Aside from my consistent reading about health and fitness, I’m also a major economics, psychology, philosophy, cosmology and theology junkie.  I just enjoy thinking about things.

I think that in all of these subjects, one issue comes up repeatedly.  This issue is embracing reality.

For some reason, we have a strong propensity to attempt to create our own reality.  We develop an idea of how we believe something should be and then we develop our ideas based upon what we believe should exist.

For example, later in high school and in early college, I believed that the Christian church should look like the one in Acts.  As a result of that belief, I neglected reality and chose to attempt to create my own reality wherein the church in Acts exists in the current.  In this skewed viewpoint, I thought it was intelligent to pursue God’s will how the apostles in the the book of Acts often did…. through casting lots, prophecies, dreams, and visions.

Thankfully, life wouldn’t let me continue in this aberration of thought.  A time came when my beliefs of determining truth through dreams and prophecies came into direct conflict with my reason.  I could go into the specifics, but they’re too preposterous for me to choose to reveal out of my remnant of respect for the people involved.  However, “elders” in the church I was in told me to believe in their prophecies rather than believe in what I rationally deduced.  I chose to reject their perception of “reality” because I had finally understood what reality truly was.

Although this meant that my worldview was shaken for quite some time and that I was pushed out of one of my major social spheres, I eventually came to acceptance of reality.  I was begrudging at first because for three or four years, I had greatly desired my illusion to be reality.  However, facts are facts.  Reality is reality.  Sometimes, that can be a brutal realization.

But then, you come to embrace it.  Reality isn’t so bad at all.  Life is far more beautiful when you simply look at it for what it is rather than distorting it for your own self-serving bias.

So, although this greatly applied to my own worldview, this also came down to how I viewed fitness.  It was around the same time that I faced my letdown with my past church that I finally found the keys to health.  They had been in front of me all along, but my own desire to run away from reality kept me from confronting what was right in front of my face.

I was someone who wanted to get in shape instantly from some fad diet that always ended up disappointing me.  Somehow, I was always gullible enough to try the next fad to come along, too.  This was largely because I thought that health and fitness professionals (Exercise Physiologists and Dietitians) promoted methods that took too long.  Why on earth would I sit around and wait two months to lose ten pounds when I could do it in two days with a low-carb diet?

But after going through a bunch of Exercise Science and Dietetics classes, I finally decided to try their long-term approaches rather than repeatedly failing in my own short-term blitzes.  The result is that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, and I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been.

Treat your body like you would your career.  Realize that it takes time to learn your career, and it will take time to learn your body.  Just take one step at a time in the right direction.  You’ll get there.

And above all else, always embrace reality.  Seek out the most qualified professionals (Exercise Physiologists, Dietitians, the NSCA, the ACSM, and the AND) and learn from them.  The infomercials and uneducated personal trainers with internet certifications that took thirty minutes to get are the surest way to end up in an endless cycle of frustration from conflicting information and no results.

Links:

National Strength and Conditioning Association:  http://www.nsca-lift.org/

American College of Sports Medicine:  http://www.acsm.org/

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:  http://www.eatright.org/

30 minute certification:  http://tucsoncitizen.com/bbbconsumeralert/2010/09/07/bbb-warns-american-sports-and-fitness-association-offers-consumers-quick-and-easy-certification-for-cash/#more-296

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