For years I failed at EVERYTHING I tried. I failed at school, relationships, weight loss, and lived a life of misery as a result. I was taught during my early years that failure was bad and I felt bad about myself. I also strongly perceived life events as being against me and felt as though some invisible force was victimizing me and “that’s just the way life does me.” One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was that many times (even during a day) life will throw me a curve or things will go against me that require a response of wisdom, intention, and strength. I had to learn that there will always be stress, untimely events, and barriers. The difference now is I know how to respond and it isn’t by feeling sorry for myself or seeing what will or can go wrong. It is by seeing how I can work through the events in life that challenge me and how I can have a successful outcome. THAT’S IT! If you struggle to manage life’s barriers in a way that is successful, I understand. There is a different way if you are searching. See how you can work through this day. See the potential good in each barrier and how you can grow as an individual with it. Be thankful for the challenge. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
IF YOU NEED HELP MANAGING YOUR LIFE IN A HEALTHIER WAY:
We cannot change the way we have done things in the past. We can only accept it without judgment of ourselves and others and learn from our histories. If the way you have coped with life in the past has created great health and good choices I say congratulations. If you have struggled and are open to what has worked for hundreds of others I also say congratulations. You are on your way to great health! Here is some of the things that has worked for me and hundreds of others who have decided to change the way they cope with life events.
We all accepted that the way we were coping with life events was not working and was making us unhealthy
We were all HUNGRY for change
We have a significant reason to begin to take the action to make change whether it was children or family, physical pain or lack of mobility, low self-esteem, or the desire to have a partner in life
If these criteria fit you and you would like to cope with life in healthier ways then consider doing what the other success stories have done
Create a plan and follow it. Plan for exercise, how you will set boundaries with food (calories or macros), and how you will manage your emotions when faced with challenges. Start over each day and stay focused on your big goals!
Learn to recognize when you may be at risk for emotional eating or not coping with life in a healthy way.. Distracting yourself from “autopilot” coping and ultimately learning it is not the event that happens to you in life but rather the way you respond will be the key to moving forward with big change. Not allowing the exterior events to control our interior response takes practice but is so freeing! What we give our energy and thought to will grow like a weed if we feed it, especially those of us who struggle to manage coping responses. When you want to go back to autopilot ways of dealing with life, shift your energy and thought to a healthier response and your strong reason for desiring change.
Get back to good health practices if you have had a day where you did not make the healthiest choices. Do not beat yourself up. Just start over. You are only human!
Place yourself in environments that support your change. Going to the gym, support groups, and social gatherings where others are of like mind will help you when your normal circle of friends and family do not share your health choices. Love who you love and spend time with those you love but make good health choices in all environments.
Treat your body and brain good with reading, music, rest, fun activities and service to others. We are multifaceted creatures who need multiple things to help us get through the stress of events in life.
Stay resilient! The key to any endeavor in life!
I sincerely hope this helps you to get started on a new path to good health practices and coping skills. I know a lot of people who have struggled for years. I also know a lot of people who no longer struggle. It is time to create the life and health that you deserve. It is time to be your own miracle!
I have been asked several times why I do not give out exercise or nutrition advice on my blog. After all, I am a personal trainer. I always try my best to accommodate everyone and I will do so with this request. My exercise advice is to do it. My nutrition advice is to eat primarily lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables or eat less of everything. I know this is groundbreaking stuff so I hope that you were not overwhelmed with the advice or if you were you were sitting down as you read it! When I weighed over 300 pounds I knew I was supposed to exercise and eat healthier. I knew I shouldn’t smoke cigarettes or do the other unhealthy things I was doing but I did it anyway and did not exercise. I understand also in today’s world of never ending temptation that it is not easy to always do. DO IT ANYWAY! AND ENJOY IT! Whoops went into angry personal trainer person for a moment, but it is true. Many personal trainers and others have diets, shakes, and prepackaged meal plans but what if you don’t like what they chose for you to eat? I personally do not like cardboard or a shake that leaves my tongue swollen. I have come across many people who feel the same as I do and who actually want to like the food they consume. In addition, many of these same people do not want to exercise like they are in preparation for the police academy or the 2016 Olympics. So how does one achieve health and wellness goals without becoming miserable? Here are my nutrition and exercise tips to help you achieve your goals:
It is true that we should eat primarily lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables or eat smaller. Choose things that you like that are healthier or introduce yourself to new food. I know people who have lost over 70 pounds by eating an oatmeal cookie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and a meat and vegetable for dinner. I know others who have lost significant amounts of weight by trying new salads, ways to prepare meat, and going online before entering the restaurant to make sure there is a healthier option to enjoy. Change what you’re hungry for. Be hungry for success in your health journey!
I know people that hate any form of exercise. I do not get up in the morning jumping up and down saying, “Yea! I get to run 5 miles!” Most of the people I know do not get so excited about exercise either. But those who have enacted great wellness change at the bare minimum saw a great benefit to doing exercise. You do not have to spend hours of misery in the gym with judgmental muscle heads or run endless miles in the desert. Spend 20 minutes a day helping yourself with exercise and you will see change. The key is to stay focused on the benefits. I have a friend who runs 5-10 miles a day and others who swim, walk, or play Wii. Find yours! Please do not wish you would have.
Stay resilient. All of the people who I have witnessed make big changes kept fighting. They learned how not to give into the “old way” of doing things that did not lead to success. And if they did fall off for a day or two they regrouped and got right back on. And you can too. You are no different than the many people that I have worked with that have achieved wellness goals after years of struggle. You can do anything you choose if you have a reason big enough. I want to be healthy and strong as long as I can. I also have people that love me so I do not want to impact them with burden, stress, or worry because of my poor health choices. Those are my reasons for staying resilient and now it is time to find yours! It is time to create the health that you deserve and finally feel better! It is time to be your own miracle!
There is no question that our health is an extremely important subject and should be a priority in our lives. One area where people create a barrier for themselves is the extreme NEGATIVE emotion placed on exercise. For many, exercise has been a miserable experience and often times began as a youth. Some individuals can do things physically with ease while others doing the same activity will experience excruciating pain. There are many biological, mental, and physiological reasons for the reasons for the way we experience pain. Your response to the pain you experienced with physical activities is completely normal. We all process and feel pain differently and some people are far more sensitive to pain because of the way the brain and body function together. It literally hurts more because the pain sensors in the body are more sensitive for some people than they are for others.
Another factor in those that have a negative experience with exercise is the unwise way that exercise is taught in homes, schools, and youth leagues. Unfortunately, many people have had a traumatic experience as a youth with exercise. They may be slower, not interested in the sport that mom or dad has made them join, been made fun of or bullied by some idiot whose still unemployed at age 39, or had a coach that was more focused on building his own ego than helping the youngster learn a sport. Given the way many individuals have experienced exercise in the past it is no wonder they would hate it. It has been emotionally and physically painful and even demeaning at times.
Time For Change
Ninety-nine percent of my personal training and life coaching clients will not set foot in a gym or hire a personal trainer. They have had a negative experience (or many usually) with exercise, believe that when they walk into a gym they will be judged like always, and are fearful that the personal trainer will yell at them, shame them, and put them through such excruciating pain that they will not be able to roll on deodorant or go to the bathroom for days. I actually have experienced personal trainers in the last 6 months who do this. I was laughed at, told to “suck it up” when I experienced pain, and felt demoralized on a couple of “personal training” occasions. And I am in decent shape. I didn’t witness but I felt like my trainer was beating his chest like some conqueror. I never went back needless to say. We may not ever be able to change the egos of some but one thing we can do is change ourselves. And that comes with hunger. Your desire for change will ultimately be the difference in the change you seek whether it be weight loss, increased strength, and motivation to exercise and eat healthy foods, especially as you age.
How to Change the Exercise Belief System
Our bodies need to be moved and challenged a little. We do not need to exercise crazily or do a triathlon. We should include both strength training and cardio components to be healthy. How do we do that when we have had negative experiences and hate to exercise? Here are the things that have worked for those people who I have witnessed make incredible change in health and wellness:
All accept that exercise is needed and beneficial. They understand that “30 minutes of pain” daily will lead to less pain as they age, make them feel better about themselves, and have a great impact on their overall quality of life and every aspect of life. This does not mean that they put themselves through grueling workouts or get yelled at by some crazy trainer. They learn to listen to their bodies and are able to move forward slowly at a smart pace.
All “get back on” daily after they have “fallen off.” Many of us have a day or two of eating less than healthy foods, skip a Monday of exercise after a weekend, and pretty soon we say “forget it” and/or “this doesn’t work.” Unless you have an underlying health issue eating nutritious foods and exercise does work. If you do have an underlying health issue please see a doctor to fix it and then exercise and eating nutritious foods will work.
All have a significant reason to begin exercise. Many feel better in the knees and back, think clearer, and like the way exercise makes their bodies look. Others want more mobility, to be healthier for family and loved ones, to play sports, or help with bone density. I like what exercise does for my head and my body. After years of experiencing depression, addiction and self-esteem issues I feel free of all of these barriers in many ways due to exercise. It has changed my life and the lives of many others and can yours too. Please see the benefit. Honor yourself and those who care for you by caring for yourself enough to move every day.
“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~Thomas Edison
You’ve all heard it before… You are what you eat. But unfortunately, in today’s modern world, what we eat is becoming further and further from actual food product. Packaged, canned, bagged.. artificial flavors, fillers and sweeteners.. As a results, our consumption of sugar per person, per year has gone from 90lbs in the early 1900s to 180lbs as of 2008!
As individuals seeking great health in all areas of life, the importance of focusing on your own self-development versus the “flaws” of others is so vital to the growth process. It sounds so simple but I witness many who continue to struggle because of past bad experiences, resentments, and blame. I did it for years and looked often to people, places, and things outside of myself as being the reason I could not overcome many things, achieve other things, and be the overall healthy person I was seeking. It is still an autopilot response for so many when life throws us curves or things do not work out in the manner we had hoped for. It is a daily work for me to accept 100% responsibility for every place I am in my life. But it is freedom to do so. Today I get to choose to take care of my body and brain with healthy exercise. Today I get to take care of my emotions with the self-awareness that I can only control the way I respond to events and people in life. I can choose to respond with calm, open-mindedness, and love because I am fixing only myself. I choose 100% responsibility. You can too! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
Six great keys to long term health:
1. Exercise vigorously based on where you are. This does not mean crazy but safe and smart.
No matter your age or what ails you, exercise is key to maintaining a high functioning life. Stay strong!
2. Having a mindful, boundary based approach to food and life.
Research shows that people who live healthy for a long time enjoy foods of all kinds on occasion with boundaries. Keep your goal in mind, have a plan, and continue to move forward toward your goals. Enjoy!
3. Creating positive emotion and fulfillment in your life.
A lot of us have stressful work and family lives. It is so important to offset the stress with activities that bring us fulfillment and positive emotion. Having creative outlets, serving others, meditation, and exercise are all activities that help cultivate a fulfilling and positive life. Please choose things that you enjoy doing and that bring an outcome that you are proud of when you have completed them. For some it is writing, others painting, some singing, and still others like wood projects or knitting. Make it your own!
5. Have strong support.
Have people in your life that will challenge you to be healthy but not shame you. Be open to the feedback of people who are qualified to help you and enjoy time with friends who care about your well-being.
6. Stay resilient and DO NOT GIVE UP!
Always and everyday get back on the horse. When yous top trying to be healthy, happy, and fulfilled life becomes more of a struggle. Enjoy life no matter what hand you’ve been dealt.