We don’t know what we don’t know.
I think this blog is a mix of motivation, harsh truth, and some tips for moving forward.
Around this time of year I see a significant increase in the number of people reaching out to work with trainers, hire nutritionists, join a program that will help them achieve their goals (I love this time of year). Why was January not a huge month for me as a trainer? Because generally people assume that joining a gym, or revamping the kitchen will get them their dream body and health, and with enough commitment they will make it happen! I love this attitude, and I love when people are successful with it, but for many it runs into trouble.
If you are a person who has never found balance with activity, never had a great diet, always struggled with your weight, or have noticed long term health complications, these are signs that you are in need of a lifestyle transformation. No small dietary changes, commitment to showing up at the gym, whatever it is you are trying to do to get healthy will cut it. I argue that if you are in this situation you are in need of a coach. A coach who you commit LONG TERM to. A coach that will be with you through thick and thin. A coach that will boost you up on those days you are exhausted, and who will pick you up off the floor when you challenge yourself incredibly hard. A coach knows the process you are going through, and is there to support you, if you reach out. Most of my clients come to me looking for a few sessions, and stick on for months and years- they know the value of a coach. A coach tells you what you don’t know!!!
I am not writing this to simply sell my services 🙂
I am writing this to also share my experience, to help YOU succeed.
I struggled with disorder thoughts around food and my body image for probably close to 15 years. I had no clue that there was anything fundamentally wrong with the way I was thinking, and had no clue the effect it was having on every area of my life. It wasn’t until I sucked it up and I MYSELF HIRED A NUTRITIONIST ! (Yes me, the one who counsels many of you on your food intake). THis nutritionist had travelled the path I was going down, and I needed her help! I didn’t know what I didn’t know!
The same thing goes for personal trainers, and a variety of other health professionals, I can’t get better as your Optimal Health Coach, without hiring my own!
How does this relate to your fitness?
If you have struggled with health, weight, fitness, for your whole life I can guarantee there are things you don’t know. I can guarantee there are ways to make exercise more enjoyable for you, and more time efficient. There are ways to alter your diet so you feel your best and perform your best. There are ways to cut cravings you have no idea about! There are ways to treat yourself, speak to yourself, schedule your time, and supplement your body that can transform you!
But yet most of us try another diet, try another couch to 5 km running program, or buy another gym membership.
I want to challenge you to try something different. Get really clear about exactly what it is about your health, fitness, appearance that troubles you and do some research. Who do you know that can help you? Don’t go it alone! The more you think outside of the box in terms of fitness, think critically about what you are doing to your health, the more answers, solutions, and long term success will come your way. If you have back pain, knee pain, headaches, get sick a lot, can’t lose the last 10-20 pounds, suffer from anxiety, etc. don’t let ANYONE tell you that there is nothing you can do but take medication, or live with it. Don’t give up researching, trying new modalities.
I think the best thing you can do for yourself is throw in the towel, and be open and 100 % committed to being coached/guided to better health.
Committed, and open. These are two words that ring quite true to myself. When I look back on my life about 3 years ago, it looks vastly different. I recognize that my turning point came when I decided, enough is enough, I shouldn’t have to feel the way I do!
So, what do I recommend?
Weight loss, getting healthier, getting fitter is a mental, emotional, and physical process, for many people, especially women.
Physically we need to exercise, move more, be active, sit less. We need to consume the best foods for us, and supplement our body with what we need. We need to put NO (or less) crap in our body. There is no way to get healthier/lose weight without daily movement of the body, and putting the best foods in!
We need to take care of ourself mentally, meaning have active stress relief techniques (meditation, yoga, journaling etc). We need to dig deep into our patterns and beliefs to discover our motivation for change, why we’ve struggled in the past, and how to overcome our limiting beliefs about ourselves. Without spending time to remove stress, and get to know yourself better, your changes will not be long term.
We need to take care of ourselves emotionally by working with a coach or counselor, or really great listening friend who can hear all of our CRAP that we have to get rid of each day. (That crap builds up in the body, and I firmly believe manifests to disease). We need to have fun and social interaction, and have hobbies and things we enjoy, so we can be HAPPY! If we let our issues fester up inside of us, this will directly affect our choices with food and activity.
Honestly, if any of these are out of whack, and you are unhappy with your health, it’s a guarantee that you will struggle! And I don’t mean that in a bad way (see it as a positive thing, get some help!).
I think the biggest thing we don’t know (what we don’t know) is how much effort and time health and fitness requires. There is not getting around being healthy and fit without acknowledging that a significant portion of your day, week, and year moving forward will look differently. That you will have to learn how to cook (or at least combine healthy foods together), and will have to do it regularly. That you will have to find a way to move your body that you enjoy, and do it daily. That you will have to release stress and emotion from your body on a daily/weekly basis.
I am not a naturally thin person. And there isn’t a week that I don’t get at least 3 sessions in at the gym, on top of moving around for most of the day. I don’t eat out more than twice a month on average, sometimes not at all. I don’t ever eat junk food (unless it’s Valentine’s day and it’s chocolate). Sometimes I feel discouraged, there are plenty of people that are small and healthy and seem to eat whatever they want and exercise irregularly. But you know what? I am a lot better off than I would be if I wasn’t doing what I am doing! AND I feel amazing and love my life exactly the way it is!
Also, I know that junk food and activity is not conducive to long term health!
Another thing you don’t know is that it can be easy. Would you believe I don’t crave foods other than whole unprocessed foods? Would you believe I enjoy riding my bike everywhere, and training with weights in the gym? Would you believe I would rather take care of my health than sabotage it with unhealthy lifestyle patterns?
I realized at my last visit to my Homeopath she asked me “Are you craving anything lately” and I thought, HOLY COW! I had gone my whole life craving Tostitos (and eating the whole bag), craving chocolate cookies (and eating the whole box), craving salt (and eating the whole thing of roasted almonds), and now I literally crave nothing? What’s up with that??? Thanks Tina for the help with that one!
When you do something for long enough it becomes life, it becomes normal, comfortable, healthy, AND you look/feel your best.
Right now you may be eating fast food, having chips/junk food regularly, maybe not exercising enough. Just know that YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN OPTIMAL HEALTH, IT IS POSSIBLE!!! You just need a coach 🙂
If I were feeling overweight/unfit/unhappy at this point I would do the following:
1) Find a trainer that I LIKE. Find a trainer that gets me, understands me, and is in it for the long haul.
2) Get some guidance in nutrition that works for me, and will work for me long term.
3) Start a regular practice of meditation, journaling, coaching, counseling, something to get rid of stress, and break those long term emotional patterns that may be getting in your way.
4) Read my blog weekly. 🙂
5) E-mail me, or another professional, SOMEONE, and tell us what’s going on, and tell us what you NEED!
6) Be ready to make significant change!
I hope this helps, maybe pass this on to someone you know who it could help??