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The Epidemic

Updated on October 4, 2017
Thomas O D R profile image

- Personal Trainer "No such thing as a life that's better than yours" - J. Cole

All Time High

Mental illnesses are at an all time high and the risks for developing one are increasing at a rapid rate. In the new age of social media, political correctness and highest rates of obesity recorded, mental illnesses are growing along with them. The world is a sensitive place and with social media it keeps everyone in loop with what's going on around the world and it's current issues. There is a lot of pressure in this world to be 'right' or 'correct' . According to "approximately every one in five Australians each year will experience a mental illness". Going by Australia's current population according to 'World Bank 2016' of 24.13 million people approximately just over 4.8 million people are currently suffering from a mental illness. That's roughly 20% of the population. Now, obesity is also at an all time high. According to "every 2 in 3 Australian adults were either overweight or obese in 2014-2015" and "1 in 4 Australian children (aged 2 - 17) were overweight or obese in 2014-2015". Now stating the obvious with the above statistics that's almost every adult in Australia being overweight and who knows what the current statistic for that is right now. There is also a high link between being overweight or obese and developing a psychological disorder so as long as obesity is rising so are psychological disorders (although there are many other factors as to psychological disorders rising). Being overweight or obese can have a serious impact on ones psychological state and quality of life, with obesity and mental illness both epidemics in Australia, it's time to put an end to it.

My Speel

For me, I used health and fitness as a way to improve my body image and it also made things worse because of social media, I saw people who had unrealistic bodies, diet plans and training regimes for ME. It made me feel worse because I set unrealistic standards, goals and expectations for myself, I dug myself a deeper hole. Health and fitness was a tool I used to improve myself but I got worse so it became a therapy tool. I learnt different aspects about life that you need to be a happy person whether you had reached and excelled through your goals or if you were no where near them. Life is about quality living a long and healthy life, being happy, being surrounded by loving, positive and happy people and doing it the way YOU want to do it. Live your dreams and not others.

Be Happy with What You See in the Mirror

It starts off with how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself. If you don't love yourself, believe in yourself and have confidence, you will be stagnant. It doesn't matter whether you have rock hard abs or are 30kg overweight you need to learn to love yourself, be happy with who you are in your current state and be confident rocking it. Being confident is key, even if deep down you aren't confident, act like you are and it will rub off on you. You will notice you will be a happier person with a better quality of life. Once you have learnt to love yourself and embrace who you are and how you are in your current state you need to set goals and make a plan. Now these goals have to be 100% for you, you can't have some one else's goal, it has to be yours and it has to be realistic. It may be to lose 4kg in a month, that is completely realistic and attainable. Once you have done those two things, you then have to learn and enjoy the process of change, that is losing your target weight, getting a new PR (personal record), eating healthy for a full week or on the other end not losing anything, gaining weight, bingeing, it's all a part of the process and it is okay to fail and not reach your goal but you need to keep trying and never quit. If you can find a goal that has a personal attachment to it, that keeps you pushing even when you don't feel like it, then you have found the right goal. Also If you can find a way to keep yourself accountable whether it is telling your partner, family, friends your goals and intentions or whether you do it publicly on social media, just make sure to find a way to make you accountable for your actions. Just remember to embrace it all to become a better and happier person.

Physical Activity and Healthy Eating

Training and diet are the two best ways to reach your goals and improve your mental state. With diet, it's simple. You need to eat in a caloric deficit meaning you have to burn more than you eat. That doesn't mean you binge on food because you don't want to miss out on anything and then have an intense 6 hour exercise session to burn everything you just ate and more. It means you need to have a balanced diet consisting of starchy carbohydrates, high sources of protein and healthy fats along with a treat here and there but only when you feel like you need one, not when you want one, you need to learn the difference. Exercise, all it needs to be is a brisk walk in the park, a bike ride, a jog, or sprints down at your local oval, weights session or even a sport. You don't have to spend hours in the gym or on a treadmill or running for hours at your local track. Learn to love training and diet, otherwise you won't get any where. Make training enjoyable, make it a hobby, same as dieting, make it enjoyable. It all needs to be balanced, find what works for you.

Positive Vibes All Around

Surrounding yourself with positive people is vital. Don't surround yourself with others who spend time putting themselves, you or others down, or with people who have a negative attitude and outlook. Surround yourself with positive people with positive vibes, because you need a good back bone for when you are feeling down. That is the bare minimum of what you need to be surrounded by, they are the people you need to be with. If you can surround yourself with people who have similar or the same goals as you, who are more successful than you and who have a lot of knowledge or experience. That is also vital if you want to grow and be better in your chosen field and be the best at what you do. It's important to live in a healthy and prosperous environment.

Staying Hungry & Motivated

Lastly, motivation. Motivation is key for us to keep striving towards our goals. There are many ways on how to stay motivated and how to get motivated both internal and external sources. To be organised, you have to have a plan, you have to follow it, it is easier to stay motivated if you have something to follow and stick to. Internal sources of motivation are personal accountability and your own personal goals which should have a personal attachment that I mentioned earlier, it should have a significant value to you. Accountability is key, you have to hold yourself accountable. External sources of motivation are your idols achieving their goals, looking at pictures, videos or listening to motivational speeches or watching motivational videos or seeing others come from struggles and rise to the top. It all comes back to positive vibes and attitudes which I also mentioned earlier. Positivity is key. Michael Jordan didn't become the best basketball player in history by telling himself he isn't good enough, he got there because he told himself he wanted to be the best and didn't let anything or anyone to stop him from getting there. The best quote from MJ was this "i've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times i've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again and that is why I succeed" - Michael Jordan. Going back to embracing the change and embracing yourself, this is what he applied to himself. He kept going no matter how many times he failed, he stayed motivated and he never quit.

Key Points & Summary

Key points are highlighted throughout the article, for you to take in and take note of. This article is how to use health and fitness as a way to help reach your goals and become a happier and healthier person, to reduce obesity and any psychological issues.

Final Message

Be Honest

Are you overweight?

See results

Lights. Camera. Action

Are you taking the steps necessary to help yourself?

See results

© 2017 Thomas O'Dwyer-Richards


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