Today I had a very interesting conversation with a client and decided to write a blog post to help those of you who may be struggling in making choices.
The discussion was about how during his time with us at Intense Health we discovered that dairy and alcohol were not his friends. These two things have been causing inflammation in his gut, resulting in bloating, water retention and as a lifestyle choice, has the potential to cause a flare up of disease.
Our bodies are always giving us hints on the things that are not good for us. Symptoms are different from one individual to another and that’s the beauty of having a coach to support and guide you to find solutions that work for you personally. If your poor lifestyle has made you put on excessive fat over time, you are likely to be experiencing exhaustion, sleeplessness and aching joints just to name a few. These are all symptoms of disease which MUST be addressed if you want to gain better health, and are signs from your body that your health is less than ideal. If good health matters to you, then it is your personal responsibility to address the problems and change the course of action. That is why Marcelo and I are here. We live to help people who are fed up with their symptoms and are in the process of wanting to find solutions to their health and fitness concerns. The level of commitment and change is different for every individual, and my client told me how hard it can be to make the right choices. This is what I shared with him, and I hope this can help you to understand about your own choices…….
As I said before, I told my client that alcohol and dairy products would never be his friend. For some people, this would be a really disappointing thing to be told. However, from my perspective I consider it a positive for you to know what things aren’t helping your bodies. Knowledge is power, and learning what works best for you puts YOU IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN HEALTH. Don’t become another victim of the broken and seriously flawed system that wants people to be clueless, sick individuals who blame their disease on a fault with their genetics. No disease was ever ‘just meant to be’ because you are genetically predisposed to it.
I’m the first to admit that it’s not easy to make the right choices all the time, if it was everyone would do it. As humans we often fantasise about someone else’s life and choices which look to be so much easier for them than it is for ourselves, but this is often far from the truth. Just because Marcelo and I are in the pursuit of good health above all else, it doesn’t mean we aren’t human. It doesn’t mean we always get it right and it doesn’t mean it is easy…..IT IS A CHOICE. Are the majority of days in your life spent feeding disease or feeding good health by the choices you make? It doesn’t matter what you choose, as every choice has a consequence, but it is the consistency in the decision making process that will bring the manifestation to your life. What I mean is that Marcelo and I choose to be healthy. Is it easy all the time? OF COURSE NOT! We have days where we don’t want to train or when we wake up and aren’t feeling refreshed and ready for another 14 hour day at the clinic. There are times I feel sad or anxious and I feel like eating a whole family size block of chocolate. When these moments occur, we ask ourselves “What do we want?” and the answer is that “We want to be healthy”. That’s our bottom line.
Everyone is in control of their own choices, so when confronted with a difficult choice, ask yourself “What is most important?” If I choose to eat that block of chocolate it is because I was in control and I will live with the consequences. I learn from my choices and move on. Just as long as my decisions don’t affect my overall wellbeing then I’m ok with that.
It is up to every individual to know what they want. Do you think people that drink excessively or eat high carb, sugar loaded foods everyday are happy with their choices 100% of the time? No way! Just because someone looks happy when they are drunk or devouring the dessert section at Sizzlers doesn’t mean they have never felt sad or regretful. That was their choice, and they will have to pay the price with their own health by making a constant choice to drink and eat badly.
Just because Marcelo and I focus more on our health doesn’t make it is any easier for us. It is all about perspective and what you want the most out of life. Ultimately, we are all paying the price in one way or another for the things we choose.
For example, a client sent a thank you note to us the other day, thanking us for helping in her pursuit to become a better version of herself. She said “There are a lot of programs out there and I have tried all the fad diets and crazy exercise routines on the planet. In the end though I have found this to be the fastest and most maintainable lifestyle I could find. It’s not that easy as I still need to do my part every single day, but once I made the decision it was by far the easiest solution out there”.
You all know how much better informed you are about nutrition after having your assessment with me. Once you have learned how carbohydrates, sugars, lack of exercise, alcohol and toxicities will affect your health and body composition, do you still feel the craving to eat and drink the things you know negatively impact on your health and wellbeing? Yes? Well if what makes you truly happy is having fun with all the wrong food and consuming alcohol, even if you know that you will pay the price with some part of your overall health….or all of it…..if you are happy with that decision the majority of the time then that’s FINE! GREAT! NO REALLY, WE MEAN IT!!!! At the end of the day, all Marcelo and I can wish for is that you are happy and enjoy the choices you make.
If however, the majority of the time in your week you feel disappointed in yourself and you have that gut feeling you need to change something, then PLEASE use our expertise and LET’S MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES!!!!! We want nothing more than to help you. Irrespective of your level of commitment, together we can find a better solution to make you happier. Use the knowledge you have gained from us to ensure that the majority of time in your life you are content and happy within yourself because you are not taking the easy way out, but doing what FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU! Be proud of that and celebrate it.
Let it be known that we have many clients that find their happy balance still involves having fun with the wrong foods and alcohol. While this isn’t supporting their ultimate health all the time, guess what, it works for them and we are absolutely fine with that. Other clients are happy to find their threshold so that they can still get pleasure from food and alcohol, but with our help, have learnt what to do so they don’t put extra weight on, they know what to do when they travel and have discovered how to love their body by finding the right balance. For whom we will find better results? for the ones that are pursuing it! They come to us wanting to lose weight, be free of disease etc, so in this case, there is no way out, no magic pill, we will need to work on changing habits so you can enjoy your life to the fullest, to feel happy and healthy most of the time, and Marcelo and I trace the plan for you, but also every individual taking ownership and doing their part of the bargain will be what it takes. Believe it or not, there are also a few clients who have decided to do nothing to change their nutrition but continue to train with us. That’s their choice and we are ok with that too. If those clients have a bigger desire for food and drinking than for good nutrition, losing weight and getting healthier, then Marcelo and I allow it. We feel proud that because of us guiding them, they have made a decision on what works best for them….THEM AND NO ONE ELSE!!!!! That’s what life is about, standing by the decisions you make and living with the consequences, whatever they might be.
There is no point to us shutting clients off and saying “Oh, you are not going to do the nutrition? You plan to keep drinking alcohol and eating pasta? Well then GET OUT OF HERE!!!!”
This is not our approach. The reason why is because we have educated those clients and now they have the choice. Who are we to say no to giving people all the benefits that exercise can give them which nutrition on its own cannot. To say “No you can’t become a valued client of Intense Health unless you also embrace nutrition” is going to cause more harm than good. Those clients may remain inactive which is terrible for their health. Or they will go to their local gym and exercise incorrectly, either training too much or simply in the wrong way which will age them faster by the possibility of injuries and wear and tear. Improper exercise often does more harm than good, or at worse, provides no health benefits at all because it so ineffective. We guide each client individually to achieve what they want, because even if they decide not to make any nutritional changes at all, we are more than confident of the proven benefits to exercising the way we do it at Intense Health. Science is constantly proving how INTENSE EXERCISE IN MINUTES CAN DRAMATICALLY SLOW DOWN YOUR AGING PROCESS. How amazing is that! Proper exercise on its own will still increase flexibility, improve wellbeing, improve cardiovascular fitness, fights osteoporosis and prevents diseases. Marcelo and I want to help every single person who comes to see us. We want them to work towards their own capability and level of commitment, tailoring and altering their plan as needed to meet their personal goals. By doing this, we can sleep better at night knowing we are doing the best for every person we have the privilege to cross paths with, and helping them become the very best version of themselves.
We want all of our clients to know that irrespective of how you want to approach change, we will be there for you! We want you to find a lifestyle that works for you the majority of the time. We want you to love your choices in this journey with us to discover your ultimate health goals.
Marcelo and I work in phases with clients, a bit like a video game. If you pass phase one, let’s move onto phase two, then three and so on and so forth. Some clients may remain on phase one, two or three. It doesn’t matter, as long as we find a place where you feel comfortable with we can teach you how to stay there in a better, happier version than we started with. Alternatively we can push you to higher levels if you feel this is the right thing for you. That’s the beauty of the service we provide, we tailor a program JUST FOR YOU. Like I keep saying, it is all about what makes you happier the majority of the hours in your day, week, month and years.
We all have our journey, and just like you there are so many things I want to improve about myself. What matters though is that I am 80-90% in alignment with what I want to achieve out of my life. Being truthful to my values and the things that really matter, paying the price for my choices, whatever they may be, and trying to improve one little thing at a time, are all integral to my personal growth. Like many clients, this way of eating and exercising is very easy, but there is always room for improvement. I don’t eat many carbs, but sometimes I have that smokey sauce on my beef ribs despite knowing the small added sugar it contains. Likewise, once or twice a year when dining at my favourite French restaurant I simply can’t resist the temptation of the beautiful fresh crispy white bread slathered in butter. I still drink out of plastic bottles now and then, even though I know it is less than ideal, and I use aluminium based deodorant which I know can be toxic. Yes, I even use a microwave to heat up my food despite the controversy about it. I’m definitely not perfect, no one is, i know there is still a lot of improve, but thing at a time, i will get there. But as long as the majority of the days we feel proud of who we are, our overall health is great and nothing is bothering us, then life is good.
I strongly believe in telling the world the about truth of who we really are. I am a dietitian who leads by example. I believe I can inspire people on health and nutrition not only because I have dedicated my life studying it, but because I practice what I preach. I love eating the way that I do and I honestly feel happy and in peace with the choices I make. I don’t appreciate people who fake it in their profession for the pure gain of making profits. For example, dietitians who behind closed doors have an eating disorder. WHAT!!!! That’s just plain wrong. Personal trainers who deep down inside hate training. WHAT!!! Like psychologists that have depression? WHAT!!! It is ok to be a dietitian and eat sugar once in a while as a pure indulgence, it’s ok to be the trainer who missed a session or a psychologist feeling sad on occasion, but that is the exception in their lives, not the majority of their lives.
So coming back to CHOICES!!!!! Please ask yourself this.
- WHAT DO I REALLY WANT?
- WHAT CHANGES DO I NEED TO MAKE, IF ANY, TO LOVE MYSELF THAT LITTLE BIT MORE?
Life is too short to live in regret thinking about how much you could have achieved, or how much you could have gotten out of your life. This life is yours, the choices are yours, we are here to guide and inspire you anyway we can and to show you the easiest and fastest way to maintain your achievements that will work FOR YOU!
FOR MARCELO AND I, THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS ☺
Andreia Mesquita – Director / Nutrition & Dietetics