Here’s a simple truth; in order to build the best version of yourself you need to first clear away the clutter. In all areas of life this is true but it’s most obviously transparent when we are dealing with the body and physical health.
The commodification of health and physical appearance means there is a vested interest in selling you things you don’t need. You’ll notice these things always seem to prey on our innate desire for convenience and/or exclusive information. Fitness machines designed to do the work for you, secret training programs from some former Soviet block, Amazonian berries that just “melt away the fat.” Has physical culture really regressed so far?
The desire to look and feel in your physical prime is a birthright, something everyone should experience. What is wrong is when the powers of commerce and complexity co-opt this natural drive for their own interests. Engaging in this merely keeps you trapped on the hamster wheel of consumption, eagerly awaiting the next best training plan, nutrition strategy or supplement designed to answer all your physique worries. Much like the perennial next iPhone, believe me they’ll always be a newer, sexier more expensive one to follow.
My personal ethos is that by harmonising your body and mind with natural principles your physical form will seek vitality, leanness and athleticism as a consequence. In essence this is a minimalist view that you can see articulated in the classical Greek ideas expressed as “beautiful body, beautiful mind.” Yes, I understand this reference marks me out as geek but, so be it.
What I want you to take away from this is that there is a natural elegance in simplicity, not complexity. Bruce Lee had the rights of it saying, "It's not the daily increase but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." If you really want to pursue improved health and appearance consider how this can be applied to how you train, eat, think and behave.
Do you really need to balance on bosu ball whilst some miss-guided personal trainer yells slogans at you or would you be better off sprinting up a hill like someone pulled a gun?
Do you really need to drink several “detox shakes” a day or would you not be better off eating the foods you have naturally evolved to consume?
Are there toxins you can remove from your life today, be they physical or emotional, that you know would make an immediate difference to your health? And I do count stress as a toxin.
Do you give yourself time to spend in silence or is your mind constantly awash with chatter? Drink enough water? Sleep enough? Spend time in nature?
Eat the foods you were designed to eat, move how you were designed to move, spend time in silence, rest when needed, laugh more and let nature take care of the rest. It’s simple!