Update from Amy Jan 13, 2017: I wrote this post when my wellness philosophy was… different. Language may not align with my current philosophies. Please read with care and if you feel triggered, stop and read this or this instead. xo Amy
I have no right to be anything but grateful in today’s society.
We have all the food we want, and a variety from every country as close as our nearest supermarket. Water is always at our disposal. Entertainment everywhere at all times. Cars that take us places in 10 minutes that would otherwise take us 12 hours on foot!
One thing that our society has bred into us that I am not grateful for, however, is the notion that change comes in a magic pill.
We see commercials for it all the time: bands that are placed around the stomach so you literally can’t eat too much; pills that promise a reduction in appetite or a massive increase in performance or muscle mass; workouts that boast 10 minutes a day to a rock solid body.
Indeed, for some people, the answers listed above could be exactly what they need. I know people that have gotten the lap band and used it as a platform to commit to their new, fit and healthy lifestyle. I know people that take natural supplements that experience increased performance as well as health benefits. I even know people that have lost a ton of weight from doing workouts like P90X and other short workout videos because, hey, something is better than nothing!
For most, however, the lack of results or worse, loss of results from the methods above is enough to make a person give up forever.
Today, I want to go over the truth about changing your body and your life. Over my years as a personal trainer, and from all the work I’ve done in my personal life, I’ve realized this:
A. No one’s going to do it for you.
B. There is no magic pill
If you want lasting change in your life, you have to learn from what you are currently not doing efficiently, and take actionable steps to change it FOR GOOD.
There were plenty of times in my life that I resorted to quick-results schemes (diet pills, workout programs, plain not eating) to get the body I wanted, but it always failed or succeeded for a short period of time until I realized that the method was not maintainable.
The same is true for trying to achieve change in my life. Until I chose to take responsibility for what wasn’t working and to take action to change it, I kept cycling in and out of depression, drug/alcohol abuse, and unhealthy relationships. Finally, I am free of those horrors because I keep in mind the truths of change.
So here are the truths that I have learned along my journey and my clients’. I hope they help you to achieve the life you deserve.
A. No one’s going to do it for you.
I struggled with this for a lot of my life. I always wanted to sit back and just let it come to me. And when it didn’t, I would throw a tantrum.
Sounds like I was acting like a child, doesn’t it?
I have met so many people that have this exact mentality.
A lot of us need to grow up.
When you realize that it won’t come to you, that you have to get out there and WORK for what you want, opportunities unfold for you. You’ll start to see ways to MAKE it happen. You’ll start to fight FOR what you want instead of against it like you might not know you’re doing right now.
Change takes hard work. Go into it knowing it won’t be easy. You’re going to have to get uncomfortable. You’re going to have to do things you don’t like or aren’t used to. But you know what?
When you look back on the you right now from the you that has achieved what you never thought was possible, you will know that you EARNED it.
Take responsibility for why you’re not achieving those goals, get some guidance from people that have, and put your gloves on. This is gonna be fun…
Now that you know that you can’t go about your life as usual if you want lasting change, let’s just put this one out there:
Change takes sacrifice.
If your goal is to lose weight and you’re used to having a pastry for breakfast every day, guess what? If you want a fit, healthy body, you’re going to have to replace that with something more wholesome.
If your goal is to become your own boss and you wake up late and watch TV at night, guess what? You’re going to have to put the hours in now to have more flexibility later. You’re going to have to say no to TV, happy hours, and Facebook (*gasp!*) in order to work on the business that will save you from cubicle-dom!
Now this truth can make people go crazy or steer them away from change completely.
Keep in mind that this is not an all-or-nothing rule.
You will have to give up some things, yes, but not all of your simple pleasures all the time.
If you love pastries and your goal is to lose weight, go in knowing that you are allowed to eat what you want
90% of the time (article removed).
If you’re working on starting your own business, you don’t have to become a hermit until you launch (maybe just a semi-hermit??). Just make sure that you’re giving yourself ample time to get work done in a timely manner… unless you want to be stuck in your current job for years to come.
Weigh the result with what you’re giving up. What is more important to you?
Good. Now put down the mac n’ cheese and move on…
It’s important to realize that the changes you are making in your daily life are not temporary habits. If you want to maintain the changes you are striving to make, you will have to be consistent.
This is one of the reasons I hate the word “diet.” It implies a short-lived dietary change in which you torture yourself to lose a few pounds, hoping that by some unknown magic they won’t come back on when you go back to your normal ways of eating.
Doesn’t that look a bit insane when you see it in writing?
Expecting to maintain change when returning to old habits is just plain silly. And you know it. We all just wish it wasn’t so.
You’ll have to keep up your new regimen in order to maintain your results.
Keep in mind: your new regimen gets easier to maintain the longer you maintain it. After a while, it won’t feel like such hard work anymore. Maintaining will be second-nature to you.
To change your life you need to change your lifestyle.
Are you ready and willing to take that step? Is your happiness worth that much to you?
It should be. So here’s how to practice…
This is the truth that took me the longest to understand and to find myself.
If you don’t love yourself, you subconsciously push your hopes and dreams away from you.
If you don’t believe that you deserve the life you want, you won’t give your all to achieve it, which can lead to failure or giving up.
If you haven’t read Love Where You’re At, please take a second to do so. It’s a post I wrote about accepting and finding happiness no matter how much everything may suck around you.
It’s beyond important to realize that you don’t have to be living the perfect life to be happy.
If you don’t practice being happy now, how are you going to know how to do it when you get there? :)
Along with self-love comes the ability to listen to yourself.
Check in every so often to make sure that you still want to accomplish what you set out to in the first place. Gauge how you’re feeling before your workout; if your body is exhausted, take a rest day and do exactly that- REST! Listen to your hunger cues instead of eating out of boredom or emotion.
When you treasure yourself, you always come first. Putting yourself first puts your hopes and dreams right up there along with you. When those are your priority, that’s when the magic starts to happen.
Nothing like a little wake up post, right? :)
In all seriousness, I hope that this post encourages you to ask yourself some really important questions about your goals.
Is all this worth the changes you wish to make?
It’s an invaluable question, and one you should ruminate on for a while.
Change is not easy…
…but it’s worth it.
To me anyway. But I’m on the other side of it. I’ve been through the hard part and I guide people through it every day.
I see the resistance to all the truths above, but once the commitment is in place, the change starts flowing in!
You can do it, too. And you will if you put your mind and body to it.
What are you resolving to do this year? How will you do it? What are the changes that are the scariest for you to make? I’m eager to hear your thoughts, comments, and questions! As always, I’ll write back as soon as I can to help.
On a side note: There are some amazing changes coming to Strong Inside Out in the new year and I’m so excited to show you! But alas, I cannot. It’s a surprise! So stay tuned and make sure to sign up for the email list below if you haven’t yet!