I recently had one of those moments where I realized it was aaalllll going downhill. This realization came to me mid-jelly bean raid. I was downing a bag of jellies like no one's business. And I knew it was wrong on so many levels because I was totally hiding it from my kids. (I did NOT want to share with them!) As I'm chomping away on these sugar nuggets I flash to the numerous amounts of bread and butter slices I consumed within the last week.. (ok month), the chocolate bits and pizza slices and glasses of wine and oh lord how the list was quickly filling up! How did this happen? How did I sway so far from center that my diet was leaning all the way towards sugar and crap and so far from veggies and good fats?
So I put the jellies away (in my belly, let's be honest), and swore to get back on track. But how?? I felt so far gone, so sluggish... and so large. But where there is a will... I knew I could figure this out. If you're anything like me, you've had these moments, and you've had that moment of clarity (or disgust!), where you knew it was time, time to get back on track.
So, shall we?
1. It's time to face the hard reality.
It's you, not anyone else. Now I know that seems preeeeeetty harsh and hard to swallow but sister, if you're not looking at yourself when it comes to pointing the finger, then please, let me do it for you! You're in the situation you're in simply because you placed yourself smack dab right where you are. Smack dab. (Those jelly beans didn't magically appear in my bag.)
Now I realize there are some situations that maaaaaay be the exception, but on the whole, I'm willing to bet the farm you're not happy where you are, and you're the reason why. Why do I believe that so firmly? Simple. The way you think about life and the way you respond to your circumstances and environment are all up to you. Nobody else tells you HOW to react or HOW to respond. Nope. That's all on you. So if you're feeling miserable and tell yourself the only pleasure I can feel now will come from this __________ (fill in the blank, Could be jelly beans, chips, soda, wine, chocolate, cake, bowl of pasta and bread, basket full of Easter candy), then you're reacting in a way that will not empower you or lighten your load, literally! You're only adding to it. And you know it! That's the worst part. WE KNOW IT! And yet we still do it.
So the first way to get yourself back on track is to say to yourself, I own my situation and I'm finally willing to do something about it that empowers me, makes me feel good, and can make me healthier than I ever imagined possible! (Damn straight sister!)
2. Don't ever use the word Willpower again!
Strike it from your vocabulary! Don't even utter it. It's useless and full of deception. It's not what's going to make you finally succeed. There is no power in it. If anything, its power is to hinder you, make you feel like a failure and steal away your enthusiasm. It's also a diversion. If you can blame your willpower, you again don't have to really blame yourself. Nah, I say skip the drama and instead create a plan in which you can't fail. That means don't all of a sudden say you're off dairy, wheat, and meat because 99% of you will fall off that wagon in less than a week. That's too much to do all at once. It's unsustainable. Doing too much at once will not create a lifestyle change. What that is has a name: yo-yo dieting. And we hate yo-yo dieting yo! Don't rely on your willpower or use it as a crutch. Instead rely on your sensibilities and don't take on too much right out the gate.
3. I'm a big Tony Robbins fan. Like I drink the Kool-aid and he is my jam. One of the things I've learned from him is the pleasure/pain relationship and how that shapes our life experiences. If something it too painful, we tend to avoid it like a Patriot's game ;) by opting to do something more pleasurable. It's similar to this: If I don't eat this chocolate bar, I'll be really upset because it tastes so good and I really, really, really want it because it's 4pm and I'm really cranky and need a treat because I deserve it. (It brings pleasure.) If I don't have it, how else am I going to treat myself? There is no other treat that I want. I don't want a bowl of broccoli, or an unsweetened iced tea, or some lemon water. WTF will that do? That's just painful and I don't want it. So... chocolate bar it is. I'll be happy. (for how long though??? That's the question we don't ask!) Anyway, you can see how the two emotions play off each other. And this kind of thinking is usually all done in a millisecond within our brains because it's become habitual. We don't even realize it's happening, the only thing we see is our hands unwrapping that chocolate bar and our brains starting to light up!
So No. 3 is notice your pleasure/pain points and try to create new ones that are more suited to creating a healthier lifestyle.
4. Use your power of imagination.
Why is the power of the imagination only encouraged upon our little ones? Why, as adults, can we not play with that power? We use the power of cynicism waaaaay more than we do imagination and that, well that just ain't right my dear. I love creating the idea of what I want my life to look like, how I want to feel, and what I want to create. I love thinking of how amazing I can feel in a strong body. Creating the imagery and imagining the feelings they would bring go a long way in keeping one motivated and striving to reach their goals. I highly recommend harnessing this power to create an image of yourself and how you want to be in order to create the massive momentum toward the change you want to see in yourself. It's truly powerful stuff! (And just ask your kid how fun it is!)
5. Become laser-focused.
We all tend to perform better when we keep our attention focusing on one thing, and then working toward that one thing only. And it doesn't have to be major, it's better if it's little. For example, you want to lose 20 pounds. Pretty common goal, and plenty of tools you can use to accomplish that goal. Get a gym membership, hire a personal trainer, join weight watchers, etc. There is a plethora of options from which you can choose from. The tricky thing is, once you decide your path, what are you going to focus on. Because when you narrow down your goals and become so super specific, you have a waaaaaay better chance of succeeding than simply saying "I'm going to join the gym and lose 20 pounds". I suggest taking a big goal like that and breaking it out into 3 steps. And write down those 3 steps so you can see them and begin to get laser-focused on accomplishing those steps.
So, with your 20 pounds you can break it down like this. I'm going to join the gym and my 3 steps are this:
1. I will take a fitness class offered at the gym at least twice a week. (This way you'll be getting in a fun workout without having to do any of the thinking, and you will meet plenty of like-minded people!)
2. I will ask at the front desk if they have a nutritionist or health coach on board who I can sit with and discuss my eating habits, and maybe get an idea of an area I can work on to lose weight.
3. I will commit to this plan for at least one month and then I will check back in and see how I'm progressing and how I'm feeling. If I can add onto it, I most certainly will, and if I haven't followed through as much as I intended, I will write down why I think that is and create another plan.
Simple. That's just how I like it, especially when you're just starting, starting over, or getting back on track. Now if you stayed with me through this long post, (thank you for that!), it shows that you're ready to commit and ready to make some changes! I think one of the most important things you can do right now is to plan it out and take action, right now! So in order for you to have a starting point, I've created a freebie for you that I love. It's a one-pager that you can print out right now and write down your goal and the first three steps you're going to take toward accomplishing that goal! I love simplifying things, and when you can write down and see on paper what it is you need to do instead of letting those steps mull around in your mind, getting walked all over by life, the more focused and energized you'll be to make it happen, to make it realllllly happen! Download it here and fill it out as soon as you can! All great journeys begin with the first step! Now get to it!
And as always, let me know how you're doing, what you want to accomplish and how you're planning on doing it because when you share, when you talk about it, you begin to give it life and the more positive energy you create around it! So share, I'd love to hear from you!