Answers to ‘why’ on the path to health and fitness

It’s broken Daddy, I need a new one.

We have a four-year-old and this sort of thing happens a fair bit as we try to teach him the value of things, and that the bank machine isn’t magic and unlimited.

When something breaks, he either asks for a new one, or just asks me to fix it.

Some things cannot be fixed. “Why?” comes the immediate reply, and no matter what I say, the next question is always,”Why?”

If you are a parent, you know this. Of course we are trying to not only teach him to value his stuff, but to realize that if you take care of it, you will have it forever.

Sadly, I meet lots of people (that are way past four years old), that come to us looking to be ‘fixed’.

It’s what we do ultimately, (help people) but some things cannot be fixed, only worked around. Some things could have been prevented. Most things actually.

I really love that my son asks me ‘why’ 100 times a day. If you ever sit in on one of my staff meetings, coaching sessions, or lectures, you will notice I do this constantly with adults too.

‘Why’ is more important than ‘how’ because when the reason ‘why’ to do something is important enough, then the details of ‘how’ don’t matter. You will find a way.

Look, eating well is harder than eating whatever you feel like that is handy and cheap.

Exercising regularly is harder than relaxing and enjoying TV or a video game. Remembering to take a good multi-vitamin every morning and night is harder than not bothering to care.

Until you consider the big question that applies to everything important – ‘why?’

Why eat well every day, with a good balance of macronutrients and real, whole foods?

Because your life will be better in every way.

You will have more energy, sleep better, poop better, recover faster, get sick less, get really sick less (and hopefully never – but that isn’t guaranteed).

Why eat better? Because the marketing system of food companies does not care about your health at all, they care about profit margins, so you HAVE to care about your food.

You have to make a conscious choice to improve it.

Why exercise every day, balancing cardio and strength or resistance training?

Because your life will get easier in every way. You will sleep better, have more energy, recover faster, be able to lift, carry and move things, sit better, walk better, play with your children better and handle all of the physical things that come your way.

I recovered from my crash faster than all of the doctors thought I could, and I credit that squarely on eating well and exercising for so many years. If I would have crashed like that in 1997, I would have died. No doubt.

I was fat, sick, lazy, uneducated about food and I was a mess.

I was on a bunch of different medications for all manner of mythical illnesses that were ALL caused by eating garbage and being lazy. That’s a fact.

Once I started eating well and exercising, every single one of my problems went away. OK, that guy driving like an idiot on the highway, that problem was still there, but you get my point!

Why take a good multi-vitamin? To top up the deficiencies in what you do eat, because it is likely you are missing some things. This time of year, when local produce is abundant, it’s not so bad if you make good choices. In the dark of winter when our produce comes from a country that doesn’t care about quality, and picks the food before it’s ripe so it can get here before it rots then it’s really a problem. There are 22 minerals in good soil, but we fertilize with three (N.P. and K). Over time, that means only three minerals are in our food, so we need to top the system up with a good multi-vitamin, and support local organic farmers.

So when my son asks me ‘why’ a thousand times I just smile, because the answer is important.

If you break your body, you cannot get another one, so instead of thinking how you should eat well, or what is the best way to exercise or if you should take a vitamin, ask yourself ‘why’ those are important – and make a list of 100 reasons. Then it will get done.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

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