YOUR FITTEST FUTURE SELF: Making Choices Today for a Happier, Healthier, Fitter Future You
[Dundurn Press, 240 pages]
Your Fittest Future Self: Making Choices Today for a Happier, Healthier, Fitter Future You, by Kathleen Trotter, is a self-help book geared towards helping people find an approach to diet, physical fitness and their mindset that fits their unique mix of genetics, life realities and goals.
Trotter outlines three different mixes, which she refers to as “NUTRITIONmix, WORKOUTmix and MINDSETmix.” Each mix can be tailored to our individual needs, and all three work together to help us become the best version of “fit” we can be.
The author is a health enthusiast, fitness expert, trainer, life coach, writer and media personality. She holds certifications in Pilates and ELDOA instruction, and works with clients ranging from athletes to people managing illnesses. Hailing from Toronto, where she also owns a training studio, her life’s work is to motivate others to find a balanced, personalized path towards lifelong health.
One of the biggest benefits of Your Fittest Future Self is that it doesn’t just provide a laundry list of options for the body and mind, but also gives readers guidance as to how each of us can find the “right” solutions as individuals. Kathleen Trotter motivates us not to pursue perfection, but to keep trying and tweaking our efforts as our lives evolve.
Working is winning
Trotter’s belief is that “Working is Winning,” which means that as long as we’re making an effort, we’re progressing, and the mistakes we make along the way are learning opportunities that aid our efforts. The key to fitness is not using a one-size-fits-all model, but instead combining different tactics based on past experiences, current realities and future goals that are unique to each of us.
The author offers an explanation of various diets, such as low-fat, vegetarian and high-protein plans. She explains which elements of each diet work for some personality types, as well as the things about each diet that may not work for everyone. With any diet, it’s important for us to understand that we all make mistakes, and that being self-compassionate and learning from them (rather than beating ourselves up!) will help us succeed in the long run.
Also included in this self-help guide are a number of fitness options and workout programs, presented with customization in mind. Picking an exercise routine that works with our individual needs and goals, rather than trying to force a fit that isn’t for everyone, will help us make sure that routine is something that can be sustained in the long term—rather than just for a few weeks.
Trotter includes helpful how-to images of the exercises she recommends, showing the reader how to properly execute them; she also lets us know how we can all include recovery time in our weekly routines.
The importance of a growth mindset
Integral to any diet and fitness program is a positive and growth-oriented mindset—if we aren’t staying mentally focused and self-aware, we won’t be able to stick to our goals. Our mindset is the driving force behind our physical efforts.
In Your Fittest Future Self, us readers are given guidance on how to create awareness—by looking for the root cause(s) of our core beliefs and resulting actions—and how to use this awareness to make healthier choices that meet our emotional needs, rather than falling back on old habits.
By developing coping strategies, mindfulness and a self-care routine, our aspirations to become our fittest future selves will become more realistic than they would be if we were to simply try to stick to a cookie-cutter diet and exercise program fuelled by sheer discipline alone.
A personalized three-pronged approach
As mentioned, the “NUTRITIONmix, WORKOUTmix and MINDSETmix” all work together to help us attain our fitness goals, but finding the right mix within each pillar is equally important.
Trotter’s Your Fittest Future Self is a useful guide for anyone who has tried template fitness programs without realizing the success they were hoping for. This book is very helpful in encouraging us to make informed and customized solutions about diet, exercise and our mindset that are likely to help us reach our long-term fitness goals.
Read an excerpt from this book by visiting SELF-TRUST AND COMPASSION: How these emotional states can affect your physical health»