Make time to be fit and healthy

Last week, the week before Christmas, I trained 5 out of 7 days, and trained for about 6.5 hours and walked for over an hour on top of that.

I ran just under 30 miles, with 4 good people (on 4 runs), and I did just over an hour and a half of strength training in 2 sessions, and walked to and from work 3 out of 5 days (an hour in total).

On top of that, I worked 5 days, with a long day on Thursday, and I even had time for 2 Christmas nights out with work. I came across lots of lovely people, helped quite a few and had good chats with others.

I do all of the above, and I manage to fit it all in, because I want to and I choose to: Running, strength training, keeping fit, being healthy, being with others (socialising) and working are all important to me. I could lie in my bed and get an extra hours kip, but I get up and train instead.

I make sure I get enough sleep, and I get up at 6am most mornings to train because I know it’s important to me. I know how good it makes me feel. I prep my food so that I eat a planned and healthy diet, and I’m rarely sick or ill (touch wood!)

Sure I don’t have kids or much other responsibility except from work, but I know many mums and dads who do fit it in. They value their health and they want to be there for and be able to chase after and play with their kids.

In the best cases, their partners support them, giving them time to exercise and support them in improving what they eat and in changing the habits they’ve formed.

Mums and Dads can be fit and healthy and lose weight. More importantly, Mums and Dads have to be fit and healthy so they can be there for their kids and set a good example for their kids.

When you say ‘I want this’, it’s a statement of desire. How badly you want something depends on how important it is to you. Everything on the important list in your life is a value, and values are among the most powerful beliefs.

You literally organise your life around them. What’s most and least important to you influences how you spend your time and sets boundaries and standards for your behaviours. What is important to you?

Your values can shape the career path you take, and can shape your habits, thoughts, beliefs and how you live your life. I love to be around people and it so happens that the three jobs I have, involve working with people. It’s not a coincidence. I’ve chosen these paths because I enjoy it and because (hopefully) I’m good at working with people.

I do a lot of exercise and am very active, however I wasn’t always this motivated. There were times when going out drinking was way more important than being fit and healthy and exercising and eating well. It led to me being overweight and quite honestly, sick, and I knew something had to change. So I changed it.

So how can you find out your values and how can you fit being fit and healthy into your life?

If you want to know your values, simply ask yourself:
What is most important in my life?
(here are mine – why not get a bit of paper and write yours down?)

– Fit Girl (and Asda and Jasper ;-))
– Being fit, healthy and happy.
– Family and friends, and working with / being with people.
– Holidays and time out.
– Work and being able to support myself (and Fit Girl).

What is most important to me about being healthy?
(write yours down too.)

– Socialising whilst keeping fit and healthy.
– Being well, of a healthy weight and being happy.
– Always challenging myself and aiming to improve.
– Being fit enough, and knowledgable enough to help others learn and achieve.
– Working with and helping people.

If you’re not clear about your values and you lack strong reasons why you must get healthy and fit, this could manifest in lack of desire, low motivation or neglect. When it’s time to workout, you’ll find something else you need to do, and ironically, you’ll probably niece have time to exercise.

In some cases, exercise and nutrition aren’t very high on most people’s values list. It often takes some kind of health crisis before they’re forced to make them a priority.

If health and fitness aren’t high on your list yet, remind yourself of everything you value in your life; including your family, finances and career successes. They all depend on you being in good health.

My values above give me motivation to change. Motivation to stop drinking, to stop eating crap and to always strive to be the best I can be. They motivate me to get up and train at 6 in the morning, and to be in early for work and work late sometimes too.

So what are you waiting for?

2014 is just around the corner and you have the chance to choose your priorities and pin down your values.

Choose to be fit and healthy, and hopefully the rest of your values will follow. Choose to improve yourself, be the best you can be and be there for your family and friends for years and decades to come.

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