Day 1: Body/Mind Makeover Program
Yesterday, my friend Ruth and I began our 6-month Body Makeover Program with XLR8 Fitness & Counselling’s Nate Pond. Nate is a good friend from way back and I recently partnered with him as a Personal Trainer to help bring a change to the personal fitness industry.
Nate’s approach to health and fitness includes helping the mind get healthy as well through exercise and nutrition. As a licensed mental health therapist, he has created many fitness programs that deal specifically with emotional health challenges such as anger, depression and anxiety to name a few. He also helps people who have emotional issues with food addictions.
The Mind/Body Connection to Health and Wellness
I have always believed in the connection between mind and body health. I realized this in working with my own children who struggled with anxiety and depression related to sensory issues. When their diet was clean and they were active, we had less problems. But when I relaxed and allowed more sugar into their diet and other processed foods, or allowed more time on computer games, their moods changed for the worse and life was miserable.
So, I support Nate’s work 100% and in so doing, am returning to school in the fall to start work on my Master’s degree in Licensed Clinical Social Work which will allow me to reach a broader demographic in a variety of ways to improve mental and physical health.
With that said, even though I’m a personal trainer, I’m participating in Nate’s program to get first hand experience with it before I start recommending it to my clients. I won’t ask my clients to do something that I haven’t personally done myself. Plus, I need the program as I’m recovering from a severe illness that literally laid me flat for months, both physically and emotionally.
Buddy up for Success
So, yesterday was Day 1 on the program with my friend Ruth. Ruth and I have different health goals, and we’re at different fitness levels, however, research has shown that if you have a health buddy on your journey to health and wellness, your chances of succeeding and maintaining that health is greatly increased. Nate gave us some great ideas on how we could train together despite our differing physical levels. He also taught us some great techniques on how to deal with cravings, stress, depression and anxiety that accompanies the process of shedding extra weight and getting healthy again. Nate is brilliant and I’m so excited to be working with him and learning from him.
It just makes sense to me that if you’re going to work on your physical health to improve it, you need to balance that with improving your mental health. Mental health and physical health is not mutually exclusive, they are inextricably connected.
For the first week, Nate has us just working on cardio and Ruth and I decided we would swim one day, walk/job another and hike on the third day. We are also to be aware of the foods we eat. We both know what we shouldn’t eat. I decided a few weeks ago to cut out my daily chocolate bar habit (500 to 1500 calories per bar) and only indulge on Sunday. Doing nothing else, I’ve already lost a couple of pounds. Ruth is going to work on kicking her soda habit.
Just as we didn’t get unhealthy overnight, it’s going to take a while to get our health back. I’m so glad I have my friends Nate and Ruth to join me on this journey as we encourage and motivate others to do the same.