BURN your fat! Join a fitness boot camp! Get ripped! Get shredded.  Do insanity workouts. BANISH your fat!

constructive vs destructive view towards healthOur culture tends to approach anything that’s perceived as a problem with harsh militarism.  If there’s a tumor, cut it out and blast it with radiation.  Infection? Get rid of it with anti-biotics.  While these can be appropriate responses, the attitude is often one of destruction and elimination, rather than construction or prevention.  The same attitude can be seen in general fitness and the “fight against obesity.”  Everything’s mentioned in terms of a struggle.

While a militaristic view towards health might be effective in the short trem, it’s not sustainable in the long run.  If we’re only thinking about what needs to be destroyed, for example excess fat, we’ll miss the larger picture of what’s needed for optimum health.  Besides, a destructive mindset is negative and stressful.  We face enough stressors from the day to day already — there’s no need to create more reasons to be negative.  Further, it’s not productive or mentally healthy to constantly focus on what’s trying to be avoided.  For example, if  you’re driving down the road in your car and you come across a cyclist on the side of the road, you’re not supposed to focus on the cyclist that you don’t want to hit but on the road ahead of you.  As goal oriented beings, we tend to move towards whatever we are focused on.  Mentally focusing on health problems can actually create stress, doubt, and depression that exacerbate, rather than improve, a condition.

What’s needed is a constructive view towards health and fitness.  If a developer is planning to build a beautiful and lasting building on a property where there’s currently a dilapidated building, demolishing the old building will definitely be part of the plans, but it  will be a very small part.  What’s essential is the new building: how is going to be constructed? What materials are going to be used?  What’s the timeline for construction?  In the pursuit of better health, the plan should be similar.  Sure, we might need to lose excess fat, but that’s really only on the way towards building a more balanced and holistic lifestyle.   There has to be a positive goal beyond the burning and banishment.  Can you envision yourself eating healthy foods, being active and getting sunshine, being free from depression and stress, and sleeping better at night?  If you can envision what you type of life you want to construct, then you can construct it.

Originally posted 2013-05-08 18:39:10.


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