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Why diets aren't working for you [VIDEO]

Why diets aren't working for you [VIDEO]

If you've been trying all the latest diets or popular workout regimes and not finding success, consider this often overlooked factor!

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For no nonsense, results driven fitness and lifestyle coaching in Vancouver or online, get in touch with High Potential today!

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Anxiety is not always harmful [BLOG+VIDEO]

Anxiety is not always harmful [BLOG+VIDEO]

Anxiety is not always harmful 

I've talked before about using depression as an opportunity and anxiety is similar in many ways. There's a level it can get to where it's clearly damaging our lives, but often we're too quick to describe as ourselves as having anxiety, not recognizing that it can play an important role in keeping us on our toes.

To live completely without anxiety and having any degree of responsibility as an adult is unrealistic and is a reality that far fewer people experience than we might think, despite the image portrayed by people we see on social media, politics or our everyday lives.

Most of those people we see that seem to live free from anxiety worry just as much as you do, they simply have become better at living with it and recognizing what's really worth thinking about and what's just noise coming from a well meaning but misguided part of your brain- the one who worries about every little aspect of your life like a 89 year old mother who calls you every day, asking if you remembered to lock the door or to make sure people like you.

Whether we want to believe it or not, even the most secure and successful amongst us are only a bad decision or two away from causing a lot of damage to ourselves and others. Anxiety is normal and when under control and understood in a more positive light, can help to keep us from putting ourselves in a bad spot!

The danger of always avoiding anxiety

The level of anxiety some of us experience made a lot more sense as little as a few hundred years ago; we often lived from one meal to the next, were under constant threat of violence and disease and having a child meant rolling the dice on the life of both the mother and the baby. The game has changed now, with the threats much less serious, but the level of worry our brains are accustomed to might need a few thousand years to catch up.

But within our new, less physically dangerous world there's still danger, or at least what seems like danger to us. A lack of attention or effort can derail careers or savings rapidly, cost you your marriage or just cause you to become a giant asshole because you never give a seconds thought to how your behavior is perceived by others.

The key is to gain a healthy understanding and acceptance of anxiety. We are far too quick to run to our overwhelmed doctor and claim we can't deal with anxiety anymore- and just to get on to the next patient, they'll be happy to write a scrip and get you on your way. I understand that you might be feeling overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety yourself, but be careful about taking something that will just wipe it all away.

Some of those feelings of anxiety might be related to you not living up to your own internal standards or not getting what you want out of life. Flushing them down the toilet is a danger in and of itself that I would, ironically, be a little anxious about. 

There's probably nothing "wrong" with you

Make an effort to distinguish between the various things you're feeling anxiety about- are these things something I have any control of or not? And you must be honest! There is difference between having anxiety, say around large crowds or dating that are related to a severe childhood trauma as opposed to just rightly being a little nervous about being rejected or being in a crowd of human beings who sometimes get a little crazy. 

Anxiety is normal, but in a culture of avoidance and perfection, we start to take this identity of helplessness and thinking that we have something wrong with us. This can cut us off from feelings that are natural and often serve an important purpose. Get in touch with your core values (spoiler alert- deep down they're the same for all of us) and start to prioritize what's worth getting anxious about.

Once you do that, you might find that the anxiety you get about who likes you at work or why you need more money to be worthy of love are silly- and that worrying a bit about your health, family and basic security are actually a good thing.  

Get in gear with High Potential!

For no nonsense, results driven fitness and lifestyle coaching in Vancouver or online, get in touch with High Potential today!

Check out www.gethighpotential.com and book a free consultation. 

 

 

 

Stop reading "studies"- study yourself! [BLOG+VIDEO]

Stop reading "studies"- study yourself! [BLOG+VIDEO]

Stop reading "studies"- study yourself! 

Obviously, not all studies are created equal. Some are conducted by some of the sharpest people in the world, attempting to cure cancer or fight depression. Others are absolute junk, conducted for no other reason than to promote a product or generate clickbait headlines.

The problems begin when we don't have an ability to discern one from the other; it's obvious sometimes but we usually scan through articles so quickly we don't dive deeper into who or what is behind the study. Yet the idea, the lukewarm conclusions, can stay in our heads. 

Fill your head up with enough of these "I read somewhere" thoughts, and all sorts of possibilities and options with diet and fitness can be cut off. The scope of what you can get away with shrinks.

Not to mention the confusion of conflicting studies- with things like sodium, dairy, or grains, we can pull studies that support whatever opinion you have about them!

The only "study" that will help you is the one we can try and conduct on ourselves. It's difficult to do in a scientific sense, but making changes one at a time and closely monitoring the results are the ticket to you finding your goldilocks zone with fitness and lifestyle choices!

Most studies are opinions

There are few things everyone is in agreement on. The consensus we see with something like linking cigarettes with lung cancer is rare, despite what goofy headlines have to say. Every day we see new articles proclaiming a new food to be "bad" based on a study we don't examine.

Try and keep up with this stuff, and you'll eventually lose it or simply give up trying to navigate through an increasingly confusing paradigm of food consumption. Think about it this way- the following foods have at least one study linking them to various cancers- Veal, salt, pepper spice, flour, egg, bread, pork, butter, tomato, lemon, duck, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, mace, sherry, olive, mushroom, tripe, milk, cheese, coffee, bacon, sugar, lobster, potato, beef, lamb, mustard, nuts, wine, peas, corn, cinnamon, cayenne, orange, tea, rum, and raisin.

Clearly there re flaws in methodology or intentions that are confusing things. Clearly we lack fundamental understanding of things like cancer or even obesity and we're left to sift through mountains of useless data. If everything gives you cancer, if everything makes you fat, what's the point of listening to any of it? In my opinion, unless you're actually a scientist trying to figure this stuff out, there is absolutely no point.

Be your own "scientist"

A key point to remember is that even when there is an overwhelming consensus like with cigarettes and lung cancer, studies don't account for outliers. Jeanne Calment, the oldest person to have ever lived (122), smoked cigarettes from the time she was 21 until 117, when she couldn't see well enough anymore to safely continue. I am obviously not suggesting you pick up smoking, but it's important to keep these things in mind when trying to find what lifestyle choices work best for you- not the masses.

What works for most people may not work for you! When it comes to diet, exercise, or lifestyle choices, there's probably at least one area in which you're an outlier and the advice for the masses (which constantly changes anyways) is actually bad for you. 

All we can do is to try to conduct our own little study on ourselves. It's not exactly scientific, but as discussed, we can't really rely on most of the "science" available to us anyways. Block out the noise and see what you can find out:

  • Listen to your body. I know it sounds wishy washy, but just go by how you feel from certain foods, modes of exercise or lifestyle choices. At the end of the day it's all that matters, not calories or macros or whatever superhealthnewstoday.com or whatever said.
  • Make changes one at a time. When we're out of shape or getting back on track in general it's tempting to start a new diet, program and quit stuff all at the same time. Change one food at a time, monitor. Tweak your workouts, monitor. It's the only way you have a chance to flesh out what certain things may or may not be doing for you.
  • Be honest with results. Society can make us want to improve in the "right" way or with new and sexy diets, programs, etc. Take a big step back with any of this stuff and just examine whether or not you're actually feeling better. Sometimes placebo effect can make us think we're doing better because it looks and sounds cool while energy levels or mood is actually down. 

It's always tough to do in life, but try and listen to the "headlines" coming from your own body, not the ones in the health section of Google news. There's so much information available, so many studies with opposing views right now that confusion and paralyzation by analyzation are the likely results. Be honest with yourself, don't be afraid to break the "rules" and you'll have a shot at finding out what your body and mind really want!

Get in gear with High Potential!

For no nonsense, results driven fitness and lifestyle coaching in Vancouver or online, get in touch with High Potential today!

Check out www.gethighpotential.com and book a free consultation.