5 Mistakes I made in Fitness and Nutrition & How to avoid them.

 

If there's anything you need to know about me in High School, it's that gym class was the bane of my teenage existence. I was awful at team sports, and used every excuse under the sun to try to get out of practice and participation. I liked the idea of being athletic and strong, but I didn't put in any of the work to make that happen. I blamed everything but my lack of effort - my genetics, my schedule, my parents for not signing me up for lessons.

Don't even get me started about my diet. I was a hardcore pizzatarian (a vegetarian who ate cheese pizza on a twice-weekly basis) and I was in denial about my awful digestive symptoms. I vividly remember scoffing at my family doctor when he suggested that gluten and dairy may be the culprits to my frequent outbreak of hives following eating pizza and pasta and ice cream. My exact words were "pfft I'm Asian, I can't be allergic to anything". I know, I know, my poor family doctor. 

Fast forward 10 years, I am by no means an impressive athlete nor do I have all my health problems resolved, but I am pretty damn proud of what my body can do and what I have learned about nutrition. Here are some silly mistakes I made on my journey to where I am now, I hope they resonate with you and help you avoid them!

1. Not asking for help.

Good grief, I wasted so much time and efficiency because I thought I could do it all on my own - research, execute, accountability. I mean I was able to do it by myself for a short while, but when it took away from other aspects of my life, I fell off the wagon HARD. 

Now, I outsource and delegate like my happiness depends on it, because it does! I save my finite energy on shit I actually want to do. I get my groceries delivered, I attend fitness classes with awesome instructors, I sign up for courses with experts, I see a therapist regularly, and I hired a nutrition coach for accountability. Yes, nutritionists need accountability, too! There is no shame in that. In fact, my experience as a client has helped me grow immensely as a nutritionist.

2. Being impatient.

Getting annoyed from not seeing results didn’t actually make results come faster, it only made the wait less pleasant. Once I stopped fixating on the destination and shifted my focus to enjoying exercise and eating whole foods, I became the master of my own fate rather than a victim. Before I knew it, I was squatting PRs, doing muscle ups, my skin cleared up, my digestion improved.

3. Comparing myself to other people.

The hours of my youth I will never get back due to scrolling through Instagram or pining over someone else's life/relationship/career/body/face can only be described as sad. Comparisons are nasty little habits that discount our efforts and progress. They are unfair and steal your joy. 

You are you and I am me. We are biologically unique so why the hell would we have the same nutrition needs and why the hell would our bodies look the same from eating the same diet? 

Just focus on being your own best self, whatever that means! Try new things, and if they don't work for you, move the fuck on. Don't stay with something because it worked for someone else.

4. Ignoring inner growth.

This one is LETHAL. I have a history with depression and anxiety so naturally I wanted to work on ANYTHING but mental health because that’s too uncomfortable. Besides what does mental health have to do with aesthetics anyways? Um, everything.

My body is a product of my habits which is closely related to thoughts and emotional responses. Until I truly decided to work on stress/anxiety management and stopped coping with food, I could not overcome all the bullshit boundaries and rules and limitations I told myself to keep me in my comfortable bubble of self-sabotage.

5. Always trying to eat less.

It’s so common to believe eating less = looking better and feeling better about myself. That’s just not true. It wasn’t until I ate more that I actually had energy to love myself and life. It wasn’t until I ate more that my body started to heal and grow and feel more like home. 

Find out what your body needs. Chances are you have some kind of deficiency in your diet that is preventing you from feeling amazing - whether it's calories, protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, minerals, probiotics...figure it out! You deserve it! 

So, those are my top 5 mistakes out of many more. These are the ones that had cascading effects that rippled into so many other aspects of my life when I decided to work on them. I still have to plenty of work to do in these areas, but who doesn't?? Hope you found them helpful, feel free to email me if you have any specific questions! hello@kerenchen.ca

Xoxo,

Keren