Try this refreshing approach to achieving your ideal body — inside and out
When it comes to the human body, I’m a seasoned veteran at helping to create the perfect physique. For over a decade, I’ve worked with countless performance and physique athletes around the world, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s what it takes to make the perfect body from all aspects.
The perfect body is not just about what you see in the mirror. In fact, that’s just one small piece of the puzzle. What we see on the outside is usually a translation of what’s happening on the inside — good or bad. The perfect body is, in essence, the result of doing all the right things consistently, to the absolute best of your abilities, and living an extraordinary life.
To help you build the perfect body, I’ve put together a little recipe. And, like most recipes, the key is to include the right ingredients in the right amounts. When you’re taking in too much of one ingredient and not enough of another, you’re asking for trouble. I see extreme imbalances far too often. Strive for balance as you take a deeper look into these amazing ingredients.
INGREDIENT 1: A LOVING MINDSET SHIFT
Everything begins and ends with a loving mindset. If you don’t have the right mindset you will never truly achieve satisfaction and fulfillment. When I start coaching someone, the first thing I focus on is building clarity around her state of mind.
What do you think of yourself? What do you love? Go ahead, answer the question yourself. Write down the top three things you love on a piece of paper.
What did you write? Your family and friends? Your pet? Your job? Did you write down yourself? If you didn’t write down that you love yourself, we have work to do!
Being perfect really means being comfortable in your own skin. Selflove is the key to everything; you have to love yourself in all your glory and in your absolute worst. When you can do that, the rest is easy.
Because you love yourself unconditionally, you’ll want to take care of your body and make sure that it’s getting the treatment it not only deserves, but demands! The loving mindset is your internal input system that is the foundation of your psychology.
INGREDIENT 2: NATURAL NUTRITION
You completely replace every cell in your body every one or two years. Those cells are made of the food and drinks you have consumed during that time. Ask yourself if you think the perfect body is built on fast food, sugary treats, and coffee?
The simple rule is to eat real food and to drink fresh water. Limit food that looks like it came out of a factory. Eat lots of green vegetables and sustainably sourced, pasture-raised meats, and wild fish. Enjoy some fresh fruits and unprocessed carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and wild rice. Stick with healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, and raw nuts. Opt for organic when possible, and send love to your meal no matter what you are able to put on your table.
Water is the life source of our planet, and I can’t stress enough how important it is. Your body is made up of roughly 75 per cent water, so if you’re not drinking enough highquality water every day, all day long, you’re placing your body into a drought. Ideally you should drink three to five litres every day.
When you are dehydrated your body will hold onto all the toxins you’re unknowingly exposed to every day. Your skin and hair will get dry. Your muscles will get flat and cramp, you’ll store unwanted fat in your midsection, and you’ll feel bloated far too often.
Sadly, tap water is not going to cut it. You should seek out the bestquality water you can find — ideally spring water in glass bottles. And don’t try to fill your water requirements with other beverages such as juice, tea, or coffee. Get your water intake covered first, and then enjoy a few other drinks in moderation.
INGREDIENTS 3: BECOME A MOVEMENT MACHINE
Your perfect body was made to move, and chances are you’re not moving it enough. Lifting weights is an absolute must. Resistance training builds muscle, increases strength, stimulates positive hormone production, and improves the functionality of all other systems in your body (including your mindset). Lift heavy (with good form), and lift often, and your body will love you forever.
You also want to get your heart rate up with cardiovascular work. However, I don’t recommend extended cardio, such as long runs, unless you are training for a competition that requires it. Over time, long steady-state cardio can actually create a negative hormonal response in your body, leading to unwanted fat gain and chronic injuries. Short bouts of high-intensity interval work like hill sprints or spin bike intervals deliver the best results. Also, try to do your cardio work outside in nature as often as possible. The fresh air is far more invigorating, therapeutic, and restorative.
Lastly, be sure to include mobility movement practice that includes an emphasis on breathing, such as yoga or a functional movement class. This is great for boosting circulation, stress relief, and sustaining elasticity in your muscles and skin. It helps keep you looking young.
INGREDIENT 4: REST AND RECOVERY RITUALS
Rest and recovery is underrated and underappreciated in today’s busy world. There is so much technology aimed at making our lives easier, and yet we work longer hours, spend less time with the important people in our lives, and seem unable to just put our feet up and relax. We work too much, are overstressed, and are on the edge of burnout — this must be addressed if you want to have the perfect body.
Sleep is essential. Ask yourself how much sleep you average per night. My personal recommendation is eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Getting less is going to cause a whole array of ongoing issues such as excessive fat gain, poor mental focus, increased risk of illness and disease, as well as uncontrollable mood swings and possible depression.
Just as important as the duration of sleep is the window in which you sleep. The optimal sleep window is between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. If you want to maximize recovery and improve hormonal production and function, make sure you are getting your Zzzs during this time.
INGREDIENT 5: A POSITIVE ECOSYSTEM
The environment that you spend the majority of your time in (work, school, home, or elsewhere) is so important to the way you look and feel. In the right ecosystem, living matter will flourish, growing into a substance of great beauty and vitality. On the contrary, in the wrong environment, that same life form will shrivel and die, never reaching the point of perfect beauty that Mother Nature intended.
One of my favourite quotes is by Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This is an absolutely critical life rule that I follow, and instill in every athlete that I coach. If you want to have the perfect body you have to constantly surround yourself with positive, genuine, loving people who believe in themselves and believe in you. People who love you as you are right now, and who are there to support you on the never-ending journey of wellness, and will help bring out your best.
Get the negative people out of your life with some good old-fashioned social housekeeping. Block the haters. Delete the doubters and Debbie downers. And unfriend anyone who does not inspire you to be an amazing person inside and out.
By Gaetan Boutin
Find out how to think your way to a better health here!