Corinne Austin | Personal Training

The Secret is in Being Kind to Yourself

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.


It’s something I have, over time, learnt to be true, and it’s a subject that my wisdom is maturing in daily.   It’s something that I’d love gazillions of others to acknowledge, accept and appreciate.  Simply because our bodies are our temples, our residences, and our means of living.  And it’s the least we can do to nurture and preserve them.


Here goes!


The secret to health, to weight loss, and to radiating an eternal zest for life is in being kind to yourself in both a mental and physical capacity, and doing this consistently and constructively.   That’s right – being kind is the simple answer we’ve been overlooking for too long.


We need to do away with what I have framed as the thrashing, bashing, and trashing attitudes – we feel pressured to thrash our bodies with exercise, we bash our psyches for unjustified reason, and trash our bodies with too much food or drink that actually is doing barely anything to truly nourish us (namely sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods).


Investing in our health needs to be a positive, stimulating, and empowering adventure, and it should always be aided with compassion and enjoyment.


For years, decades even, we’ve had this notion that the best way to achieve health was through exercising hard and exercising often.  And if we ate something bad, then that was ok so long as we made up for it with a triple intensity, double duration exercise session.  But when there’s more obesity, poor health, and psychological conditions than ever before, we’ve surely got to come to the conclusion that something isn’t working here – that perhaps that very formula needs adjusting..?


Despite it being the 21st century and being surrounded by the many technological advances and conveniences of today (some, of which, aren’t actually serving us any convenience at all), our biology – the way our bodies are made up – is exactly like it was 100 or 1000 years ago.  And a women’s body wasn’t made to be smashed into the ground physically, nor pushed to extreme levels of exertion or muscular fatigue.  It’s not in our body’s physiology, and nor will it ever be.  We are biochemically constructed to be the ‘lover’, not the ‘fighter’.  Women are meant to be the compassionate, kind-hearted home-makers and family-makers.  We’re built to undertake physical duties for sure – just not to the degree we have succumbed to in recent times.


As such, when we are fronted with these extreme measure, our bodies stress levels sky rocket.  Our body can’t differentiate the different sources of stress, so we respond in the way that evolution designed us – and that is to fight or flee.  This psychological state induces fat-storing, muscle-destroying, and immune suppressing functions, along with debilitating effects in thyroid, liver, gut and sex hormone systems – and unfortunately none of those consequences contribute to improved health.


Being fit and being healthy are not one and the same – they are mutually exclusive, and we need to get our heads around this.  I urge you, as a women seeking the best health and vitality you can, to change your mindset to one of kindness when you consider all aspects of your health.  Include strength training exercise that strengthens your muscles and invigorates and energises you.  Stroll and explore your environment, and embark in plenty of restorative movement like yoga, stretching, meditation, tai chi, or lying calmly whilst focussing on your breath.  Eat nourishing, nutrient-rich foods most of the time, and allow yourself a treat or two occasionally – especially during times of celebration.  Replace the poisons (sugar, caffeine, and alcohol) with something that’ll boost your health and stimulate more enduring happiness and contentedness.  And above all, speak kindly to yourself.  Nothing great was ever achieved by slamming oneself with derogatory, destructive words.


If you want to experience greater health, practice and exhibit greater kindness.  It’s that simple.