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What stands between you and your fitness goals?

By Stacey Holland

The etymology of the word “love” is fascinating; it is rooted in Old English, Germanic, and Sanskrit, closely linked to the notions of yearning, holding something dear, and pleasure. So, in this month of love, it is valuable to address one of the significant obstacles standing between you and your fitness goals in 2024: desire.

As the founder of LiveFit with Stacey Holland and GUTFit™, focusing on holistic approaches to fitness and gut health, my coaching model revolves around four pillars: THINK, EAT, MOVE, TRACK™. I use this framework to help my clients pinpoint where they’re getting stuck, and once someone addresses the first pillar, the other three fall into place quite quickly.

When addressing THINKING, we consider limiting beliefs, ideas, and notions about weight, shape, and fitness. We delve into family history and adopt patterns, tackling their attitude toward the idea of getting fit.

For many, there’s a lack of real desire. They acknowledge it’s a good thing to do, understanding the theoretical benefits. They approach the goal intellectually but seldomly with their hearts. Often, they choose a way of movement or eating that does little to ignite their soul! Now, undoubtedly, I hear you saying to yourself, “Stacey, ice-cream and pizza ignite my soul – and that’s precisely my problem!”

How you look at something alters your attitude toward it

I understand this; I once believed that everything connected to the world of health and fitness involved limitation, starvation, restriction, a lack of flavour – void of desire and only achievable through sheer will and grit.

This is a mindset, a limited one that didn’t serve me, nor will it serve you. There’s a saying that perspective occurs when everything changes, yet nothing changes. How you choose to look at something can alter your entire attitude toward it.

Being well and being fit needn’t be restrictive, boring, or lacking in vibrance and energy; au contraire, dear reader, it’s meant to infuse your life with more life! If you choose to consider it from this perspective, you’ll start extracting joy from activities you used to loathe; dare I say you may start to fall in love with movement, with nutrition.

Should that not work (yes, yes, my inspiring soliloquy does not work on everyone), then my challenge to you is to start finding an activity you enjoy. What did you love to do as a kid? Dancing, skipping, playing cricket in the street with your friends? These memories can inspire you to pursue an activity that you already associate with pleasure.

There’s another root word of love that I find quite endearing, particularly in a South African context; “lief,” an archaic English word denoting doing something happily or gladly. In this month of love, of “lief,” find an activity that you can say you do happily. Move from a place of laughter and love, and it is no longer just “working out”; but becomes play! IB

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