Change is hard.
Change sux. It requires letting go of past habits, comforts and beliefs. Sometimes it requires letting go of relationships with people we trusted and valued. The really tough thing about changing your results is that it almost always requires changing your actions.
When it comes to talking nutrition, health, fitness and, let’s be honest, body weight, we might as well be discussing the SSM vote or World peace. The levels of emotion, judgement (from oneself and others), misinformation and, sadly, manipulation is significant.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you can change! Whenever you like. However you like. That’s the awesome thing about being human. You have the power to think and act however you choose. And that right there is the key word for you to remember…choose….your choice.
Choose your choice.
Do you like beer? Choose it. What about ice cream? Choose that too. Donuts? Yep, choose them. Ripped abs? Also a choice. Great skin, boundless energy, drug free life, flexible joints. They’re choices too.
This is where so many people I speak to and who ask me about ‘nutrition’ or ‘diet’ or ‘performance’ or even ‘wellness’ get stuck.
What’s the right choice? What if I feel I can’t choose?
Again, you’re saved by your own free will and by examining your values.
What you value most.
What’s more important to you? It’s such an underutilised way to test your choices and create more awareness of the choices you are making…and you are making them whether you realise or not. Playing with your kids in 10 years or satisfying that craving for Tim Tams? Liking (maybe even loving) the person you see in the mirror after a shower or fitting in with your friends as they order another round? Every day, every hour, every minute you’re faced with choices. How to think, how to act, how to feel. It’s just that you don’t realise it’s happening!
You’ve no doubt figured out that we live in a capitalist society. Corporations and businesses sell products or services to make money which goes back to their owners and shareholders (and that includes you, if you have superannuation). Companies that sell food, drugs, alcohol, supplements, fitness programs and gym memberships. Companies that need you to believe that what they’re telling you is the truth. “Everything in moderation”, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, “drink responsibly” and more. Slogans for a modern world that believes what’s on TV, Facebook, in government policy and on packaging. Perhaps even this post!
Your choices are influenced by the information you consume. Like the food you put in your mouth, the media you take in and digest impacts what you value, what you believe. This is important to remember because you can choose that too!
Creating a new recipe.
Cooking is pretty simple. Want to make a chocolate cake? Use the ingredients that produce that cake. Scrambled eggs? Different ingredients. What you put into the mixing bowl or frypan and to some extent how you combine, cook or prepare those ingredients, dictates the end result. Well, nutrition, no, your health and wellbeing, is exactly the same. Want ripped abs? There’s some ingredients for that. Great skin? Ingredients for that too. Strong muscles, lean body, shiny hair, the list goes on. There are ingredients that will create those outcomes. Just as there are ingredients for love handles, aching joints, heart disease and poor skin.
In my 10 plus years of coaching people in business, fitness and life I’ve heard many ‘reasons’ why they don’t get the results they so convincingly tell me they desire. “My staff are inexperienced, my customers won’t spend that much, my partner won’t eat healthy food, my kids won’t like what I cook, my hormones keep me this way…”they’re all choices. Choices to allow external factors to dictate personal thoughts, decisions and actions. The choice to commit one’s own financial, emotional or physical health to everyone else. The alternative is to take ownership of your own results and the solution to getting what you truly want. Once you do that, you can have anything you want…if you’re willing to follow up with action.
Joining the dots.
So you want to lose some weight? Choose the ingredients that create that outcome. Reduce the booze, put down the Tim Tams, ignore the husband when he turns up his nose at your paleo, low carb frittata. Choose what is most important to you. Choose to start liking the person in the mirror instead of the instant gratification of another slice of pizza. Educate yourself about the implications of your choices. Don’t base your changes on hearsay and urban legend. Become a student of your own life and utilise the abundant information available to us all. Find people who understand and appreciate the changes you want to make, people who’ve been there done that or who have studied and filtered the information and helped others get the results you also desire. Hang out with them. Seek their feedback and support. Make changes, test them and learn some more.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not telling you to never eat a biscuit or never have a drink of wine or never eat a whole, delicious, carb-filled pizza washed down with a bourbon and coke. In fact, you should do all those things… if they’re your choice. Just understand the implications of those choices. Once a month? Not such a big deal. Once a week? More of a hindrance to that rippling midline. ‘Just one bite’ every other day? Probably going to see you in long conversations with someone like me about why you can’t lose weight…worse still, conversations with your GP about the stent you might require soon or the rheumatoid arthritis meds they want to put you on.
Remember, the only person who needs to be satisfied with your choices, particularly when it comes to nutrition, health, wellbeing and longevity…is you. Not your mother, your trainer, your kids or your friends. Just you. So don’t fool yourself into thinking you “can’t” or that you’re different to everyone else. They’re just B.S. stories you tell yourself to make your choices ‘ok’. Sometimes these stories become so powerful that you start telling other people to try and give them more creedence. Once that happens, you’re going to believe them even more and change becomes more difficult.
It’s not impossible.
No matter how powerful your stories, reasons, excuses or barriers are, change begins with one simple thing. Acceptance. Accepting that your choices led you to this point which means you can choose to change path! Maybe it’s chatting to someone new about your wishes for more health, more life, more energy. Perhaps it’s cutting the wine back from 2 glasses to 1. It might even be joining a Facebook group for support and information to help get you started (there are some great ones out there). Whatever you do, do something and remember the quote from Henry Ford… “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.