I recently was invited by tv presenter, entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast Claire Agius Ordway on her Reboot podcast to discuss my take on discipline, consistency and healthy living in general.
Given that the chat is in Maltese I have summarised the main points in English below for the benefit of my non-Maltese audience:
- The simple act of completing a planned workout, irrespective of all the other commitments in your life, builds confidence. Doing so repeatedly builds discipline and resilience, 2 game-changing qualities when it comes to overcoming other challenges that life throws at us.
- Your actions over time reflect your true values. If you truly value your health and the way you feel and look, eating healthy and exercising will not feel like a burden or sacrifice, rather this becomes your lifestyle. Therefore if you find yourself regularly falling off track or lacking discipline with both nutrition and exercise, you need to admit that this is a clear indication that your body and health are not among your priorities.
- Deciding what to eat requires mental effort and mental effort is limited. Without some sort of a system around the way you eat, you will consume this mental energy very quickly. At some point, you will get tired of deciding what food to prepare and start taking random eating decisions with no regard for calories or quality of food. On the other hand, having an eating routine or system not only enables you to remain on track but also allows you to direct your mental energy onto other valuable things in your life.
- There is no escaping the ‘calories in vs calories out’ formula if you’re serious about weight control and body composition. However, apart from calories one also needs to consider the quality of those calories which for the most part should be unprocessed. Naturally, this formula needs to be considered in the light of a sustainable system which therefore allows an element of flexibility for one to be able to enjoy social life and satisfy emotional needs, including occasional treat meals.
- You are the master of your body and health and nobody else, other than you, should have control over them. With this rule in mind, you should be the one deciding what and when to eat, what treat meals to take and when to treat yourself. In the absence of this rule, your eating habits (and therefore your body) will be at the mercy of the habits of those around you. Rather than being weak, be an inspiration by practicing discipline wherever you are.
- While over the past 5 to 10 years there’s been an improvement in health awareness and exposure to fitness on a local level, it has come on the back of private entrepreneurship rather than government policy which is disappointing. If I had to power to implement a nationwide policy, it would be to introduce a mandatory subject on healthy living in schools, starting from the youngest grades up to the oldest classes. This would increase the chances that our kids grow up as healthy adults, who would in turn relay their healthy habits to their own kids while continuing to reinforce the system through healthy living education at school. Not to mention the many other indirect benefits that such a policy would generate.
- The action (or lack of action) that you take today, will carry a consequence sooner or later. Why do you have to wait until the day the doctor gives you that bad news to take decisive action? Take control of your health today to improve the quality of your life and avoid having regrets further down the line.
To fitness with love,
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