I recently read an article by Cody McBroom on Dr. John Rusin’s website called The Nutrition Hierarchy: Performance VS. Aesthetic VS. Health. It truly is an excellent read not only in content but in its purpose as well. McBroom discusses how to achieve optimal strength, health and aesthetic all while reminding us of the important realization that we cannot achieve all three at once.
Although this idea may seem obvious to some, it is far too easy to get caught up in one, or all of these streams of fitness and nutrition while striving for a trilogy of perfection, one that is simply unattainable. Perhaps this could be a frustrating concept for you but I want you to view it as a relief and here’s why.
1. By realizing that you cannot be your best aesthetically, physically and internally all at once, you can relieve yourself from a great deal of stress, because what is more frustrating than trying to achieve perfection when it’s ultimately impossible? Additionally, given that stress is one of the -if not the largest precursor to disease, you will be doing your body a huge favor by reducing any area of stress in your life and will most likely see even more favorable results in your dedicated stream of focus.
2. Focusing primarily on one aspect of health and fitness will allow you to channel your energy and achieve greater progress in one aspect rather than a little in all three, and you won’t be disappointed with inadequate results but rather happy with optimal results.
3. To further expand on point #2, having one goal is much more attainable and possible than having three. This is not to say you should for example, neglect your health because you’re hoping to look shredded, since aesthetic, health and strength go hand in hand, (and they should all be given some TLC), but it will be easier to observe your progress given your individualized dedication.
4. You are able to prioritize your goals by determining if aesthetic, health or strength is most important to you at this time. While you ultimately decide what you want to experience in you fitness journey, don’t forget to listen to your body in the process. Push yourself and stick to your goals but don’t compromise yourself to the point of putting your body at risk of injury or health complications.
5. Don’t forget that just because you decide to focus on one of your health and fitness goals, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind a few months later. Keep in mind that any health and fitness progress takes time, so be patient when it comes to reaching your aesthetic, strength and fitness goals and give yourself enough time to observe a change… Having said that, you can easily interchange these goals depending on your lifestyle, the time of year and your current priorities. Play around with what works best for you and use this as an opportunity to try new things. Also, don’t forget to switch it up because one category shouldn’t be your sole focus forever.
6. Finally, you can be more forgiving and not so hard on yourself because as you focus primarily on aesthetic, health or strength, it is only natural that the two others will be slightly compromised, they should still be good but perhaps less than perfect, and that’s OK.
I really hope that this blog post drives you to further enhance your fitness journey and motivates you to be the best version of yourself aesthetically, internally and physically -without stressing.
Stay healthy and happy!
Also published on Medium.