WORK IT

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Beauty -

MIND POWER THE RULES ARE … RE­LAX THE RULES

TAKE A BREAK. “When you fol­low an

ex­er­cise plan, all those shape- chang­ing, mus­cle-ton­ing, fat-burn­ing changes ac­tu­ally take place when you’re rest­ing, so with­out proper rest, you won’t see any re­sults,” re­veals per­sonal trainer James Duigan. “In fact, you’ll just be break­ing your mus­cle and shape down and will end up de­pleted, rather than mak­ing a pos­i­tive change.”

WORK OUT WISELY. “Avoid over-train­ing, it won’t be ef­fec­tive. I call it ‘zom­bie train­ing’ – you go through the mo­tions, but it’s pur­pose­less and

re­sult-free,” shares Duigan. BE FLEX­I­BLE. “Keep your rules rigid, and you’ll in­evitably slip up, which leads to a feel­ing of fail­ure, then self- pun­ish­ment,” says psy­chother­a­pist Lucy Beres­ford. “In­stead, loosen your grip on self- con­trol, be­cause

while it’s not a ques­tion of com­pletely let­ting go, be­com­ing more flex­i­ble means you’re less likely to snap. It is a healthy mo­ti­va­tion to get us to eat and live well.” With so much go­ing on in your head, day in day out, no won­der you are still spend­ing nights alone. “So many people I meet put gobs of ef­fort into weight, body im­age, and diet so they can some­how cre­ate the hottest body, so they can be no­ticed and adored, which means they have a greater prob­a­bil­ity of sex­u­ally at­tract­ing a mate, be­com­ing fab­u­lous, and find­ing true love. Yet we push away the in­ti­macy we seek be­cause there’s no room left in the bed. Food has oddly mor­phed into our ‘sub­sti­tute lover’. Can you see how our ‘food life’ can put the fire out of our ‘sex life?’” Marc David ques­tions. The founder of the In­sti­tute for the Psy­chol­ogy of Eat­ing, who is on a mis­sion to ad­vo­cate that mind-body ap­proach to eat­ing and stay­ing fit and at­trac­tive, calls this a form of nar­cis­sism. “This fea­ture of the hu­man psy­che can have us so deeply and ex­clu­sively in­volved with ‘me’, that we un­wit­tingly ex­clude oth­ers,” ex­plains David.

“When we’re feel­ing lured into de­ci­sions we know will have neg­a­tive con­se­quences, we tend to pur­pose­fully iso­late our­selves in our own swirling head case. The tempted part doesn’t want out­side in­put,” writes Mark Sis­son, the fit 60-year-old au­thor of So have that slice of cake if you re­ally feel like it. Get an ex­tra hour of shut-eye if your body is ask­ing for it. And dance. Dance not to lose weight, but dance with the pur­pose to gain that mind­body con­nec­tion. Only then will you get toned, sexy thighs, an en­vi­able waist­line, and the willpower and en­ergy to feel good and get more ac­tion in the work­out ring. If you haven’t al­ready no­ticed, it is a win-win sit­u­a­tion.

Tracy An­der­son, who founded the Tracy An­der­son Method that con­cen­trates on work­ing smaller mus­cle groups and dance car­dio work­outs, ex­plains: “Ex­er­cise cre­ates an in­crease in brain lev­els of L-tryp­to­phan, which is the amino acid build­ing block for sero­tonin. And our friend sero­tonin is a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that shut­tles im­pulses be­tween nerve cells. It plays an in­te­gral role in al­most ev­ery­thing, from our abil­ity to learn to how we feel – it’s re­spon­si­ble for reg­u­lat­ing ap­petite, mood, ag­gres­sion, sex drive, and sleep.” A num­ber of Hol­ly­wood stars re­main liv­ing proof of how suc­cess­ful the Method can be. “It did such won­ders for my life, my con­fi­dence, my sex life, ev­ery­thing,” af­firms her big­gest client the newly sin­gle Gwyneth Pal­trow, whose gan­gly fig­ure pre-Tracy has be­come a thing of the past.

UP­WARD BOUND

If car­dio is not your cup of tea, lift­ing weights will get your li­bido back on track, too. “You get leaner in the arms,” as­sures Nick Mitchell, Europe’s Best Per­sonal Trainer and ac­claimed founder of Ul­ti­mate Per­fo­mance gyms in the UK. “By the way, this is also ac­com­pa­nied by an in­creased sex drive and a pro­found in­crease in con­fi­dence. You see, testos­terone is the hor­mone of con­fi­dence and self-be­lief. That’s why most men in­vari­ably over­es­ti­mate how good they look and most women un­der­es­ti­mate how good they look.” Ladies, take note: you’re called the fairer sex for a rea­son.

Stop won­der­ing whether you are do­ing too much car­dio or lift­ing too many weights, or hav­ing too lit­tle protein in one meal, and whether or not to fast next Mon­day. Adds Sis­son: “I al­ways cau­tion people to not get too caught up in the idea of good and bad. We’re not prac­tis­ing for obe­di­ence school. We’re cul­ti­vat­ing con­scious­ness of our own be­havioural and emo­tional pat­terns in or­der to bet­ter ex­er­cise free will.” Next time you’re lov­ing it up, for­get about all that jazz of self-con­trol, won’t you, and savour the mo­ment. You never know where it will lead next.

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