Can You Get Your Old Body Back?
The tag line is certainly catchy- Promises that their program will help to get your “pre-baby body back”, “feel like your 20”, “get that college beach body back”. In the past I was guilty of trying to grab a few extra customers without really thinking about the promises I was making. As many of you know, I’m 41 and we just welcomed our 4th child into the world. Lindsay, my wife was fortunate enough to be able to carry and naturally deliver each baby. Let’s face reality. We don’t yet have the technology to reverse all the aging and wear and tear our bodies have been through. Think about it: Could I really promise my wife that I could undo the changes her body went through in the past 10 years, with 36 months of those months she was developing and carrying another human in her body? Could I assure her that my training and nutrition plan is so amazing I reverse the natural changes her body had to go through in order to pass 4 humans though it? Could I tell myself I’m going to take 20 years of wear and tear, gravity and stress? I don’t think anyone can make those claims. So does that mean you should just hang up your gym shoes and give up? HELL NO! We’ve got plenty of life to live and just because we might not be able to get something back that is gone, doesn’t mean we can’t make the best out of what we got!
Need some proof? In the 2020 Olympic games the US had 12 moms competing. Accomplished CrossFit games athlete Annie Thorisdottir placed 3rd in the worldwide competition one year postpartum. Shirley Webb (78) can deadlift 245lbs. Louie Simmons squatted over 700lbs a few years before he passed at the age of 74. People are achieving high levels of human performance at all stages of their lives! One of my favorite hashtags (the modern day mental notes) to use is #ShapingMyIdeal. This mental note is a reminder that I am working on creating or influencing the perfect version of myself today and for the future. So if you can’t turn back time, what can you do to shape your ideal? Mental:
Focus on positives and appreciate your body as it is today. That amazing gift you have been given (your body) has gotten you through all the ups and downs and provided you with the things you needed to get all the wonderful things you have in your life. Everything from the thrill of jumping your bike when you were 10, to the relief of catching yourself before you fall when you’re 50. Appreciate your wonderful body. Know that with consistent lifestyle, exercise and nutritional changes, you can change your physical appearance, function and health. Also be aware that you will have your individual limitations.
Find your ideal mix of activities. Some of these activities should be things you NEED and some activities will be things you WANT.
Your ideal mix should consist of 4 main components- 1) Strengthening Your Muscles 2) Conditioning/Strengthening Your Heart
3) Improving Movement/Mobility
4) Enjoyment of Moving
At different stages of your life, your NEEDS might be in higher demand than WANTS and vice versa. Just the same, there may be stages of your life when improving your movement/mobility might need more attention than conditioning your heart. That doesn’t mean that 1 of these should ever be completely neglected. The important thing is that you have a healthy balance of developing your needs and that you enjoy your mix enough to continue (it is a bonus if your needs match up with your wants). Emotional:
Be prepared for the ups and downs. I’ve been in the health and fitness field for over a decade and a lifelong athlete. Still to this day if I step on the scale and the number was up when it wasn’t supposed to I think “What the heck!”. Then the logical self jumps in and reminds me, “hey you had a hard strength workout yesterday and you didn’t have a good poop in a few days… this too shall pass!”.
What happens when you just can’t do the things you used to be able to do? Well if there is truly no more room for improvement, then remember, if you have been really working, you are most likely much better off than the average person ½ your age that hasn't done anything, and you are for sure better off than if you hadn’t done anything at all. If we look at some of the examples from above, we can see the human body is capable of amazing things no matter what stage we are at in our lives. Sometimes it takes the right mindset, the right coaching, and emotional state to get there!