Here’s a question that I consistently hear: “I’m tired of doing what doesn’t work. How do I get results?”
You buy the latest diet book every friend swears by – but then they swore by a different one 3 months ago.
You join a different gym or buy another late-night-TV fitness gadget, because this one has (fill in the blank) that the others didn’t have, so you know you’ll use it – next week.
You download another meditation or time-tracker or motivation app, but somehow it doesn’t help.
How do you get results?
Before I share how, I want you to understand that the answer goes against what main stream media and well-meaning fitness gurus will tell you. It even goes against what my mom taught me (and it took me a while to accept that).
Here’s the answer: Find your path.
A path that is yours, that embraces your lifestyle and values, that enhances your life without consuming it. Why? Because if it does not focus on you, no program, book, gadget or method will work for you.
Finding your path paves the way to
freedom from worrying about lifestyle diseases
peace in your mind and with yourself
an increased enjoyment of life – whether big adventures or time with family
thriving in every area of your life
You can find your path to results. Your first step, which – I know from experience - is the hardest, is to stop believing what I call the Big Lie. It wrecks your path.
It pushes you further away from success and traps you in bondage. The lie, like most, is subtle in your mind, but you can see signs of it wrecking your path.
At the end I’ll tell you 6 signs that you may be believing the Big Lie.
First, I’ll share a bit of my story of believing this Big Lie and how it harmed me for well over 25 years of my life.
I used to be deeply trapped in this lie.
When I was 9 I started believing it. I bought my first fitness magazine and started on my first diet. The magazine (this one – this is the original one) became an authority figure in my life, telling me that I was supposed to eat and exercise a certain way.
I counted the calories on my plate; I analyzed the food on my parents’ plates when we’d go out to eat. In fact, my dad later told me they stopped enjoying going out as a family because all I did was analyze what everyone was eating. I wouldn’t skip exercise, even if it meant getting out of bed with a fever to finish it.
Yes, I did that.
The deeper I got into this lie, the more restricted I became. Others thought I was self-disciplined – but I wasn’t. Self-discipline comes from the inside, from the self. I was forcing conformity to an outside, external, someone else’s rule.
(A little side-lesson here … we all have a need for autonomy, that thing that protects us and our boundaries, our sense of self and our ability to choose. I allowed this magazine – and later all of the other diet rules – to tell me what to do. It was my job to tell me that, so I was allowing my sense of autonomy to be pushed down. And it will only be pushed down so long.)
I remember in college going to parties, eating “perfectly” but then coming back to an apartment and eating ½ bag of my roommates cookies.
I was recently reading some of my old journals, which at the time included daily calorie counts. I came across a section in which I was berating myself for sneak eating several doughnuts. At the time I wrote it, I recall thinking how “bad” I was. When I look at it now, I understand that I was starving myself for several days prior, through both under-eating and running several miles. No wonder I was craving doughnuts.
Of course, the good news now that I don’t believe the lie anymore, I could care less about doughnuts and actually don’t like them.
So, what is the Big Lie?
“There’s one way to be healthy and you must conform your life to that one way.”
You absolutely must give up believing this lie to reach your health and fitness goals.
Each person’s path is unique, but not random. Your path will be based on underlying proven principles, but if you believe that there is one way to live healthy, you will be forever trying things that don’t work in the long-run and will always be searching outside of yourself.
Those ways create struggle, not ease.
Those ways are complicated, not simple.
Those ways constrict and deprive you, not free you.
Are you possibly believing the lie that here is one way to be healthy and you must conform your life to that one way?
Sign #1: You skip exercise or meal-prep because something else came up. Why? You didn’t have time to do it “all” and you’ve believed all-or-none; don’t do something half-way.
Your Path? You believe something is better than nothing and set standards that fit your life.
Sign #2: You go workout and push yourself until you cannot walk normally the next day, then don’t workout again for weeks. Why? You’ve believed “No pain – no gain,” or “go hard or go home.” Or a guru has told you that if you don’t get your heartrate into a certain zone it does you no good.
Your Path? You embrace the intensity of exercise you enjoy.
Sign #3: You eat foods that bore you, or you feel guilty if you eat something you really enjoy. Why? Someone has been the food police and told you, “If it tastes good, spit it out. It can’t be good for you.”
Your Path? You listen for true pleasure (not false pleasure) and savor quality.
Sign #4: You are busy and don’t exercise, believing if you don’t exercise for ____ time it won’t do you any good.
Your Path? You know the research and that helps you adapt to your life. Some days you go exercise and some days you fit in bits of activity throughout your day.
Sign #5: This ____ diet is the one that works. It worked for so-and-so celebrity last year.
Well, that was last year. This _____ diet is the one that really works. It worked for so-and-so celebrity this year. And if it is not working for you, you must be cheating.
Your Path? You understand what works for your body and you know that what you eat is not a moral issue.
Sign #6: You avoid going to a party, trying a new adventure, or just going to the gym because you have to look a certain way, touch your toes, lift a lot of weight, run a particular pace – or you are really unfit and you aren’t trying.
Your path? You go enjoy your life, because you ignore the confining opinions and messages out there.
These lies push you further away from success.
If you want to find your path to results, you must decide once and for all that the hype and the lies, no matter how glorious and glittery they sound, are not for you.
I get it.
Rejecting the lies can be hard, but do you know what’s even harder?
Continuing to try every new one-size-fits-all rule, failing, feeling guilty and trapped.
This is why learning to find your path to Thrive in Life will be one of the most amazing gifts you’ll ever give yourself.
I am thrilled to let you know that enrollment is open for my newest course: Thrive Life. Click here for details.
Join the conversation – Which of the six signs are you guilty of that is wrecking your path? What is one small thing you can do TODAY to help you break out of the lies and Thrive?