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What I don't like about fitness challenges.

If you're anything like me, you would have strived for perfection at least once in your life or maybe you're the kind of person who strives for perfection every day?

Perfection is overrated but I certainly took a long time to realise that. I look back at old pictures of myself and I remember hating my body! I realise now that my 21 year old self looked pretty bloody good so it's crazy to think about how much I obsessed over being the perfect weight.

I feel like a completely different person than I was back then and my view of health and fitness has changed so much! After 6 years of working as a personal trainer, I still I find it hard to establish a balance between helping people achieve their weight loss goals and teaching people how to exercise because they love their bodies, not because they hate their bodies. Every year around this time, I feel compelled to run a fitness or weight loss challenge post Christmas but to be honest, there's a big part of me that just doesn't feel right about it.

And here's why.

My (almost) 30 year old self has taken part in enough fitness challenges and fad diets to know the outcome. An awesome after photo and a feeling of pride and accomplishment BUT most of the time, the weight comes back on and some. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding ways to stay motivated and I do enjoy running challenges and events throughout the year to keep my clients accountable but I guess my point is, does it have to be all or nothing?

Our minds and bodies are constantly changing throughout our lives whether it's after having kids or during times of stress or worry. Fitness challenges can be a great way to stay consistent in times when you otherwise might 'fall off the wagon' but it shouldn't mean compromising your physical or mental health. When it starts to become obsessive, that's when it becomes unhealthy. Having structure and goals is important for progress but keep your goals realistic to your current situation and don't berate yourself over every obstacle that comes your way. Self care is more important than a six pack. So as a wise friend said to me recently, 'you do you.' Exercise because it makes you feel good and if you want to do a fitness challenge, go for it!!! Just don't lose sight of what's really important. (Hint; it's got nothing to do with your BMI)

Here's to a happy and healthy version of you, whatever that means.

Alyssa x

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