I was reading a post about a book called “Dear Me: A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self”. Dear Me includes letters from some of the world’s best loved personalities, who have written a letter to their 16 year old self.
That’s when I decided that it would be great, if I ask some of the great authorities in the world of Strength&Conditioning, as well as nutrition, to write a short letter to their unfit self.
Take the time to read every single letter, because all of them are a great source of knowledge and wisdom. Sometimes all a person needs is a sincere conversation with his own self, where all masks are down; where we free ourselves from the prejudice and we focus on what is really important.
Enjoy 13 sincere letters: “Dear Me: A Letter to My Unfit Self”!
Before that do not forget to join my Facebook Page 🙂
Dear younger, learning, not-so-fit Juli,
What you look like isn’t really as important as others make it out to be. Your peers, the media, the magazines, the TV shows all tell you that you have to look a certain way to be accepted.
Excessive exercise and extreme dieting will get you nowhere. First of all, they won’t get you the physical attributes you’re searching for anyway. And second of all, they will destroy your body from this inside. YOU are worth more than putting your body through unnecessary stress because all your peers look a certain way.
Your body is a machine. Literally. You are capable of so much. Give more than you gave yesterday, both physically and mentally. Your body is capable of some pretty amazing things.
It does more than just eat, sleep and play sports. The intricate details that happen on such a minute level are far beyond comprehension. And while you may not learn all of these details until much later, know this- you CAN do anything you put your mind to.
The foods you eat are the fuel for your body. Literally. Don’t think the 800 calorie diet you followed your junior year is good because it’s low in calories. I can vouch for this – it was low in nutrients too. One of the best things you can do for yourself is take care of your insides with good food and proper rest.
What you don’t realize is that the life ahead of you is filled with so much more if you stay the course, do what you love and be good to your body.
Love, Older, wiser, stronger Julia
1. I wish I would have learned earlier on how to listen to my body and train accordingly (biofeedback)
2. I wish I never obsessed with meal frequency, nutrient timing, or excessive protein intake
3. I wish I mastered better form earlier on in my training career
4. I wish I discovered the hip thrust earlier on in my training career too
5. I wish I always trained around pain, not through pain
The best advice I’ve ever gotten was: you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Most times, we look at the pinnacle. It’s like we’re Zelda trekking through Hyrule, or Cloud busting through Midgar. You can think about the final boss all you want, but you’re not ready for that yet. More often than not though? You’re exactly where you need to be given where you are. The only way to make it, I think, is to keep going on your journey.
Get a calendar for the year ten years from now. Circle a date, and then realize you’ll probably have things figured out by then. Most don’t want to hear this kind of advice though. Instead, they look for silly and “weird” tricks and tips. But the truth is that the body isn’t fully understood by even the smartest men and women in the galaxy.
What you’re doing, through training and eating, is recreating your insides. Every time you do (or don’t do) something, you’re nudging your body in a certain direction. And here’s the thing: I have brown hair, you have black hair, she has blonde hair, and that guy in the corner has red hair. The stuff inside each of us is different enough to be, well, different.
Listen to those you trust, but trust your body most. And remember, nothing matters unless you keep putting one foot in front of the other. Showing up is important, but you have to want to get to the end. When you’re lost in the woods, you can either settle or search.
I’d tell my former self: you’re lost, but don’t worry. You’re exactly where you need to be as long as you keep searching and don’t settle.
I know when you think about getting in shape or lifting weights, you’re confused by the onslaught of media and misinformation out there. Low-carb, aerobics, Bowflex…
Cereal bars? Those are healthy, right? You have no idea what protein is, do you?
Look, I’m going to make this real easy on you. I’m going to bypass all the BS you’re going to read over your existing lifetime and give you 3 tips that will change everything for you.
1. Manipulating your body fat or muscle takes understanding one thing above all others – energy balance. But, it doesn’t matter how clean you eat, or what kind of thermic effect you are creating with food – energy balance still matters.
2. Lifting gets you the body you want. You might have to take some walks and do a little cardio from time to time if losing fat, but lifting is what changes your body and mindset.
3. Sleep is so much more important that you could have ever realized. Don’t listen to those quotes about how “life happens while others are sleeping” because they’re from 20-year-olds or drug addicts. You can still get a lot of life in and better life while focusing on sleeping and napping.
Lastly, remember that there will be days when you don’t want to take care of yourself. There will be days where you forget about the brilliant opportunity of being born.
When those days happen, try to remind yourself how lucky you are.
Try to remember that you’re free. Try to remember that some are not and that the least you can do is not be a baby about having the choice to get in shape and live your dreams. The least you can do is not cry “victim” over the fact that you’re selectively choosing to make the decisions you are making.
Sometimes making your life harder, means making it better. Be thankful for that kind of hard. It’s a lot better than what real hard is.
One of the biggest wastes of your time is future-thinking. Seeing as you can’t keep your mind out of my domain, let me come and tell you the truth about wishful thinking!
Every time you wish you were ahead of now, or wish you look differently, or want to be more successful, you are neglecting the only time you have to do anything about it: right now!
Get your head out of the clouds, stop thinking 10 steps ahead and focus on actually taking ONE.
Each time you become distracted by what you wish you had, or what you wish you could get rid of, you are more miserable and more upset about where you are.
Instead, start to see how far you have come and appreciate your unique gifts. That is the fertile soil that grows success, happiness, peacefulness and love – for yourself, but also, for others
Blessings from YOURSELF!
Dear Former Self,
I am writing to give you advice on how to be healthy and happy and have balance in your life with regards to these things.
Luckily, you have always been active and this will continue to be easy for you. However, your mindset and approach with regards to activity could use some work.
You continue to do exercise that is not always fun for you and you only feel positive if it is strenuous and leaves you exhausted. This mindset is making it hard for you to have balance in your life. Realize that it is okay to miss a workout here and there. Like I said, you will continue to be consistent with training so don’t worry about a few missed workouts – these will not hamper your gains.
Find something active you enjoy and do it. It can be anything. You are particularly fond of playing sports and lifting weights, but only do these if they are fun for you. Just have fun and move around a lot. It will make you feel better.
Set performance goals as opposed to trying to kick your butt (e.g. try to set PRs versus burning X calories). A good workout is not determined by how tired you are at the end. A good workout should often leave you feeling refreshed. Your extreme approach will leave you burnt out and will give you subpar results.
In regards to nutrition, fuel your body with foods that you enjoy and that make you feel good. Ignore most of the dietary dogma that you will be exposed to daily. You will have to experiment a little here to determine what makes you feel the best, but it is worth the effort. And, don’t let anyone tell you what you are doing is wrong or suboptimal if it makes you feel good and perform well. This is what is most important.
Lastly, continue to learn about training and nutrition because you have a passion for these things and can help a lot of people, including yourself, make more optimal decisions regarding them. Make sure to read the research as opposed to reading multiple blogs and getting overwhelmed – find a balance between your own anecdotal evidence and the research.
Your older and wiser self
Dear old self,
As I am looking back from the future I have some words of advice. I know soccer is important for you and you will go on to play in college and be successful. I also know that you could have done a lot better if you took care of a few things.
First, fix your diet. I know it is not the first thing that comes to people’s minds, but it is important. Focus on eating nutrient dense whole foods. This will help give you the nutrients you need for increases energy as well as combat the inflammation associated with playing sports. The foods you are eating now are only adding to the inflammation.
Second, pay attention to your workouts. Bench pressing is not the most important thing for you to do to increase. Find a good trainer that will assess your movement and develop a program based upon movement efficiency. It may not be as appealing as bench pressing, but it will help decrease injury risk and improve performance.
If you do these things you will see major gains. The gains will be in both health and performance. Don’t take anything for granted!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/impruvism
“Perfection” and “good enough” are rarely the same thing.
If you have to give up your hobbies, social life, and happiness to reach your fitness and health goals — you’re doing it wrong.
You should focus on the fundamentals of any topic first, then learn the finer details only as needed and appropriate.
If someone can’t explain a topic in simple terms, they don’t understand it well enough and probably shouldn’t be trusted.
The most important part of your workout program is whether or not you enjoy it. Read more HERE.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorityNutrition
“Question everything that others believe to be true. Just because a doctor, nutritionist or a respected health organization says something, there is no guarantee that it is actually true.
A lot of the “conventional wisdom” that is passed around in health and fitness circles is completely false and is the opposite of the truth in many cases.”
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JoyVYR
Don’t worry about what you don’t know. Cause there is a lot you don’t know right now, and that makes you uncomfortable. Unsure. Scared. Forget that for a moment. It’s ok to not know what to do. Let me tell you something.
You have a good thing going for you right now that will be the secret to success: your desire to learn and your willingness to work.
This is a process. There is no way to know everything right off the bat. Nothing in life works like that. So worry about what you can control and change now. Then get out there and act on it. Just like you are doing now. That’s half the battle right there…..start!
Ask questions and put two and two together. Don’t settle. Don’t try to find a quick-fix. Because what works now, won’t work forever. Ever.
Get over finding a quick way. Being “fit” is personal to everyone. What would you like to do? What do you want your body to do for you? What is stressing you out?
What do you think you could do if you were stronger, less stressed, and more confident? You’d be a better you. And that’s what this really is all about. Not having abs. Or looking a certain way.
Believe me, that stuff gets old. But expanding your capabilities both physically and mentally is where it’s at! The best part of changing your body is that is opens up your ability to do more of anything. It allows you to practice focus, and action. It teaches you to reach a goal. So you then can do bigger and better things. And that is something powerful.
Learn to listen, evaluate and pay attention to any advice you chose to try out for training or diet. There is no better teacher than your mind paying attention to your actions and some good old common sense. Get on that.
You might have to try a lot of things before you find what works best for you. There are good reasons why the basic principles have stood the test of time in exercise and diet…but after you nail that then world is yours!
Doing + paying attention + developing your skill to think and evaluate = you become one of those who “get it”.
On a more specific note; PLEASE PICK UP SOME WEIGHTS and learn to build strength!
I am also sorry to tell you that just about everything in popular magazines and diet books is bullshit. Or bullshit mixed with enough truth and logical fallacies so it seems to “make sense”. Stop reading your diet books. Don’t be so sure about what you know unless you know HOW you know. Learn to think critically.
Spend more time on questions and less on answers.
Take some time to get a proper education in the basics and always think for yourself!
If you make friends with yourself first you will have a better time finding any answers you need at the right moments. Then you will never feel that your body is betraying you. Because you will be paying attention. You will never wonder why you can’t reach your goals.
Exercise and diet are just that. Moving around and eating. We do it everyday; forever. There’s a bigger world out there. Eyes up. Enjoy your food, find new ways to move. Learn to lift and get to know what its like to be able to sprint hard, or finish a 5k, or jump out of plane, or squat a couple hundred lbs. That shit feels awesome, and a strong body pairs well with a strong mind. You want both.
The best shortcut you can get is to work at learning how to think, doing what makes sense to you and always, always push your boundaries.
Your Fit Self
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/beyondfitphysiques
First, be happy! Let’s start here. Seriously. You have a lot to be happy about! You have plenty of time to focus on fat loss. Instead of stressing about how the latest celeb lost 20lbs in 20 minutes, take some time to enjoy these moments and to revel in the miracle that is LIFE. They say that time flies. And it’s true. You’ll never get these moments Remember what truly matters. Don’t miss these moments by obsessing over a few extra pounds.
Second, find some accountability! Having social support, whether through friends, or family (or awesome women in an online community) is key to reaching your long-term goals.
We are social creatures by nature, and we feel good when we have someone who listens and can relate to what we’re going through. Consider getting involved with mommy and baby fitness classes (You can workout and bond with your baby at the same time) or join a group workout if you belong to a gym.
Group training allows us not just to get a great workout, but to develop and foster friendships- many of which reach beyond the walls of the gym. If you don’t have a local group, connect with other women in a similar situation as you online….The key is to establish a built-in support system and to make sure you have someone to help you on your journey.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/InesSubashkaInspiredFitStrong
Dear Former Self,
I know that my words might hurt your feelings, but I am here to tell you the truth, because that is what true friends do. They show you your mistakes and your weaknesses, and then point out your strengths, so you can reach your full potential.
First of all, give up the ridiculous notion that looking a certain way, will fix your life and your problems. Truth is that neither abs, nor a more defined body, will make you a person of value, or bring you the happiness you seek for.
Truth is that our appearance is a consequence of our own essence. Whoever you are on the inside, expresses on the outside. That’s where you should focus.
Stop obsessing about calories and following the latest diet trends. It is painful just to watch you suffer, because you are voluntarily giving away the freedom of knowledge and becoming a slave of mass media. Instead of reading what’s popular and slaving the tips, arm yourself with patience and passion. Learn how your body functions and then based on your own knowledge and experience, apply your critical thinking and choose which information is authentic and which one is just another trend.
It is about time to realize that nothing beats basics. If you revolve your nutrition around choosing real, quality food and training around basic, functional movements, your body will take care of everything.
You can’t go against your nature and expect results. Everything you do or eat, sends information to your body and gives instructions for further actions. All your actions- from endless cardio sessions, to restrictive diets, is just sending the wrong information. Learn to communicate with your body. And communication by itself, includes sending your message, but then listening to what your body is telling you as well.
Your body is your best friend and it wants you to be fit, healthy and happy. Learn to love and appreciate yourself. Once you do that, you will always make the best choices for yourself- you will eat just the foods that are nourishing your body, you will exercise just enough to stay healthy and use the unlimited potential of your body’s abilities; you will think thoughts that contribute to your happiness and you will act to achieve success.
Life is about balance and about learning to love yourself. Once you do that, you will let go of unnecessary drama, and you will make space in your life for everything you want to have or become.
Evolution leaves footprints. That’s why you should stay close to your nature and work with it, not against it.
I, better than anyone, know how much time, effort, and dedication you devote to studying all facets of training and nutrition. I also know you’ve seen fantastic results in your own personal transformation.
For that I congratulate you!
Keep in mind, if I know anything about you (my past [teenage] self), I know the last thing you want is advice.
You take great pride in your independence and work ethic, and would much rather figure things out for yourself then accept help from an outside party.
I know that seems like the noble and respectable thing to do but, coming from your future self, it would be a huge mistake.
What if I told you that I’ve stumbled upon a way – a much easier and enjoyable way – to get strong, look great naked, and live a healthy lifestyle?
Would you listen?
Would you heed my (your future self’s) advice?
I certainly hope so because in the remainder of this letter I am going to give you the 10 pieces of advice that I wish I had been given when I first got into fitness.
Take it or leave it. Do with it what you want. But believe me when I say that you – and all your future clients – will be drastically more successful if you use the information provided below.
I can’t force you, though, so ultimately the choice is yours.
1. You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet
2. You Won’t Get Fat If You Take a Day Off
3. There’s No Such Thing as a Fattening Food
4. Rigid Dieters Are LESS Successful Than Flexible Dieters
5. Train for Performance, NOT Aesthetics
6. Find A Program And Follow It Consistently
7. Blaming Helps No One
8. Not Everyone is Ready to Change
9. Your Goals Are Not Your Clients’
10. If You Aren’t Having Fun…You Aren’t Doing it Right
Find what works for YOU! Laugh. Have fun. Enjoy the process.
After all…what’s life without a little fun?
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