In the UK, we enjoy universal healthcare thanks to the NHS. It’s there when we need it and of course we pay for it. Our taxes go up and we accept that rising costs of keeping people healthy is the reason. That’s a tax on our bank balances.
What about other hidden taxes that some people pay: When we’re unhealthy, some things that we like to do are off limits. If we’re overweight and our kids want to go swimming it’s not always a “YES!”. If we’re unfit then going for a long walk with friends probably isn’t something that we jump at the chance to do. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt, but we can’t start lifting weights either because our back hurts! We have tried to cut out carbs because the media said we should, but we needed the energy.
Those physical taxes are pretty bad, but there’s worse…
The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.
We know that some people are self-conscious about their health and fitness. Starting to exercise can be intimidating if you don’t want to do it wrong. No one want to fail. No one wants to look stupid or out of place.
Starting a new diet is met with “good for you” from people who know that we need it, or met with the lie “you don’t need to do that” or occasionally even a roll of the eyes because people know you’ve tried and failed at something before.
The first piece of advice we’d have for any who is not being supported by someone in their pursuit of health and fitness, is that they need to get a more supportive circle. That may mean distancing yourself from some people or finding new people who will support you.
Lockdown has been long. Some people haven’t done much exercise at all over the past 3 months and their first session back is intimidating. We get it. The fear of embarrassment is high. The chances of being nowhere near as fit or strong as you used to be are also high.
Even those who have been training regularly may find that they need to build back into their old routine.
The government makes us pay financial tax. But the other two—physical and mental—are self-imposed and all in the mind.
No one cares if you’re slowest in the class – you’re still there.
Nobody cares if you finish last – you still finished.
No one cares if you blow your diet and have to start all over again – every time you sit down to eat you get to make new choices.
When you realise that other people don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do, you’ll be able to start to move on. Everyone is too wrapped up in themselves to spend much energy thinking about other people. Everyone is paying their own tax, and most of us pay too much!
So relax, enjoy the process. Surround yourself with people who will support you and watch how far you go.
Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at Catalystgym.com.