You’ve been lied to. How do I know? Because I was lied to as well and now I know better. I’m here to tell you the truth. You ready for this?
A “healthy lifestyle” does not consist of a specific set of rules done every day.
Don’t get me wrong. Consistency to the same actions build habits and that’s what we want in the longterm. BUT, the lie that discourages people like you and me is the illusion that we shouldn’t be falling and failing after a certain time. How many times have I said “I’m a trainer for goodness sake! I should be able to turn down a freaking brownie!” or ”I know ALL of the right things to do, yet I have gained 5 pounds? What’s wrong with me?!” Have you said similar things? I’m guessing you have! Not because I’m guessing that you’re a failure. It’s because I’m guessing that you are HUMAN and growing and changing is part of a cycle, a journey and it includes failures…yes, even when you’re a trainer.
I could write a really long post and go into the details of all of this, but I’m going to save some for later. The most successful people in the world, your healthy lifestyle role models, you know how they do it? They bounce back fast! If they have an obstacle, they bust through it. If they make a bad choice, they decide that the choice doesn’t line up with who they are meant to be so they decide to choose differently the next time. If they get sick, have an injury, have a huge life changing event or they get down, they find a new way. Their old way may not work any more. They might have to develop new habits, but being healthy is a part of their identity so they find a new way to make it work.
So, if you’re in a place where you have failed and you are stuck there, or you if you have found yourself in a place where you need to “begin again,” and you need to figure out the best first steps to do it, I have a short “guide” for you. I hope it can encourage your heart, encourage the person inside of that skin to get up and get at it…again.
You can download it for free here bit.ly/411onthe101. I will follow it up with a few accountability emails. You can always connect with me on Facebook. I’d LOVE to help you walk through this new step forward. No more believing the lies of perfection and start embracing the process of change.
Do you ever have days when you get up, get ready, and then get settled in to get some work done and realize that everything on your list just doesn’t look fun, seems like it will be a long process and will probably make you completely uncomfortable or stressed? No?! You don’t have those days?! Oh my goodness, we should trade “to do” lists! Ha ha!
Today was one of those days. I sat down, I looked at my list and because of the feeling it gave me in my gut, I stared at my computer, I practiced procrastination by scrolling through Facebook and then stared some more. So what am I doing blogging then? You might think I’m avoiding my list since I’m blogging. It could appear that way, but actually, I decided to write because it takes me back to the reason why I do what I do. It revives my passion and fans my flames. If I can stir up that “why”, then I can get to the “what”, even if it seems challenging, overwhelming or stressful.
What in the world does this have to do with the price of beans in China?! Because I want to encourage the girl who feels that way about her health today. The one who feels like she knows what she needs to do, but when she thinks about it, she feels like it’s going to be a long process, be uncomfortable, maybe stressful and very challenging.
If you’re paralyzed by these feelings, get overwhelmed just reading this and have feelings of defeat, then stop and take time to go back to your reason “why” you want to make the changes. Maybe you need to go play with your kids and think about how it will feel to play with them with full energy, no inhibitions and fully present. Maybe you need to journal some thoughts while you’re experiencing some emotion. What will it feel like this summer to wear shorts confidently again? Maybe you need to dream and think about what it will be like when all of it seems easy instead of difficult! Maybe you need to line up your resources with your plan and take one brave step at a time. You think? I mean, how long can we be paralyzed by feelings and stories we tell ourselves? Unfreeze.
Just writing this has given me a little spark. Thinking of the face on the other side of this blog post, thinking of the fear you might be feeling, and empathizing with feelings of discouragement and defeat…it’s making me pull up my big girl panties, ladies. I have a mission. I have a purpose. I have a reason “why” for every task on that hard “to do” list. Ok, signing off because I have some things to do.
What is one step you can take today that takes you closer to where you want to be?
Why is it important you take that step?
If you keep taking small steps everyday, where will you be in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year?
How will that change things for you and for those that matter most to you?
As a trainer, I have always had an unsaid rule that I don’t offer unsolicited advice, especially to friends and family. I won’t give you my opinion unless you ask and I won’t judge you if you eat fast food or dessert, ever. So sometimes, I bite holes in my tongue. Or I write. Ha!
I have this friend. I love her, I support her and I want success for her more than she wants it for herself sometimes. She’s done the Weight Watchers program at least 5 times and has paid for it each time. The cost used to be something like $40/month or $10/meeting. She is drawn to go back to it because it’s easy for her now because she knows the rules. It has a points system and she knows how to keep track of points and over the years, has figured out lower point options for some of her favorite things. She has lost significant amount of weight with it in the past so why not do it again? She’d say, “I know what to do. I just don’t do it.” And if Dr. Phil inhabited my body, I/he’d say, “And how’s that working for ya?” (Yes, I use to watch Dr. Phil and that slightly sarcastic line is something I would say in my head as I bit holes in my tongue.)
Trying and failing is a part of life. But, if we don’t use the failure as an opportunity to learn, we’ve wasted the experience and we’ll likely face another opportunity (or failure) to learn it all over again (oh I hate that). There’s something fascinating about human motivation. We are often willing to try and fail at the easier, cheaper, and quicker ways at doing things leaving us defeated and discouraged time and time again than to have the courage or the willingness to try something different and do the hard things, the hard changes, the right thing the right way for long term, lifelong success.
“This short term response to long-term desires is alive and well in the corporate world also. A management consultant friend of mine was hired by a billion-dollar company to help it fulfill its goals and aspirations. The problem was, she explained, no matter what the issue, the company’s managers were always drawn to the quicker, cheaper option over the better long-term solution. Just like the habitual dieter, “they never have the time or money to do it right the first time,” she said of her client, “but they always have the time and money to do it again.”‘
excerpt from Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Working in the health and wellness industry for over 16 years has allowed me to come across thousands of people who have long-term desires, but are addressing it with the quicker, cheaper option over and over and over again. People are drawn to things like appetite suppressors, HIIT workouts and diets because they think it will give them faster results with less pain, less time, less effort and/or less cost. On the other hand, I watch people pay for gym memberships and not use them, but it’s too expensive to buy organic food. I watch people eat out 2-5x/week spending $20-250 or more a week on their “fix”, but hiring a trainer is too expensive. I know. I’ve been there. I work right in the thick of it and have said those things myself!!! Why in the world would I say that? Money is not the issue. Beliefs are the issue.
Beliefs come from knowledge which turn into understanding which turn into action which give us experience. If our knowledge never turns into understanding then our action won’t be fueled. If actions are not taken, we’ll never have the experience that solidifies our beliefs.
1. What’s your long-term health desire?
2. Why do you really want it? How much do you value it? How high of a priority is it for you?
3. What have you done to get it?
4. What doesn’t work for you?
5. What’s keeping you from learning and understanding more about a different way to address it?
6. Is money the issue or are your beliefs the issue?
Back to my friend…I hate that she gets discouraged and down about gaining weight back. I hate that there are other looming health issues that she faces and is likely to face if she doesn’t find long-term lifestyle health for her and her family. She’s said that money is an issue, but it’s not. They eat out, they buy new fun toys, she gets her hair done… It’s her beliefs…about herself, about nutrition, about what’s the best way to become her healthiest.
Fast, cheap and easy turn into long, expensive, hard and DISCOURAGING when you have to do them over and over and over again never getting your desire or aspiration. Maybe it’s worth choosing the harder things now that lead to long-term results forever.
This is a guest post by a very special friend. She and I met through Facebook almost 2 years ago and if there’s an almost perfect match for someone who feels passionate about the things that I feel passionate about, it’s Janet. I love her heart, her wisdom, her wittiness. If you follow her page, Fit4HisGlory, on Facebook, she spends her days lifting up and cheering up hearts. Love her! I’ve noticed that in the last year, she’s been learning a lot…we’ve been on a similar journey, but just a different path. I asked if she’d share some of what she’s been learning with you all. I think you’ll really be challenged by what she has to say.
How to reduce the toxicity in your food:
You really are what you eat. Whether it’s hormones in your meat and dairy, chemical sweeteners in your beverages, highly processed ingredients in your protein powder, cereals and snack bars, your body is constantly in fight or flight mode. Although your body has an incredible immune system designed to adapt to your environment, there is no need to constantly put it to the test by placing toxic, foreign and man-made ingredients in your system. A raw, whole foods diet is by far the best approach to your overall health, wellness and beauty. Would you like to know why? Because you can control the list of ingredients. How many ingredients are in an apple and almonds versus the packaged so-called healthy snack bar on the shelves? More than half of your hunger pangs you experience are from malnourishment. You have constant cravings because your body does not have the nutrients it needs.
How to reduce the toxicity in your home:
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and things placed on your skin’s surface take less than a minute to enter your bloodstream. Check out your toothpaste label and see if it tells you not to ingest it. What? I put it in my mouth yet it’s harmful if I swallow it or my two year old decides to have it as a snack? Do not put anything on your body that you would not put in your mouth. This means you have to seriously consider EVERY single item in your household from toothpaste to deodorant to countertop spray to laundry detergent. The pores in your feet are the largest on your body. Mopping with Pine Sol and walking around on it with bare feet is just like drinking it. Did you know that if a product has fragrance in its list of ingredients that fragrance is allowed to have over 200 chemicals in it of which formaldehyde is the most common? Yes, your Glade Plug-in is pumping the most common form of carcinogen into the air in your home. You may find this task completely overwhelming but as you do a cleaning supply closet overhaul, you will find that you will feel better, have more energy and reduce illness because your immune system does not have to fight off so many foreign substances.
How to reduce the toxicity in your mind:
Your soul/mind is made up of two parts: Your will and your emotions. If your emotions make most of your decisions rather than your will, you are going to be very unhappy and continue to run to food (or many other things) for comfort or when you are stressed. It is commonly referred to as being weak-willed. Eph 4:22 tells us, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”There is a direct correlation with what goes in our ear and eye gates and our thought life. It’s as simple as the law of harvest. You reap what you sow. If we are constantly feeding our minds far-from-ever-being-reality TV, celebrity magazines, R-rated movies and trashy music, we are polluting ourselves and guess what comes out when we are under duress, attack, or stress of any sort? Foul language, anger, violence, jealousy, envy, pride, lust, depression, discontentment, entitlement, unforgiveness, and the list goes on. We must renew our minds so our will wins the battle over our emotions. We make decisions based on what we know is right and just, not because it is what feels good or tastes good or is the path of least resistance.
How to reduce the toxicity in your heart:
Comparison is a JOY thief. You may want her body or her hair or her skin or her husband or her kids or her money but I promise, you don’t want her problems or struggles. We are fearfully and wonderfully made which means God took His time when He created each of us. We are all different but a part of the body of Christ each with our own distinct purpose. When we compare our lives or our beauty to others, we are basically telling God that He messed up. God doesn’t make junk! There is harsh truth here in Matthew but Jesus is talking to those of us that spend countless hours in the gym or in the mirror and countless dollars on the hottest clothes, purse or shoes but yet, we are sad, lonely and or empty on the inside. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside, are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matt 23:25-28. There was a time in my life when I would say on the outside, I looked my healthiest but on the inside, I was completely toxic, malnourished in mind, body, and spirit and searching for significance and love in all the wrong places. Once you make the commitment to work on your inward beauty, your outward beauty will just naturally begin to show.
Thanks for sharing, Janet. I am certainly challenged. There was a time not too long ago, when these kinds of words struck a cord of fear in me, placed a large load of “overwhelming” on my shoulders and poked an “annoyance” nerve in me. I didn’t want to hear that I was inundating myself or my family with “TOXINS.” That just sounded so dramatic and extreme. What I’ve come to realize is that it’s true, we are surrounded by “junk” or “foreign invaders” and it’s a whole lot for our bodies (and minds) to deal with. We can’t eliminate toxins, but we can limit them and give our body a head start doing what it’s meant to do naturally…detox. I made a “baby steps” checklist to give myself and others a place to start. You don’t have to tackle the checklist all today. Find the ones you all ready do and check them off! That will give you a sense of satisfaction! Then, find ones that are EASY to do. Implement those first and you’ll feel like you’re really making headway. Become AWARE of the others on the list and learn as you go. You won’t die tomorrow if you drink a glass of non-organic milk, but maybe by having the checklist handy, you’ll think twice about it, learn more about it and eventually make a change. One step at a time. Baby steps. Every step counts. A journey is thousands of steps taken one at a time. I love hearing tips from others and success stories. So please, share. Making these changes has drastically improved the health of my family…I know it can in yours too.
If you’d like more help, please let me know. I’d be happy to lead you in the right direction for you to learn more and get more out of your life.