“Everything I am about to say is my personal opinion. You can take it or leave it.
This article is directed at people who are not athletes and are lucky enough to have a job, no health conditions and know where their next meal is coming from. The lucky few, but not always grounded few.
Before I start, I might add that I am speaking from a decade of experience in the health field. I have real degrees (a first class honours degree and a real masters degree, not an online ’12 weeks to Fitter You’ course or a ‘Master your Mindset’ course. These are great and good on you for doing them if you have, but not the ones I mean), and a published scientific paper in the field of Diabetes and Neuropsychology. Probably just sounds like i’m tossing myself, but I’m pointing out that I have paid my dues and gone through the system in order to be able to speak with some small level of certainty.”
Avoiding fun. It is a real issue. It is basically impossible to do if you are someone who people can handle spending more than 5 minutes alone with.
Unfortunately it has also become something that is synonymous with hard work and dedication on social media posts. Captions from non-athletes saying things like “While everyone’s out partying, I’m here grinding” and other cringe worthy recycled quotes now dominate the health, fitness and motivation industry.
*Before I continue, if you are not a competitive athlete or do not have a serious health condition, I am of the opinion that going to the gym is not fucking grinding. It’s just a normal thing most healthy people should do to stay healthy. Just an opinion.
From a psychological perspective, these posts really are a cry for immediate validation by the poster for their sacrificial decision, because the real validation and reward may take months. Whilst this is completely normal, I don’t think it is sustainable. Starving yourself of one of the most important human staples, connection, is a fast track to insanity. Unless you are an athlete who has dedicated their life for a title of some sort, I highly doubt you are going to be laying around in your old age thinking of all the Sunday sessions you dodged to get in a 30 minute weight session and eat a chicken breast.
Not to say dedication or sacrifice aren’t crucial for success, but I think we need to re evaluate the word ‘success’ when it comes to health. I’m not making any specific suggestions but I think if you are happy more days than not, exercise more days than not, have a good bunch of friends with at least one you love and can call at any time for support, and do not have a debilitative condition, I’d say you are pretty successful health-wise. Inspirational? Na. That has a lot more criteria.
If you are happy more days than not, do not have a good bunch of mates for support, no one to call on at any time for support and are still getting by despite having a serious disease or condition. That is closer to inspirational in my opinion. However, inspirational is another story.
But a lecture isn’t what you opened the article for, it was for some health tips (either that or some bullshit article pretending to love pies and VB written by someone who doesn’t like pies or VB and doesn’t realise that try hard yobbo sense of humour can be spotted and hated from a mile away).
Anyway, here are some of my “Fast and Loose” health tips.
1. For “Weight loss and mirror health” = Move more, Eat less.
It sounds drastically simplified, but it’s the holy grail of starting points. It isn’t overly marketable for most health products but it is more true than anything when it comes to weight loss and having a healthy figure in the mirror. If it doesn’t work, odds are (probably 50/50 actually), that you have an underlying metabolic or genetic issue that should be checked out. Either that or you are full of lies, not dumplings; you aren’t eating less or moving more.
2. For “Longevity”= Don’t avoid the doctors or traditional medicine.
Yes prevention is the best treatment and yes you can do a large part of it yourself when it comes to maintaining health. But genetics and other factors do contribute to your chances of life threatening disease. Less in some people and more in others. The growing epidemic of online experts and health gurus with no real knowledge of how dangerous some of their claims are is ridiculous.
Try telling me a kale, banana and manuka honey smoothie is your first choice of medication over something like a direct thrombin inhibitor to prevent that stroke you are likely to have as a result of your non-valvular atrial fibrillation and I’ll probably not invest energy in telling you how stupid you are because you will probably be dead before you give in and consider you may have made the wrong choice.
This isn’t a joke, disease is a real fucking thing. People die. Go to the doctor for a health check up when you can. After that, by all means go about drinking the kale, banana and manuka honey smoothie.
3. For ‘Healthy state of mind’ = Find something to do, something to look forward to and someone to love.
This probably struck me more than any one sentence I’d read in a while. It is a quote by Jack McCoy written in Occy’s biography. All the elements of happiness are there. It doesn’t discriminate and the choices are yours.
The truth is a healthy state of mind is by nature transient. You can’t be happy all day every day, don’t try. Who’s got time for that? However, having these three things can help stretch it a hell of a lot longer.
4. For ‘Over all health’= Find what works for you by listening and paying attention to the obvious stuff.
If you feel sloppy and gross, do some exercise. If you feel sore and physically tired, don’t exercise or do anything strenuous. If you feel hungry, eat. If you eat something that you probably shouldn’t have, eat something healthy next time or do some exercise.
If you miss someone, give them a buzz. If you want to go out for a few drinks and dance but you have work in the morning, go have a couple of drinks and dance but be home and get in bed with enough time to sleep and be semi OK in the morning. If you are too hungover to work in the morning, own up to it, tell your boss and learn from the mistake.
Catch our drift? Keep it fucking simple.
Life is a massive contradiction. Sometimes it’s best if you don’t over think it. Nothing is neither good, bad or fair but thinking makings it so (I think Shakespeare said something similar).
Sometimes getting out of the way of fun isn’t worth the energy. It will all work out if your actions mirror your intentions and your intentions are pure. Don’t let the finer details distract you from living fast and loose when it’s time to stay in the way of fun.
After note: The day Hamish and Andy brought alive the term “Fast and Loose” as a lifestyle, I was happier than Mylie Cyrus with free access to the D.E.A contraband archives. It was like “Ahhhh yes, finally, this is me”. It’s probably been around for years but I’ve been to busy doing stuff to hear it before. Google it.