On one hand there is nothing wrong with advancement, especially with the ease of carrying an iPad or eReader as opposed to a big bag of books. I remember going to school some days and feeling like my bag weighed a tonne, especially when high school came around and the sciences turned up with their massive textbooks!
I loved English and creative writing as it was a bit more enjoyable than learning about atoms and mathematical equations… I remember that the only thing that I really didn’t enjoy about English classes was reading, I’m pretty sure it was standard around the world but our teachers used to want us to each read a few pages each out loud. The anxiety  would build and build for me as I didn’t want to make a mistake. I didn’t ever want to screw it up for fear of being laughed at. In truth I don’t think anyone would have cared.

You are probably sitting there reading asking what this has to do with fitness, well, I remember when I was younger that I said to my dad that I wanted to write a book one day. His response was, “you’ll need to read more books to write one.” He was right. It turns out that reading and writing go hand in hand… When I started to change my life for the better I started to read more, not with the expressed intention of being able to write a book, or this blog for that matter, the blog happened more spontaneously.

The main reason I started to read was to learn as much as possible about my health and about a more holistic way of looking at diet and exercise. I didn’t want to kill myself losing tonnes of fat, not learn anything and then pile the fat back on again. There are too many people in that boat and as a trainer now I can see it is one of the most frustrating parts of the industry. I don’t blame the fad diets and diet trends, I blame people not taking the time to learn about themselves and how their body works.

I always equate implementing a fitness plan a little bit like taking up a hobby, or starting a new job. At first things might be a bit overwhelming, but in time, with consistency, things will change. Sure, you may need to course correct every now and then, but never stop trying to improve yourself.

You might be thinking that the first thing I’d recommend is a book on the best diet in the world. Far from it. I recommend an array of self help books, one that includes work on the nutritional front. Once you truly understand the change that you want to see in yourself then you can agree to the excitement of it being an enjoyable process. I’m not talking about ‘losing weight and toning up,’ I’m talking about the kind of change that helps you feel good about yourself every day, the kind of change where you feel in complete control of your choices.

All the books I have read have taught me that every step in the right direction is one step better than staying the same. That is what progress is, if you take that and transplant it into a fitness program it works. If you transplant it into dietary choices it works. If you apply it to going to regulating your sleep patterns, it works.

With that said, I’d encourage you to read as much as possible, audio books are a great way to get some reading in when you have other things to do. You’d be surprised how even 15 minutes or 10 minutes of listening in the car on the way to work can lift your spirits and get you feeling more positive about the life you are living.

Here are my top 5 books for you to try out this year:

  1. How to win friends and influence people – Dale Carnegie (I’ve written about this before).
  2. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
  3. The Big Picture – Tony Horton
  4. Why We Get Fat – Gary Taubes
  5. You Are A Badass – Jen Sincero

The last thing I’d point out is that you may have started to read a book of this nature and put it down, you may have found that reading was a bit of a slog, all I can say is that it could be the part of the improvement process that you need to kickstart your mindset. It certainly was for me. The more you learn the more you grow and the more you grow as a human the better off you will be.

So go out there now and be more awesome with each decision you make! Keep learning and most of all Stay Strong and Keep Moving!


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