I’m writing this in a café near my work place enjoying a lunch time latté. Very nice.
Something I’m thinking about at the moment is happiness. I think it’s an often overlooked subject, especially in the health and fitness community which can so often be goal orientated. Sure, we may have to make sacrifices in order to achieve a fat loss or strength goal, but I think the idea that we should punish ourselves, not afford ourselves any enjoyment, until we achieve our goals is short sighted. We may be able to maintain a strict lifestyle for a short period of time, but sooner or later we’ll quit because we’re not enjoying ourselves.
One thing I’ve come to realise is that health and fitness is a journey, it’s not a goal. Now, it is helpful to have goals, but these goals are merely markers that define the direction of our journey, they are not the end. Goals are to be achieved, but the journey is to be enjoyed.
So as well as asking ourselves if our diet is helping us lose as much body fat as we want, or if our exercise is achieving what we want in strength/stamina/muscle mass, we need to ask ourselves ‘Do I enjoy my diet?’, ‘Do I enjoy my workouts?’
Christ said that He came to give life, life in abundance. The idea of life in abundance is of a life of overflowing joy, a life of inner peace. Another main tenant of Christianity is that Father God is good. Not in some abstract sense that means our suffering has some higher purpose behind it (sometimes it does), but in a very real sense that means He loves to bless us, He loves it when we are happy. So if I’m not living a life that makes me happy, then I’m not living the life God wants for me.
Perhaps another reason I’m thinking about happiness is that I’m approaching 40 (5 months to go!) and I’m looking at my life with greater scrutiny than I have before.
So as I sit here drinking my latte I ask, do I enjoy what I eat? Well, because of the choices I’ve made I don’t eat bread, sugar, pasta etc at all (well nearly) but I can have full fat lattes bacon, eggs, cheese, meat, veg etc. This includes a chicken and feta cheese salad with balsamic dressing (today’s lunch), salami and smoked cheddar (usual supper time snack), a glass of red wine in the evening, a couple of rows of 85% cocoa chocolate, curries made with lovely coconut milk, breakfast could either be a bowl of fresh berries with full fat natural yoghurt or a load of bacon with scrambled eggs (made with whole milk and butter), when I do have vegetables they are usually smothered in butter. When it comes to calories, I usually ask myself ‘Have I had enough? Should I have some more?’ and if I’m in doubt, then I usually do eat some more. In terms of fat loss, whilst eating like this I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been. So am I happy. Yes!