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By Admin | In Exercise and Nutrition Tips and Advice | on December 12, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I got you all to answer 3 questions:

What food means to you, what exercise means to you and what health means to you.  There were some really interesting answers, so I thought I would write a post and highlight some of my favourites and more interesting ones.


Words used to describe what food meant to you were:




Delicious (obviously haven’t tried chocolate covered ants)



My ‘best friend’, followed by ‘sometime a traitor’



‘The meaning of Life’



Necessary for sport



My best friend and my worst enemy


‘What makes me work’


These are thought provoking responses.  There are three main themes running through this list:


  1. The fact that food is fuel, it provides energy for us to live, to work, to engage in physical activity, to train hard, to play sports, to chase our kids around.  People also recognise that good food provides more resourceful energy and poorer choices of food may make us feel more lethargic and slow.  Some people take no pleasure in food, they simply just have it because they need to fuel their ‘bodies tank’.  Someone even wrote they would rather get their energy from ‘the mains’ if possible.
  2. That food is an enjoyable experience, a pleasure to be shared with friends and family.  This leads on to point three where perhaps this enjoyable experience of food becomes a problem:
  3. That food is sometimes a battle for people.  Phrases such as obsession, temptation and best friend/traitor show that maybe we sometimes battle with food to make it work for us.  Every day, several times a day, we are faced with a choice of what to eat and drink.  There are many other factors that can influence the choice we ultimately make as well, but it is the battle in your head as to what is the right choice.  Every time we eat or drink we can either put something ‘nourishing, healthy, energising’ in our bodies’ or we can put something ‘indulgent, unhealthy, and rubbish’ in our bodies.  What influences you to make these decisions?  What is the best outcome you hope for from the choices you make and do you often feel satisfied or dissatisfied with the choices you make?  The depth of psychology is far too deep for me to even attempt to write a post about but hopefully this will provoke some of your own thoughts.


Exercise was described as:



Essential to keep us feeling strong, active and healthy

Great fun, sociable

Makes you feel younger

Mind clearing

Positive treat

Essential for health and well being

Exercise is my life

Exercise is a means to allow the consumption of more calories

Gives us opportunities


The best feeling ever



The main themes here are:


  1. You have linked up the fact that exercise is something that should be performed to maintain/improve health.  Health will be discussed next, but most of you have replied stating the importance of health.   Therefore this shows you should also value exercise as very important.  And that maybe we need to prioritise exercise more than we do in order to maintain/improve health.  If health is so important to you, how can you afford not to be exercising?
  2. The words fun, energising, enjoyable, a buzz, invigorating and positive feelings are used often, but so is the word hard.  Again this shows the battle that some people may experience of realising that exercise is essential for health and well-being but not necessarily getting the buzz and positive feelings that others may experience from exercising.  Therefore the ability to repeat these behaviours may diminish and therefore the battle becomes harder.  It is therefore essential to try to create an exercise environment whereby people experience the buzz, the adrenalin rush, the positive feeling of accomplishing a worthwhile task/challenege.


Words used to describe Health:




The result/combination of exercise and good food

A privilege and not to be taken for granted

One of the most important things in life and we should nurture it

Essential to have quality of life

Something many people take for granted

Both mental and physical


Far more important than anything else apart from family

Dependant on exercise and food choices

Harmonious balance

Our emotional and physical well being

Health is always on my mind but something I’ll change tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes

Most important gift


The words and sentences used are striking, really illustrating how important good health means to all.  Most recognise the link between good health and good nutrition and exercise, but also point towards a third factor of mental or emotional strength as well.  A lot of people also state how for the most part we are in control of our health.  There are obviously exceptions.  If we know that our health is so important to us then, why I have to ask, do we neglect our own health quite frequently?


Quite often we can point our finger at time.  Time gets a lot of blame.  We are constantly working against time.  We live in a world of long working hours, high amounts of stress, limited time to get everything done, household to run and look after and constant pressure leading to a general neglect of our own bodies.  Is it not time you stepped back and analysed for yourself, what is really important to you?  The constant workload and stress is most likely causing you to make poor food choices, perform little to no exercise, have poor quality sleep, build up high amounts of muscular tension and health then becomes a downward spiral, leading to major problems such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension, which can be categorised as the ‘metabolic syndrome’.


Now obviously it is not as easy to implement a healthier lifestyle as it is to say it, but I just want you to read this and take something away from it.  Think, am I doing my best to maintain/improve my health in my current situation?  What small changes could I perhaps implement to improve my health?  Is eating half a pack of biscuits really going to make me feel better?  When you are stressed/depressed, what will really make you feel better/less stressed?  Am I doing everything I can to be the best I can be in my current situation?  If not, is this not important to you?  Why not?  Do you always prioritise everyone and everything else before yourself?  Try, prioritising yourself and your health and well-being before others at least twice a week.

With all this in mind don’t expect changes to happen instantly.  Again we talk about time.  You have to have the ability to work hard at achieving your goals and sticking to them.  Don’t look for a quick fix – its not out there.  I  have started to use the 3 P’s recently  and I want you all to remind yourself of them:




If you want to achieve you goals, you are going to have to live by these 3 P’s







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©2013 Richard Green PT
Personal Training and Fitness Coaching