How to get from your starting point to where you want to be!

Yes, Andy Stanley is still inspiring me so bear with me. After listening to Andy Stanley present at The Global Leadership Summit in 2010, I had to read his book The Principle of the Path. It offered some insight into my personal life and made me wonder about my health, and my client’s health as well. Why is it that smart people with admirable life goals often end up so far from where they want to be regarding their health and well being? Why is it that so many people start out with a clear picture and or living a healthy lifestyle and yet, years later, find themselves far from their desired destination of “healthy body?” Why do our expectations about our own health and fitness level often go unmet?

I’ve sat with many clients who have cried, wishing they could go back and have a do-over, living differently, but we can’t.  As the line in the country song goes, “When your hourglass runs out of sand, you can’t turn it over and start again.” Experience is our most valuable commodity. This learning from experience eats up a lot of years, it steals entire stages of life, it leaves us with scars, pain, and regret. This regret creates powerful emotions which can drive us right back to the behavior that created the regret to begin with. Whenever a client talks to me about weight, there are always big emotions, fear and pain.

I’m not giving you a 12 step program to follow or a guarantee that will fix your pain but I do hope to bring your attention to the fact that some big emotion is floating in the background of your life and the lives of those you love. If you can find the courage to look for this emotion, and bring awareness to it, without judgment, than you have done the most difficult part of the journey to regaining your health, your life, your happiness. Once you’ve located this emotion you can then leverage it for your benefit.

Clients come to me and they want me to hold all of their responsibility to becoming healthy. Ultimately, I can guide them, but I can’t do the work for them. I can lay out a yellow brick road or a prudential path to better health, but there are sure to be road blocks and detours that they’ll be faced with. 

My clients always hold the best answers.  They already know the solution; they just need help with direction. This will take time, a change of direction and patience. Remember, there is no quick fix when one day you wake up and find that you are hundreds of miles away from were you want to be. I often have no idea how I will help the new client that comes to me for help. Their latest health scare just reveals where they are and where they aren’t.  It also reveals the path that they were on.

I don’t “fix” or hand out a 12 step “to-do” list, but I do know that if we choose a path of unhealthy lifestyle habits eventually we arrive at an undesirable destination. A health scare just speeds the trip up. Every path has a specific destination.

Proverb (27:12) “Lord, help us to see trouble coming long before it gets here. And give us the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.”

It takes a lot of courage to face your health and fitness issues. It takes a lot of courage to admit your starting point; but we all have one. Mine came when I realized that I had gone from a size 2 to a size 12 and was wondering why my back issue (crushed T12) was getting worse at the age of 32. Why was I having hormone issues and facing type 2 diabetes just around the corner?  I knew better.  I knew how to live a healthy lifestyle.  I wasn’t raised to live unhealthily. I just chose a path that didn’t include self nurture. I had to pay attention to my health, when I see old habits coming back I have to change direction because it is the direction of our life that will determine our destination.

I’m definitely not perfect.  I often learn from mistakes only. But, I do have some questions that I want you to consider. Why do you make choices that give you short –term happiness over long-term happiness? Why overindulge for a short term high instead of years of good health? Why do I have to have my way now rather than wait and really have my way later? Why do I have to sit in front of the TV now every night instead of playing with my children, grandchildren and being fit enough to enjoy traveling the world later in life? Why do I knowingly choose paths that take me where I’ve already decided I don’t want to go? Are you allowing your brain to sell you on things that you want to do rather than what you ought to do?

How many times have you eaten the whole bag of potatoes chips and said, “I don’t understand why I did that? What was I thinking?”  I’ve done this before and I don’t understand some of my decisions.  We can’t understand our heart. We are corrupt.  Our brains have the ability to lie to us, create actions based upon those lies and then defend our lies and actions with ridiculous excuses. Getting the Courage to tell ourselves the truth is downright terrifying, but the truth is liberating and weight is lifted from our shoulders. The reason I lie about my health is……….. The real reason I won’t exercise is…………. The real reason I eat so much is…………the real reason I can’t afford wellness services is……………The real reason I quit doing what I love is…………….. Andy sums this up very elegantly “When you are willing to come clean with yourself about the uncomfotable truth behind your choices, you’re on the verge of freedom. We can never be free as long as we’re in the habit of lying to ourselves about the reasons behind the choices we make and the paths we take. Telling yourself the truth will free you to move from where you are to where you want and need to be”

When we make a choice, we choose a path and every path has a destination, the direction we chose, not our intention, determines our destination. Information, insight is not enough.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the lord with all your heart leans not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him; and he will make your paths straight.

Find a Fitness Coach that will help you cut through your emotional fog that clouds your decision-making environments regarding your health. Every big decision has an emotional component behind it.  Every big decision takes you down a path that will impact your future. Life is too short to allow the emotions of the moment to direct your health toward a direction you will later regret.

Success is sometimes admitting that you have no idea what action to take concerning a particular issue or situation. Successful people know that they are in uncharted territory and they should seek other’s advice; people who have experience in that area. It takes a lot of confidence to say “Even though I’m in charge of my life, successful in so many areas of my life, I have no idea what to do on the issue of my health and fitness level” I often hear, “I’m the head of my company, department etc. but I’m just not sure what plan of action I should follow for movement.  Can you help me?  I partner with them and we develop a plan of action that meets them where they are at that moment. Often they report back that they’ve been humbled, that they are a better manager to their employees because of it and that they are ready, begging to start the next step in the action plan.

Our decisions to live an unhealthy lifestyle (the one’s that we make privately and independently) are judged by others, and affect other people as well. Even when we pay attention and choose another path or direction to improve our lifestyle to one of health we are judged by others, and affect other people as well. Yes, you are an adult and you can make your own decisions, but it affects your family, your co workers, and your friends. When your health goes south, you aren’t the only one affected.  Your parents, friends, spouse / life-mate, children, coworkers…, all who have come in contact with you, suffer. Every decision that you make that hurts you, also hurts those that love you and depend on you the most. So many times, clients are afraid to have a family discussion about what they need in order to make a lifestyle change (i.e., help with cooking, cleaning, watching the children etc. so that they can exercise) and they want to go it alone or use it as an excuse not to make a change. When we make a bad choice or choose a bad path and we realize we’ve made a mistake, who do we go to for advice about how to make a course correction? Who do we go to for advice about how to dig out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into? If the decision we make will be seen, judged, and felt by these individuals why not involve them from the beginning? Nothing remains a secret.

We go to run across the yard to play with the dog or our grand children and can’t make it because we are out of breath.  We end up in the hospital on father’s day with a heart attack.  How in the world did you end up here? How do we get ourselves to concentrate on the things that matter? Self-deception doesn’t accomplish much, but it is a path. What has your attention now? Who has your attention now? There is no one but you at this very moment while you are reading.  Don’t lie to yourself. You know from your own past experience.  Be honest.  Why is it that you just don’t find the time to exercise; to get around to your health; because of the other less important stuff?

THINK!  HONESTLY, A LOT IS AT STAKE!

Take a moment out of your hectic life and ask, “What I am devoting my attention to right now? Is this a special item that deserves my attention?”  Don’t imprison yourself in your unhealthy body. I know that this is not where you intended to be.  Disappointment creates powerful emotions.  I know poor health is the last place that you wanted to be and that a life of disappointments creates powerful emotions that take over our life.  No one in our society is immune to these emotions. Regardless of what your goals, dreams, wishes or wants were or are, set a course for improved health today.  Change your direction today.  That will set your destination. Remember, “Knowing/ Awareness” doesn’t make the difference but “Doing” does. Start exercising today.

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The Model Body Fantasy!

Many of us have a passion for the things that we would like to do or to create.  This passion fills us with joy but we sit in our living room thinking that will never happen. Who would want to pay me or finance me?

Many people share their health dreams with me, with friends, with co-workers, with family and some just keep the dream to themselves.  And you know, if we don’t act on these health dreams or passions we will go to our death bed with many regrets and wish I would’ve…….

How many of us wish for these health dreams and hope that one day we will just wake up and be in the body you wish for? How many of us wish we could just play with children with out getting out breath? How many of us want to go walk in the park or woods but are afraid you won’t make it back to your car? How many of us avoid physical activities that we are invited to because you are afraid of slowing down the group? Well, you can sit there worrying or you can get up and do something about it!

Start experimenting with an open mind. Try a Yoga class at a local studio. Try a couple (or five) gyms in your area. Talk with various personal trainers or Pilates Instructors. Join a couple of sport groups at your local YMCA. Look, not all gyms, studios or fitness professionals are made the same. We don’t all have similar philosophies either and we all have different specialties.  You won’t know what will work for you until you pick up the phone, drag yourself to the location or class and do it.

I understand that not all clients are right for me. My philosophies are different because I don’t believe what’s out there is working.  Take a look around.  Do you think its working? I teach self-efficacy and don’t believe in beating up or punishing my clients into good health or a smaller size. Sometimes I get a client that wants that (and yes I could do it for them) but it takes a lot out of me and I know they won’t be successful in the long run. I want my clients to be with me for twenty one months (this is how long it takes to change a lifestyle) and then I want them to only come to me because they want to, not because they need me any more. I want to fill their tool box and teach them self-care tools so that they don’t need me.

Judy Hudson said this “Your body prior to Pilates is like a clump of clay. Pilates sculpts your entire form one Pilates execution at a time. Like a true artist you are never done with your art. You refine, fix, contemplate, experience set backs and move on. Your workout is always a work in progress.” Let’s face it! You may not even know what Pilates is (or given it an honest try) so how do you not know that it will inspire you and change your life. Again, Pilates instructors are not all made the same.  Some are actually teaching it and some are promising to try to teach it.

Once you awaken your body to movement, to the muscle control, to the lengthening of your spine, to connecting your mind and body, you have a new-found awareness of movement throughout your life. You will find strength and energy you didn’t even think was possible.

There is magic in the movement and movement done well is a feast for the eyes to watch.  Sloppy, strained, constricted movement is not pretty to watch and can hurt you. Everyone deserves (and should start with) some private sessions instead of muscling your way through sloppy calisthenics on your own. Just like you wouldn’t think of designing a bridge, a car or a submarine, the human body is no exception.  You need a good design of movement and you need a professional to help you accomplished what that might look like for you. We all have a starting point.  Like the three previous examples, there is an idea in your head of where to start and what the end result might look like.  We all need help with the middle.

I’m not a therapist I can’t help you figure our your fear or your hang up, but I can tell you it is time to get over it and get moving!

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Gratitude, Kindness, Happiness Lead to a Healthy Life

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile and kindness in your warm greeting.” — Mother Teresa

 

Our body was made to move. It wasn’t made to sit in front of a computer for hours on end or sit in front of the TV watching shows and playing games, and it certainly wasn’t made to sit in a car driving through a drive-through having food passed out through a window for us to sit there and eat it. (Really, if the food comes through a window is it really food?) We’ve become so lazy that we can’t even walk in for the instant gratification of food delivered to us in seconds across the counter. Stop and think about our behaviors a minute.  It is kind of funny when you think about it.

When you first start movement, start small. Consider just walking for 5-10 minutes after every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and once you’ve mastered this then add in a 15-20 minute walk most days of the week.  As you take this walk, smile and be thankful that you’ve been given the gift to be mobile. Happiness is catchy! A gift of a smile to a loved one or stranger brings a smile to their face and day; and it didn’t cost you anything.  Instead, you are creating a link with yourself and others as a circle of abundance.

I thank God everyday for the abundant gifts he provides for me. He made us so that we could live an important plan of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual activity. If you can get the physical thing working, then the rest (mental, emotional and spiritual) will follow through. You only get one body, so feed it with healthy energizing food vs. junky, sluggish food. I say ALL FOODS FIT but there is a difference in the quality of your food so pay attention. Just as a little housekeeping goes a long way… well, so does a little movement. A little movement in your life goes a very long way.  A simple 10 minute walk after meals can help your body process the glucose in your system. Just a little weight loss of 5-10 pounds can significantly impact your blood panels.

This idea of health doesn’t have to be complicated if we don’t make it complicated.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease” –Thomas Edison

A wise Turkish saying is: “No matter how far you’ve gone down a wrong road, turn back and get on the right road!”

It isn’t too late to lead a healthy lifestyle.  You just need to find the right resources to help you along the journey.

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I Love To Get Healthy!

I’m amazed at how people talk and act when I’m in social settings. For one, whenever someone meets me at a networking event or something they immediately stop eating or start apologizing for eating certain food groups. Believe me!  If I want a dessert, I’m going to get one and not feel guilty about it. Especially since my motto is “All Foods Fit!”

Let’s think about this.  How much did you learn in school about nutrition and movement? What did you hear adults saying about nutrition and movement? What about your parents? These things that you heard, studied and read formed your opinion or perception about nutrition and movement.  How many of us have heard “No. You’ll spoil your appetite.”, “Your father will be home at 7 p.m. We’ll eat dinner then.” “There are children starving in Africa.  Clean your plate.” “You’re young.  Sit down and rest, you’ll have plenty of time to move later.” “Eat all the junk you want while your young.” The list goes on and on right!

What are you saying to yourself? How are you speaking to yourself? Are you saying “I hate my body, look at my face, I am fat.”?  When was the last time you said “I am beautiful and wonderful and my body just gets better as the days go by.”?  Remember.  If you think you are fat in your mind or that you’ll fail at being healthy, then, you know what?  Your mind will always win. You’ve got to make a choice to concentrate on the positive. “With every new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

 ~Eleanor Roosevelt

 

FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.  Jackie Brandt puts it beautifully “Our thinking naturally moves us in the direction of our goals. If we do not consciously choose goals, then our thinking usually moves us in the direction of our fears. The one thing bigger than fear is intention or goal, we have now taken any fear that we might naturally drift toward and we have  replaced it with something far more powerful.” What is your choice today? Is it to be fearful that you will fail at your weight loss attempts once again? Or is it that you will make an intention to collect information and act on it; changing your lifestyle? For example, you could call a fitness coach or personal trainer and gather information on what steps you should take to best reach your goal. You could find out what a healthy, realistic time span would be to reach those goals (6 months, 12 months or 21 months etc.). You shouldn’t have to go to heroic efforts of punishing your body into a healthy lifestyle to make a change. Small steps go a long way, just like a little house keeping goes a long way. “You alone decide whether to reach a dead end or live a healthy lifestyle for a long, healthy, happy, active life.” ~Paul Bragg  So take all those excuses and use these three little words “UP UNTIL NOW!”  “I can’t lose weight… Up Until Now!”  “I don’t have time to eat healthy… Up Until Now!”  You get the picture. Begin NOW!

Change your belief system about nutrition, health and movement and you’ll change your experience with nutrition, health and movement! I inspire people to movement!

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Finding Your Fitness Vision

  • Have you said the words :”I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired” every New Year?
  • Do you long to be at your healthy body weight, but can’t seem to get there by yourself?
  • Have tried diet after diet, lost some weight sometimes, but always gained it back?

 Maybe it is time to create a personal vision to reach your goals. Just as your business or the company that you work for has a mission statement (so that employees have a mental image of what you are working together as a team to create); you can have a personal vision to constantly remind yourself of how you should (or would like to) act day in and day out. 

Why would you want to have a vision?

 You are forced to create a plan when creating a vision! How many individuals do you know that have really taken time out to decide what it is that they wish to attain from their efforts? Stop talking  about getting healthy & TAKE ACTION by investing a little time into creating a vision.  You’ll set yourself up to be ahead of the game

 You will work in a more direct manner, which saves time!  I don’t know about you, but my time is a precious commodity.  Stop bouncing all over the place from one magic pill to the next magic solution. Get off the roller coaster. Really—- you can afford fitness services.  I mean it.  Stop and think about how much of your ownhuman resources (such as time and energy) you’ve spent working towards something? Notice I said “SOMETHING!” It is a “something” because without a clear vision you’re zigzagging all over the place, wasting energy, time and money. A Vision keeps you committed to achieving what is important to you throughout the year.

 Visions allow you to make the right decisions daily. If you have a vision, life gets easier. Now, I know writing the vision and putting it on paper or the computer screen gets to be scary, especially when you’re looking at a blank screen and a flashing courser and you have to get really personal with yourself. That part SUCKS!  But once you’ve done the hard part, you start making “right choices,” Intelligent, meaningful, goal oriented, focused and purpose driven decisions. It snowballs in a good way!

 You become accountable to your actions! We need to put on a new record, MP3 whatever strikes a cord with you. If you continue to say “I’m fat, I don’t do exercise, I love to eat chemicals,” Well Get REAL ! How long do you think it will take you to reach your goals/ Vision? Try NEVER! But if a negative day pops up (which it will) and you read your vision (because you have it wallpapered all over your life). How long do you think it will take you to start thinking straight/ positive again? Reading your vision daily makes you accountable for all of your actions —don’t forget about promises you’ve made to yourself.

 The challenging times that you encounter will be easier to work through. I’m sure you’ve heard “I am on an uphill battle, I take one step forward and two steps back and I’m fighting a losing battle?” You’re facing an obstacle in your life or it’s standing in your way to reaching your healthy lifestyle and you’re finding it extremely difficult to overcome the obstacle. If you have a vision, it gives you the inner strength to hang on even when it seems impossible You can become your “BEST SELF”

 Visions allow you to realize what you have already accomplished and appreciate these accomplishments. Review your visions, realize that you are making slow and steady progress toward reaching your goals. It will “PUMP YOU UP!” Don’t fall victim to not recognizing small goals because you think it isn’t politically correct or something. Stand on your chair, have a good victory dance and cheer. Learn to appreciate what you have, or are achieving along the way to your ultimate goal.

 Part 2 will be about creating your goals. In the meantime I want you to work on the following exercise:

Spend 90 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind.  Anything is Possible.  Don’t limit yourself.

1) What would you love to achieve regarding your health and fitness?
Ex. (I want to be an astronaut)

2) What would bring you great reward or sense of achievement?
Ex. (I want to run a marathon)

3) Are you willing to work on developing an Action Plan to achieve becoming your “BEST SELF” taking back control of your health and body?

4) Are you willing to find new avenues to achieve this action plan? To re-establish your mindset? What are you really capable of achieving?

I want to share something with you. I believe that YOU are not limited in your ability to GROW, to EARN, to COMMAND, to CONNECT, to EMPOWER, to GET HEALTHY, to ENOY! Nothing can stop you from empowering YOU to make better nutritional and lifestyle choices BUT YOU!

 Step aside.  Get out of your own way.  Stop self-sabotaging.

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