Every year, as the holidays spark excitement and motivation to begin a fresh new year of promises and goals, something seemingly universal happens: we embark the roller coaster ride of our daily lives and we lose sight of what we wanted to change or improve. Commonly, our new objectives revolve around losing weight, getting fitter, healthier, or feeling less stressed. Taking a closer look at this relentless cycle of lost goals and failed efforts, we can uncover some interesting ideas.
When we think of becoming fit and healthy, people ordinarily look for the standard fitness workout plan that involves sweating and burning, losing calories, lifting weights and flattening that insidious belly! "No pain no gain is the way to go! ". "It should be all or nothing". That is what we have learned; if we fail to exude this sense of power and self control, all fingers point to oneself for shamefully lacking willingness and discipline. How many can identify with this?
We are continuously influenced by societal expectations and beliefs circulated by the gigantic presence of the media. We are born in the midst of media and we learn to become part of it, confounding our personal beliefs with those of our culture. Health is a social construction: society provides judgment on what it means to be healthy. However, optimal health is a relative concept when we consider each person as a unique individual with different needs, at different time periods and in different circumstances.
What you need today, what you can do today will be different tomorrow. And what you are able to do today, may not be the same for someone else. What it means to be healthy will change at various stages of our lives. There is no single, cookie-cutter solution to becoming healthy, fit and happy individuals.
Consequently, we need to ensure that our goals are realistic with where we are at during a particular time of our life. We must creatively find solutions that sustain our motivation, that focus initially on our strengths, and that allow us to feel good.
Hence, I unveiled my long forgotten love for dance. Dance offered me the stress relief, emotional expression, joint mobilization and muscular endurance that I needed at that particular time. As I committed to dancing, my energy increased, my body reacquainted with the experience of strength and intensity. Ironically, the curiosity of returning to fitness classes at the gym reemerged, naturally and progressively. I had to explore something else in order to land right back to where I started, to where I wanted to be. Today, as I pursue my journey as a fitness professional, I continue to embrace the blissful moments of moving to that favorite rhythm or chorus. Dance is at the core of all my other fitness activities; Dance builds within me the roots of my strength, and in turn, everything else enhances my dancing.
Health is multifaceted: it extends beyond physical fitness to encompass our mental and emotional health. When we experience difficulties achieving our health goals, it is essential to revisit the compatibility of our goals with what we truly need at a particular time. If something doesn't work, we may have to creatively change our approach by customizing our efforts.
There isn't only one solution to become fitter and healthier. Whether it's dancing or something else, we have to start with what we can do right now. By exploring new ideas we unlock our potential, but most importantly, our ability to achieve.
The Twirling Tigress