What is the difference between a Fitness Enthusiast and a fit person and an unfit person? What separates those people who never really seem to gain body fat from, well the rest of us? What does is take to make that leap and not have body fat be a real concern?
Exercise is one of those things that hurts, even when you are not really working that hard, so it is really easy to skip the pain, and do that skipping as often as possible. So how do those FREAKS, that we call Fitness Enthusiasts, who never seem to miss a workout do it?
First of all, for what ever reason that they make it over the threshold, they are addicted. I don’t mean that they really like it. I mean that they are physically addicted to working out, just like you can get addicted to drugs, tobacco or alcohol! Remember that word “endorphin”? You have most likely heard it before, and maybe even experienced it. Endorphins are a chemical released when you achieve a certain level of exertion to mask the pain so that you can continue doing whatever crazy thing that you are doing. Back in caveman days that would mean running for your life most likely, so it is a protective mechanism built into our body. It is a very addictive chemical and fitness enthusiast is absolutely 100% addicted to this chemical. So they aren’t working out like you do, they are getting their FIX! That is why they never miss a workout, because they literally jonesing for ENDORPHINS.
Secondly, you get what is called body conditioning. I don’t mean that you get more fit, although that is part of it. I mean that if I hit you on the back with a stick 10 times everyday for the rest of your life eventually it wouldn’t really hurt you because the nerves will start to recognize that sort of pain differently than other pain. Once your body is conditioned to fitness you quite literally will not feel the same pain that you used to. You will be accustomed to being fatigued all of the time. You just plain get used to being sore all of the time and you don’t really feel it. You get conditioned to the response to exercise from your body.
Finally, they are hooked on their accomplishment. Fitness Enthusiasts are addicted to being exceptional. Again, we have chemical responses in our body to lots of things, and one of them is self image. When you compliment that fitness freak on how hard they work, or how good they look that person gets a buzz, just like you do when someone compliments you. It goes further! When a male watches himself workout in a mirror their body releases more testosterone into the system, and that is about the most powerful hormone that there is. So these people are hooked on their own success and will do almost anything to keep feeling the way that they do.
This is usually a good sort of problem to have because the body should stay healthy for life, but this absolutely can go too far. You can picture in your mind that bodybuilder who is so freakishly HUGE that he can’t wipe his own butt. That guy has a self image problem. Or that woman who is so skinny that size zero pants are baggy and yet she spends 2 hours a day on the elliptical. That lady has a self image problem. These people do not get that intrinsic reward and gratification of their success. They only see the negative and obsess about them to the point of bodily harm.
In most cases it a healthy lifestyle is what the Fitness Enthusiast has achieved. Where exercise and clean foods are part of their life. Not everyone who tries this lifestyle will make it to the point of dependency, but does it really sound that bad. Would you give up on 60 minutes per day and some unhealthy food to never have to worry about your health?
A client once put it to me in the most succinct way that I have ever heard. “No sweet or treat ever tasted better than hitting my target weight!”
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