Why Emotional Fitness Matters

It was the end of 2013, and I was miserable.

For the fourth time in six years, I had put back on the thirty pounds I’d worked my tail off to lose. I was frustrated. I was furious with myself. I felt like the excess weight that had haunted me since early childhood was never going to stay off for good.

And because I was twenty-four and thought I knew more than an older, much wiser, trained professional, I was arguing with the counsellor sitting across from me. She was trying to tell me that my weight gain wasn’t the problem, but instead a symptom that pointed to other challenges.

“You don’t understand,” I countered. I probably had my arms crossed over my chest with a pout on my face. “I’m happier when I weigh less.”

She tilted her head to one side and said something that’s stuck with me ever since: “I don’t think that’s the case. I think you allow yourself to weigh less when you’re happy.”

When people chase a leaner body or a smaller size, it’s almost never about the number on the scale. People want to change their bodies because they want to feel better. They want more confidence, peace, and happiness. Making healthy changes and getting more physically fit can bring these things – I’ve seen this happen for my clients many times. However, I’ve also seen that a great way to fast-track physical results is to boost emotional fitness.

When we’re happier, we’re more motivated. We feel like taking better care of ourselves. When our state is one of contentment and gratitude, the journey feels easier and more fun. We take ourselves out of a chronic stress response, which can cause a person to hold onto weight or even gain weight in spite of eating better and working out.

However, emotional fitness isn’t simply about feeling good all the time. That’s simply not realistic, nor is it healthy. Trying to feel good all the time is a sign of stuck or repressed emotions.

Emotional fitness is about welcoming all emotions and allowing them to flow. It’s about ending the need to distract with food or any other medium. It’s about seeing the value in every emotion, instead of being afraid or resistant to feeling things like anger or sadness.

On February 13th (at 6:45pm), Ascend Fitness will be offering a workshop on Emotional Fitness. During this workshop, participants will discover the value of all emotions (even ones perceived as ‘negative’). Participants will also take-home actionable strategies to stop emotional eating for good so they can claim their healthiest body as well as their healthiest mind.

Registration is $10, with the proceeds going to the Chilliwack SPCA. Call 604-392-0892 to register.

Yours in Health,


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