how it affected me reflected my insecurities and my fears. The internal struggle I go through everyday made me face my insecurities and hence, become a stronger person on the inside. 

Thing is, I’ve learned that it’s always good to balance between the external world (people around me), and my sanity (internal struggle). Once I have control over my internal struggles, nothing can break me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Posture Check

It was a typical day at work when I went downstairs to grab some lunch, only to overhear several senior managers talk about their back and joint aches over lunch. I’ve noticed that a few of them had an arched back and poor postures as they sat together. So there I was, listening, and then I came up with a brilliant idea for my new blog post. To those who have office jobs or a sedentary lifestyle, you can benefit from this post immensely. Believe it or not, there’s a relationship between poor posture, back and joint problems and your muscle mobility at the gym.

Challenge: Try to maintain proper posture as you’re reading this. You should look like you’re doing a wall sit.

Having an office job makes it easy for us to fall into poor postures and hence affect us in the long run. It’s no wonder that I keep hearing 23 year olds complain about lower back ache (I complained about that for a while too). A poor posture can be defined as shortening or tightening of muscles as a result of our daily activities (such as sitting in a wrong position). Maintaining correct alignment of your body while seated and when you’re exercising is very important. My gym instructor keeps telling me that correct posture is far more important than speed, I mean, most athletes pay attention to proper posture during exercise but take a look at how you’re sitting right now, are you maintaining a proper posture?

Think about it, your body adapts to literally anything you give it, when you’re sitting in a poor posture (shoulders forward, curved spine, etc), your body adapts to this and your muscles begin tightening and in a few years you see yourself with an arched back and you start wondering what happened. Thing is, even if you work out for an hour with good posture but you maintain poor posture throughout your day.. It WILL affect how your muscles move. You’ll feel uncomfortable and won’t be able to go through the whole workout with full range of motion (trust me I know!). Basically, if you just pay attention to your posture during all times.. It will make wonders to how your body moves. 

Challenge Check-in: Did you maintain that posture? 

To sum up, working on your posture takes time, be patient and keep reminding yourself to maintain that posture.