Chew On It: Make The Change

People tend to make resolutions at the beginning of each year, but the reality is that we need to make resolutions throughout our lives. We are works in progress, and while change is a constant in life, the idea is to make changes for the better.

It’s important to make changes to ensure that we like ourselves, as this is the foundation of contentment, harmony and happiness. Body image is a big factor for many people. If you don’t like what you see, take the steps to make a change. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to learn to accept things as they are.

The key is to make little changes, as over time they’ll lead to big results. I used to drive the one kilometre to work, but now I walk. Here’s a simple sum: walking that one kilometre, five days a week, translates to about 250 kilometres of walking in one year!

My well-toned and muscular body is hidden under a thick layer of body fat that I don’t need and I’m not happy about. My dietitian sensibly asked if I could reduce my carb intake by not eating carbs for some of my meals, and in the past year of doing this I’ve lost about 10kg of body fat – and rediscovered my discipline, which I thought was long lost!

These little wins have led to a decent result which has helped me regain some self-confidence. It hasn’t been a straight road, but over time it’s become easier and now it’s a habit. I have also learned to be kind to myself and not beat myself up constantly, and my progress has involved therapy and perseverance.

Eating healthily is critical as it affects energy, mood, emotions, sleep and libido. And while doing all you can to be healthy will not guarantee a long and healthy life, it will maximise your chances of having one.

People assume that because I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 50 years, I must eat healthily and love working out. Let me dispel that myth. Nowadays, my training must adhere to three key principles: safety, effectiveness and efficiency.

Every day I see members in the stretch and weights areas doing questionable exercises that are guaranteed to injure their bodies over time, or performing ineffective exercises that won’t give them the results they’re hoping for.

There is a massive amount of misinformation in the fitness world, particularly on social media. Just because a trainer has a good body or a high profile doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. Getting an exercise program from a celebrity trainer’s app is simply foolish. On the other hand, getting a program from a qualified trainer is prudent as it will probably save you physical therapy costs and rehab time.

At Elixr, we care about the integrity of our exercise programs, and both safety and effectiveness are high priorities. That’s why we regularly host workshops from true experts in the fitness industry. Last December we hosted Dr Lee Burton, an expert in functional movement, and next month we’re hosting Dr Stuart McGill, an expert in spine biomechanics. Elixr exercise programs are based on their evidence-based research.

To facilitate healthy changes in your life, the most important thing is to find your motivation and inspiration. I was highly motivated after I lost my brother last year. Both my dad and my brother had heart issues and suffered major strokes which were the beginning of the end of their lives.

It would stupid not to learn from my very difficult tragedies. Over the past year, I’ve changed my eating habits for the better. I train not because I love exercising, but because I love to live and I live to eat well, like a good Asian!

Get the body and mind part right and your spirit will soar. Here’s to a wonderful 2020!