We think know a lot about what fitness is.
Or do we just think we know a lot about fitness?
To answer this as best I can, I have come up with a list as to what it is not.
Will this define it for us? No. Not really, anyway.
But it will lead us in the right direction and help to clear the air of how we, as humans, should look at health and fitness, as opposed to what the media and others want us to believe.
So here we go:
Fitness is not a number on the scale.
Fitness is not your waist size.
Fitness is not a comparison of you or the computer-enhanced model on the cover with big knockers.
Fitness is not how big your bicep size is or how much you can curl when the ladies are looking.
Fitness is not how well defined your abs (or lack-there-of) are.
Fitness is not punishing yourself after eating a doughnut hole while on a diet by doing 2 hours of treadmill cardio.
Fitness is not ‘how much can you bench?’
Fitness is not refusing to eat.
Fitness is not throwing up in the toilet after eating.
Fitness is not the latest diet trend that will guarantee you abs by only eating watermelon.
Fitness is not a size zero dress. Or one. Or two. Or really any number.
Fitness is not defined solely on your body fat percentage.
Fitness is not cardio over weight training or vice-versa.
Fitness is not fitting into the same swimsuit you wore when you were in college or high school.
Fitness is not shaming yourself every time you look in the mirror.
Fitness is not a workout because you feel you will get fat (or are fat) if you don’t exercise today. Or tomorrow.
Fitness is not a punishment.
Fitness is not a certain body type.
Fitness is not a magic pill you can take.
Fitness is not an overnight remedy.
Fitness is not a new gadget on the television that you saw at 2 a.m. in the morning while your were watching re-runs of your favorite TV show.
Really, the list could go on.
Here is my opinion on what fitness is for those who care:
Fitness is process, ideally life-long, that is undertaken by an individual with an ultimate goal in mind to become a better/healthier person. This process, unique to the individual, is well researched, has been done and can be repeated over and over, is safe, and is considered enjoyable by that individual.
Of course there is room for individualization based on goals, but that is where you find someone who has more knowledge on the subject and can help you get there.
Outside of that, in my own humble opinion, there really are not limitations on what your idea of fitness can be.
The only thing I want to emphasize with the above list is that culture today looks for the quick fix to an ‘ideal image’ as opposed to becoming truly healthy.
The quick fix isn’t always the best, as I hope you can derive from above.
In fact, rarely have I EVER seen anything worthwhile that can be done overnight.
And there is no ‘ideal image.’
Perception is reality.
What we believe and perceive to be true creates our idea of image, which happens to be unique from person to person.
Whatever your ideal self is, just make sure it can be achieved in a healthy and safe manner, and do not become discouraged when you do not see the results you want when you wake up tomorrow morning.
If it cannot happen safely, it probably shouldn’t be your idea of fitness.
Embrace the process. Keep the long-term mentality. Results will come.