The very beginning of my interest in fitness and nutrition came from the same place as so many others: I remember wanting a skinny body, and I would have done anything to achieve that.
Of course I went on the internet and did some searching for a quick fix. I decided that I should get on the elliptical ASAP and eat only vegetables.
Not even fruit. Just vegetables.
This might sound crazy to you, especially if you’re someone who’s interested in fitness and health. I mean, it was a pretty extreme regimen. But I genuinely didn’t know what could go wrong with what I was doing.
I thought it was a good idea; I hadn’t heard of another way that seemed “more effective”. This regimen was not easy to sustain, but I was determined. I stuck to it for maybe a year before I snapped out of it. Thankfully, I found a way to stay healthy that actually works for me.
I was lucky enough to have had the guidance of a trainer to help me learn about fitness and nutrition. I learned about lifting heavy, eating a balanced diet, and more.
I also did a lot of research on my own, reading up on articles from reputable online sources. I made a lot of changes — the extreme diet and exercise regimen I’d thought was a good idea actually wasn’t doing me any favors.
Over the few years that I have made progress, I realized that I could have succeeded at my exercise and health goals much earlier had I not blindly followed random “fitspo” accounts on Instagram that advocated an unsustainable lifestyle.
Mistakes never equate to failure, and I forgive myself for this time I spent; but I do know I could have reached my happiness much faster had I done some research first.
And more importantly, my happiness no longer meant having a skinny body. It meant having a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that helped me feel good.
The idea here is that you cannot take information (any information, but especially information regarding health and fitness) at face value. Here’s why:
- A lot of the time, big companies lie to make more money. Especially when it comes to looking a certain way, companies know that people are willing to pay a lot. Don’t buy into a health/fitness product before doing your research just because it looks like an easy option.
- Everyone’s body is different. We all respond differently to certain foods, workouts, etc. You need to research and figure out what will work for your own body, not someone else’s.
- You do you. It could even be that someone genuine tries to promote a health/fitness product or regimen to you thinking it’s helpful, but in reality, it’s not the best thing for you. Do what you love and what makes you feel good.
I understand this all seems ironic. I am using an online platform to tell you about not trusting information that you’d find online. I’m being totally honest with you: I’m not making any scientific claims or trying to get you to buy my program. I’m just telling you my honest experience, college student to college student, in the hopes that you can learn from it.
The internet has a lot of false information, but also has a ton of valuable information to offer. Make sure to read as much as you can, and ask questions to those that have more knowledge or are health and fitness professionals.
But above all, make sure to think before blindly following. It will help you so much in the long run, trust me.
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