I've been thinking a lot about minimalism lately. I was interviewed by a friend last week about my lifestyle as a "Modern Hippie" and how I live a minimalistic and environmentally friendly lifestyle whilst maintaining my health and fitness. I've been pondering the similarities between fitness & body composition with finance and lifestyle choices. I also watched a documentary last night called "I AM" which illustrates the human dependence on consumerism and how it does not fulfil us. My philosophy, is to live with as minimal possessions as possible, but enough to satisfy my needs. I don't go shopping unless I need something in particular; and I like to get rid of things that I accumulate rather than hoarding things I don't need in storage. I find I always feel lighter and more free when I have less possessions. As a society we are taught to buy, consume, eat, spend & hoard more and more things. Yet those things burden us and weigh us down. I believe it is a very similar concept with our bodies... we eat and consume more than we require; therefore we store the excess as Body Fat which weighs us down and burdens us, making us feel yucky and unhappy. I believe minimalism can be applied to your health; you want to make sure you have enough (food, muscle & body fat) to be healthy and function effectively; but you don't want to have too much that it weighs you down and stops you from doing the things you want to. For women, for example, the minimum amount of body fat considered healthy is between 12-16% of your weight, depending on the body type. Less than that is not healthy and can hinder the body's hormonal responses and functions. In the same way the amount that we eat, to be sufficient needs to be around 1800-2500; depending on the body type and level of activity. We eat more, we buy more, we consume more than we need, and we might feel good in the short term, get that retail or food buzz, but afterwards, we ultimately feel unhappy and unfulfilled, burdened by the things or body fat we have accumulated. Think of your food in the same way as your possessions; only take what you need, and get rid of the things you don't (i.e. exercise it off). I think of fat burning as a spring-clean of the body: getting rid of the excess storage that we have accumulated through eating more than we need. It takes some time & effort to get to the level you are happy with; but after that it will be easier to maintain. Muscle is like the important things in life: relationships, doing the things you love, experiences, memories. The more, the better. If you need help to shed some extra weight you have been hoarding, or to gain some more muscle, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can come up with a plan for a 'Spring Clean' for your body ;) Something to ponder for your monday morning..