Who Vs. What and Why It Matters

Ubiquitous. Cliché. And ultimately? Dehumanizing. The language our culture uses to describe and advertise health and wellness misses the mark.

I know you know what I am talking about because we are inundated with it everywhere we look and everywhere we go.

“Diet and Exercise”

“Lose 20 lbs in 2 months”

“Lose 10 inches in 10 days”

“Get cut”

“Get lean”

“Get toned”

“Get trim”

“Build Strength”

“Build lean muscle”

“Build a bigger chest”

“…. Bigger biceps…”

“…. Bigger shoulders…”

“Strengthen your core”

“Improve your libido”

“… Your stamina…”

“…Your mood…”

“… Your confidence…”

So hear me:

All of the above are WHATs. But you are more than a WHAT. You are more than your weight. You are more than your waistline. You are more than your mood, your stamina, your libido, your cardio, your strength, your sport or even your mobility.

You are not a WHAT.

You are a WHO.

This is a subtle shift in thinking with massive implications.

Our bodies were designed to be strong, enduring, and healthy. Our genetic code is written in such a way that it expressed itself most fully when move often, move well and eat good food.

When you choose to move or eat well, you are simply expressing what is already written into your DNA. You are giving your innermost being permission to come out and live.  

As long as you exercise or diet to achieve something different than what you already are, you will never be content, because you are looking for something that does not exist.

It is often the case when you begin to move and eat according to your design your body changes in weight and shape. While this is exciting it is ultimately self-limiting.

Eventually, there is no more weight to lose, no more strength to gain.

At this point, the most in-tune people will realize that moving and eating well is simply a good and right thing in and of itself, not a means to an end.

At this point, the most out-of-touch people will begin looking for bigger and better “highs.”

Like a drug addict, they will look for competitions to prove themselves(competitions are not always bad), volatile substances to alter their anatomy and physiology, or else sabotage their progress and revert back to old ways so that they can turn around again and restart the journey.

So I say to you, wherever you are on your journey,

“Don’t lift weights to become strong, lift weights because you ARE strong.”

“Don’t run laps to become enduring, run laps because you ARE enduring. “

“Don’t diet to become desired, diet because you ARE desired.”

“Eat and move in such a way that one amazing environment can communicate with another.”

“Eat and move in such a way that the beauty of every WHO can be revealed and enjoyed.”

At the end of the day, you cannot change your identity. This is a good thing. A great thing! Your identity, who you truly are, is amazing! It does not need to be changed, only discovered and matured.

Don’t change your ways to become valuable. Change your ways because you are valuable.

Make your choices congruent with the marvelous gift of WHO you are in your body and environment, and all of the WHATS will take care of themselves.  

-Dr. Erik Gullen PT, DPT

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