Everybody has a story in them, a string of events that together forms a narrative and influences their choices and behavior. Think about it, when you tell people that you are a good cook what does this mean? You may reference several meals that you have prepared over the years and the praise you received from friends and family for your creations. At a deeper level you might even remember the time you spent in the kitchen with your parents learning the nuances of putting together a meal.
You can wear a culinary badge of competence based on a history of success and you enjoy the confidence that goes along with it. The thing is, story telling works in both directions and if you are still mastering the art of boiling water you have a pretty different story. The stories we tell ourselves can both carry us forward or hinder our progress; you get to choose which one you want to listen to.
Creating a lifestyle where you achieve a healthy weight and confidence means learning a story that aligns with what you are trying to accomplish. The thing is, if you have had a difficult time with weight loss in the past your story may need revisions. In fact, you may need to do a bit more research and find co-author if you really need to make some significant changes.
Before you know where to go you need to write out where you have been. Take the rest of the week and think about your healthy living story. Who are the main characters, who are the villains, what plot twist caught you off guard and what successes did you experience. Once you have this down you can start to write the rest of the story.
Note, you don’t have to write this story alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I’m a personal trainer and a counselor, I workout because it is fun and I really enjoy pushing myself. When it’s not -25 here in Chicago I like getting in a morning run but in the winter I opt for some early morning Yoga to get things going. Later in the day I block off a couple of hours for a gym workout.
Often, when I talk to my friends about my lifestyle they point out that they would workout like this if it was their job too. Well, it is your job. In fact you are the CEO of your healthy lifestyle.
I spend 30 minutes in the AM and a couple of hours in the afternoon that includes my commute to the gym and a stop a Whole Foods after. If you break down my actual gym time I work out for just a little over an hour. The thing is, I make the time, I get up early, I schedule my clients around this break in the day. I prioritize my health.
It is Monday, you have the whole week ahead of you, schedule the time you are going to dedicate to yourself today. You are the boss of this life.
I have so been neglecting this blog but I do have a good reason. I lost my job right before Thanksgiving, not exactly and ideal situation to be in right before the holidays and my motivation was totally in the dumps. I did the whole feeling bad for myself bit for several weeks, drank a little more then I should, cut off friends and family. After going through the motions for most of November and a lot of December I realized I expected better of myself.
This wasn’t living, this wasn’t the way that I do things and when one ride ends you just get in line for another.
So, I started a business, I got my first client last week and have a meeting with a second this week. The thing is, being self-employeed has always been the dream and working for others doesn’t honor my vision. If there is anything that life has taught me it is that it will correct itself, often in very painful ways, if you aren’t living the way you were intended to.
As we start this year I encourage you to take inventory and consider if you are being true to the life you want to live and the person you want to be. What needs to happen in order for you to stop going around in circles and start moving things forward? While it is great to be alive it is better when you start living.
English: Back cover of Barbie booklet about how to lose weight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Weight loss isn’t just a pill, a diet, or a workout plan and while all off these might help you drop some pounds they typically do not work long-term. Much of the research out there shows that fewer then 20% of individuals that start a program to lose weight are able to keep it off. Nope, as a society we suck at living healthy lifestyles and it’s not just eating, we have a whole slew of bad habits. Just think about how well you sleep at night or how you deal with a stressful day of work.
Sustained weight loss is about creating a lifestyle that aligns with a way of being and combines the things you want with the things you do. If you are over weight you make daily, consistent choices to sustain this weight and level of health. While you may have small burst of weeks that are filled with healthy living and exercise throughout your year, these times are fewer then the times you aren’t paying attention. Your habit balance favors a way of being where you are overweight and out of shape.
Habits are our day to day rituals, pieces of script that we keep as short-cuts so our minds don’t have to constantly waste time thinking about the small stuff. You have a habit in place for waking up in the morning, one for driving, and one for winding down your day. While some of these habits support healthy living others sabotage our efforts and may lead to feelings of guilt. Just think about how you feel after entertaining the habit you picked up in college of eating to much ice cream in response to stress.
This week most post will focus on establishing the habits needed to create a healthy lifestyle. We will look at how habits are created and strategies for breaking barrier habits in order to establish healthy keystone ones. Before reading further take a moment to think about what habits you have in place to support your efforts and which work against you.