A problem I can relate to! Can you?
A lotta, lotta folks are unhappy about their weight. Many people see a large gap between the state of their bodies and lives today and where they would like them to be.
Are you one of them?
I used to be. Despite the fact that I had a loving husband, happy, healthy kids, a flexible work schedule, and all the good “stuff” in life, my secret, personal food drama overshadowed it all.
I felt ashamed, out-of-control, and like a big, fat failure.
I started over on countless Mondays, only to disappoint myself by Friday evening. I measured my worth by the number on the scale, or by how “good” I’d been on my diet that week. This went on for decades, and I NEVER ever achieved my goals, never felt good about myself, and was not content with my life, despite my many blessings.
I am now fit instead of flabby and blissed out instead of stressed out. It wasn’t a diet or a weight loss program that got me to this place. My happiness is an inside job. I got mentally UN-STUCK and became simply unstoppable. I now help other women to kick their struggles to the curb and become fitter, healthier and much, much happier.
Life is too short not to be happy. A minute spent stressed out or wanting for something is a minute that could have been spent feeling blissful and fully satisfied.
Why do any of us sacrifice our bliss? Why do we delay amazing and settle for good enough?
How do we break this vicious cycle?
I read something interesting today on Facebook that likened achieving one’s optimal state of health and fitness to swimming up a raging river.
That river is, what some have called, our “obesogenic environment”. By default, our culture sets us up for lives where we’re too busy, too stressed, too tired, too sedentary, too lonely, and a bunch of other “too’s” which leads to the consumption of poorer food choices, general lack of exercise, and altered physiological responses to those things. – Mark Young, Coach, Lean Bodies Consulting
I agree that the prevailing culture and environment is not conducive to great health OR persistent joy. However, the being too busy, too tired, too stressed are all easily figure-outable. Resign from that committee, go to bed earlier, phone a friend. Slow down, eat five times more vegetables than you currently are. Put your sneakers on right this second and walk out the door. Don’t come back until you’ve broken a sweat. I can solutionize all day!
Yet we resist. We resist having what we want. The toughest obstacles to having the bodies and lives of our dreams are those that we create in our minds. As long as these persist, it is pretty darn difficult to live the dream.
Recognize what’s REALLY holding you back
Here are the top three obstacles I identified in my own life, and some of the ways I have been successful in overcoming them.
Obstacle Numero Uno: You don’t want to be trim and healthy.
Gasp! This seems incomprehensible. Who doesn’t want to be a fitter and healthier version of themselves? Hear me out.
We repeatedly say that we WANT to lose weight and have better health, but in reality we feel more like we SHOULD. (Cue guilt.)
True, there is usually a part of many of us that feels like our lives would be better if we could just get rid of this excess flab and address the root causes of: hypertension, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, joint pain, or stomach issues.
But subconsciously there are some pretty high stakes associated with change, and this prevents us from living a better, healthier life.
In my case, my personal food drama, that occupied so much of my head space, was a distraction from other things I was unhappy about in my life, including past hurts and current fears.
I had to ask myself – Who would I be if I weren’t sick, tired and overweight? What would I talk about? What would I think about? For a long time, I couldn’t imagine an alternate reality.
One of my clients, Sharon, was diagnosed with Type I diabetes as a child. At age 40, she was overweight and on several different medications to address health complications related to her diabetes. For more than 30 years, she was unable to stick to a healthy diet that would help control her blood sugar and insulin levels. I eventually learned that her physician had “given up” on her. I helped Sharon discover some new foods that she liked to eat that were healthier than her fast food diet. But that wasn’t what triggered a breakthrough for her. We met regularly over several months, and by talking things through, Sharon realized that for years following a healthful diet to her was a statement that she was “different” or “weak.” When she was able to let go of this belief, she made a 180 degree turn. After 6 months, she reported that “I have accomplished all my goals. I’m flabbergasted! This has been hanging over my head for 30 years. I have no more “I could nevers” and now I feel like I can do anything I set out to do. Diabetes doesn’t control me any more. I have broken out of my bubble!”
If you think you might be caught in your own suffocating bubble, I suggest doing some regular journaling for 30 days. The following questions are intended to help you understand what it is you stand to lose if you no longer experience eating, health and weight issues: How is my current situation benefitting me? What do I have to fear if I were to change my current thoughts and behaviors? What negative outcomes might happen as a result of being trim and healthy? What would happen if I didn’t define my eating, exercise (or life) as a “struggle.” What if I had a different story?
Often the biggest thing we stand to lose is a self we are really quite comfortable with. It is a case of the devil we know. In giving up our old thoughts and patterns we are left with a blank page. This can be scary, or it can be exciting, a la Natasha Bedingfield:
Natasha Bedingfield “Unwritten”
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
Obstacle Numero Dos: You don’t really believe it is possible for you.
You’ve tried and failed so many times that you just EXPECT not to succeed. Your attempts at change are half-hearted. It feels like you are going down that road that you’ve been down so many times before.
I hear these words over and over again, “I don’t believe in myself anymore.”
There is NOTHING on the outside that is going to fix this. No diet, no pair of shoes, no boyfriend, no frosty beverage, no amount of time on Facebook. You will not find the solution to this one out there.
Here is the TRUTH: You are not a hopeless case. You’ve just got to set off that spark within. It’s in there. Light the pilot and fan the flame that is your Inner Awesomeness. We all have it. The solution is to fire it up.
There is a candle in your heart ready to be kindled. — Rumi
Doubt and fear – how they hold us back. It IS really hard to just stop doubting and being afraid. They are ingrained and unsupportive habits that rank right up there with nighttime snacking.
Nourishing the positives rather than battling the negatives is energy very well spent. Train yourself to:
– Acknowledge not patterns of failure, but patterns of success.
– Not to focus on what’s going wrong, but rather on what’s going right.
– Count your blessings.
– Challenge yourself every day by tackling an “I could never.” Soon you will see that you can…and you do. It IS possible for you.
If you do these things consistently, you will cultivate confidence and a belief that things are going your way. Doing these things has caused magic and miracles to show up in my life every day. It’s amazing. Give it a go.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – – Anais Nin
Blockage Numero Tres: You don’t feel like you deserve it.
If you have a dream – about anything really – or a vision for yourself that is brighter and juicier than today’s reality, why aren’t you taking one step toward that dream or vision today?
Here are some common responses to the question, “Why not now?” I don’t have time. It’s too hard. I can’t. That’s for other people, not for me. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough money. I don’t know how. It’s complicated. My life is too crazy right now.
What’s often lurking between those lines is the belief that we don’t deserve to have what we want. We’re not good enough.
Otherwise why would anyone delay amazing for one single second longer?
So, here are three secrets to making today your SOMEDAY.
1. Claim it. I love, love, love this affirmation from my soul sister, Michele Howe Clarke (check out her amazing story here). “I intend that is mine for the asking. I now ask into my life. I allow it in positively, for I know that I am safe. I am grateful, I give thanks. So be it, so it is.”
What I want is mine for the asking. So be it, SO IT IS. Do you want a fit and healthy body? Claim it and affirm it several times each day.
2. Watch what you say. I had an a-ha! moment watching Joel Osteen on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. He said, “Whatever follows I AM… will come looking for you.” I’ve really started to watch my language!
Listen to yourself – “I am tired. I am stressed. I am hungry. I am frustrated. I am hopeless.” How does your life look and feel when you speak this way? What about – “I am awesome. I am gorgeous. I am super-talented. I am so smart. I am sexy. I am loved. I am so much fun.” Wow – could life get any better?
One of my clients texted me today after she visited co-workers at her former job: “Most people at the office yesterday didn’t recognize me. Must be because I am happy and pretty 🙂 Yep.
3. Forgive. This one is HUGE. Very often we are prevented from moving forward and experiencing more and more wonderfulness by our regrets and old hurts. Sometimes, we get stuck in victim mode and blame others for our present feelings and circumstances. The problem with this is that…it sucks. For us. Forgive yourself and forgive others. It is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Whatever happened in the past – forgive and let go. Today is a day that is FULL of possibilities that are completely divorced from what happened yesterday. Let go. Expect miracles.
The body and life of your dreams is yours for the asking
See it. Own it. Believe it. Claim it. Live it today.
“Because it’s not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life.” – – Train, “She’s on Fire”
Does this resonate?
Wow! This post got long! I hope you have found a little nugget that you can ruminate on or pass on to a friend. Today’s the day to up-level, to take the next simple and bold step toward your dream life. Remember – it is yours for the asking!
If you’d like to go deeper, or have some personal, devoted support on your transformation journey, contact me for a free, initial consultation to learn about my coaching services.