Why is my diet and exercise program not working?
When we see the stunning results from the before-and-after pictures, we want that for ourselves. We want the dramatic shrinking in girth from the new diet. We want the toned arms and rippled abs from the exercise program.
We are sure to get it if we follow the program, right?
Disappointment sets in when we follow the program religiously, and don’t see the same results as the pictures show. Could I have not quite done it right? Then, we tend to blame ourselves. That leads down the road no one wants to tread.
Either we try harder, restricting more and exercising more, or we simply give up. Either way we are left with the feeling of failure and the niggling question:
Why am I not getting results when I am doing everything right?
Other people got results because it was the right program for them at the time. However, most likely their physical conditioning, and metabolism, and hormone balance, and stress levels, and everything else about their lives were different than ours.
Having been a right fit for them does not mean it is a right fit for us.
With research into genetic differences and how they play out in life, more and more light is shed on the individual differences of people. Yes, we are all human, but what a variety! A program someone designed that worked for some people, with strict guidelines, prescribed activities and set requirements, certainly will not work for all people.
Humans are not one-size-fits-all! Not in any way, shape, or form. Not in genetics, lifestyle, nutrition requirements, movement needs, or time of life. Individualizing diet, exercise, and way of life is a cornerstone of Naturopathic Medicine. By looking at ourselves as unique individuals, we can find the diet, exercise and lifestyle that fit our needs.
We fail to consider how our physical status, relationships, personal challenges, work deadlines and goals, and what is going on in the world affect our lives.
By attempting to use diet and exercise to manage our lives, we may be leaving out what I consider to be the most important factor in life: our outlook, in other words, our perspective.
Our outlook on life can radically change how we experience life. It sets the tone for how life comes to us, and how we perceive we must respond to it. It greatly influences how much we enjoy life, independent of the circumstances of our lives. It sets the tone of our nervous system, of our digestion and of our metabolism. It can affect the results of diet and exercise.
When we feel that life is dangerous and we must do what we need to in order to survive, are in survival mode. We focus on getting the next thing done, putting out the fires, reacting to life, fitting in our strenuous exercise routine and sticking to a restrictive diet. We feel like we are stretched thin and about to burst.
Being in fight-or-flight survival mode damages our body in the long run, and squashes our enjoyment of life. The survival hormones affect how we digest, burn and store our food as energy. They affect how being sedentary or moving shapes our body. Being in survival mode can undermine diet and exercise programs, not giving us the results we expect.
We feel that we can and do take time to stop and rest and enjoy things along the way. It is this rest and taking things easy that allows our exercise program and what we eat to work for us.
When what we eat and how we move is individualized to our needs, then we are more likely to see results in terms of wellness and fitness. As our needs change, our ways of eating and moving change.
In addition, taking the perspective of life working FOR me, not against me, may just be the thing that is missing when our diet and exercise program do not seem to be working.
Is your diet and exercise working for you? Please comment below if it is or not. Also comment what you have discovered what could be underneath the success or failure.
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