Do You Even Want To Change?

Seriously?  Do You?  Or would you rather just complain about how hard it all is?

As a fitness professional, the most of what I hear day in and day out is excuses.  Excuses about why someone else can do it and you can’t.  Excuses about how it’s clearly someone else’s fault.  Excuses and blame.

Having a conversation with a friend last week, she said to me “having lost weight and having so many reach out to me to ask what I did, how I did it, etc gave me an insane appreciation for the patience you must have on a daily basis.  Most people want me to lay out my exact meal plan and routine, they don’t want to hear about the work I did on my inner self, the emotional and mental stuff to get me to a place where I could focus on exercise and nutrition, they just wanted the exact routine I did, like they could magically replicate it and the excuses!  How do you listen to it!”

I was floored.  It was nice to have a conversation with someone who wasn’t a fitness professional who had a sneak peak into what I listen to on a daily basis.  I love what I do, so patience comes with it.  There are days that I want to scream my head off and there are days that I do scream my head off.  There are days when I kick and scream “Why can’t they get it!!!!!” and “WTF is wrong with people”.  Oh yes, I’m far from perfect.  Sometimes I’m exhausted from listening to the excuses, the blame.  Sometimes I want to reach through Facebook and grab the person by the throat who shared the latest “soup diet” fad.  And there are times when I have to walk away from an email/message and reply later because I need a cool head.  Fitness is my passion.  And my emotion about it often shows.  I can get a little hot headed about it all, to put it mildly.

I do have a lot of conversations with people about excuses/blame.  And most days I give them food for thought to consider how they might make some small changes.  Sometimes you can see it lands and plants a seed, but sadly, 96% of the time, it falls flat.  I’m not talking about clients.  Clients who chose to work with me get a much more candid conversation/coaching/pushing/pulling/crying/hysteria version of this… because I know and they know (soon after working with me) that no one ever got to where they want to be by staying comfortable, so we get into the nitty gritty of it.

Most people want to know how to just get this gut off!  “I’ll do anything you say, just tell me exactly what I need to do and I promise I’ll do it”.  “Eat Healthy meals and snacks 5-6X a day; drink 3L of water (min) a day; exercise 5 days a week”.  “Well that doesn’t really work for me, is there any other way”?

People will do anything to lose weight, except consistently exercise and eat healthy.

We just want the easy way.  Mostly, we just want to lose 10, 20, 50lbs and look better.  We want to treat the symptom not the cause.  Isn’t that what our society is all about?  Let’s go to the doctor and get pills for the headache but never address the reason why we get headaches.  Oh, diet pop gives you headaches?  So you could give that up, right?  Or, I’ll just take a pill for that.  Then I need a pill to deal with the side effects of the first pill.  Imagine, though, if an appointment with a massage therapist to relieve the stress on your neck muscles or an appointment with a physiotherapist could fix your headache’s, pill free, forever?  It’s possible.  In fact, it’s much more common than you realize.  I’ve told countless people over the years about this.  Their response “My doctor got me on these pills and I rarely have them anymore”.  Oh, Ok.  Problem solved, right? {side note before the lynch mob decends: I do realize not all headaches are caused by this}.

See I realize my belief system, my thirst and desire for knowledge and my desire to fix things,permanently; makes me different.  I want to cure my issues, not just treat symptoms. 6 years ago, I had an attack of “sciatia” while running.  Doctor told me no running or exercise for 6 months to heal properly. He also prescribed me pills for pain relief.  6 Months?  WTF?  No way was I not working out for 6 months!  I called my massage therapist who did an assessment with me, determined it was most likely a tight glute muscle; we did 3 intense treatments of massage in 8 days and I was running again.  She went over the stretches I needed to do after running.  To this day, that glute muscle acts up every now and then and I do my stretches and I’m fine.  Imagine, I could be dealing with that issue for 6 years, impairing my ability to be active.

I suffer from allergies.  Medical tests couldn’t determine the cause and their solution was, once again, medication for the rest of my life.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love the medical world.  They’ve saved my life, quite literally, several times.  But there HAS to be a cause for consistent and ongoing allergic reactions.  I refused to believe otherwise and I also refused to take medication for life without knowing if it was something I could control or fix. I visited a naturopath and it was determined through assessment that it was stress based allergic reactions.  My treatment?  Reduce my schedule.  Schedule down time.  There was more that I won’t go over here but essentially, one supplement to my diet for 6 months and a reduced schedule, more sleep, and stress relieving activities like yoga, meditation.  I have had only a couple of reactions in 2 years.  I’m medication free.  When I have a reaction, it’s almost always because I’m working too much or stressed out, so I quickly balance out and it’s gone again.

I share these stories as a way to impart to you the desire to fix things.  Not quick fix them.  Not band aid them.  But to find the CAUSE and treat that instead of just treating the symptom.  When you treat the symptom without addressing the cause, eventually you will stop treating the symptom, the symptoms will come back and you’ll have to re-treat, again and again and again. As a society, we’ve been taught, when the symptom goes away we are “cured”… but there’s a high likelihood when the symptoms go away you’ll revert to old behaviours and then the symptoms return, again.

When it comes to weight related issues, we’re bombarded with promises of quick and easy results.  But I can tell you, from my own years of battling the bulge that it doesn’t come easy but it’s also not overly hard… it’s a mindset shift.  Accepting that exercise and healthy eating MUST be a part of your life if you’re going to be in control of your health is a big part of that journey.  If you are significantly overweight (obese) and/or suffer from eating disorders, disordered eating patterns, binge eating episode’s, emotional eating, then you MUST go through the process of uncovering why you do that; deal with the emotional issues behind it.  That’s the hard part.  Once you clean that up, healthy eating and exercise become something you want to do, because you have a respect for your body and life that makes you want to take care of “home”.  You can also learn to get out of your own way.  We’re our own roadblock most of the time and learning the WHY (the cause) allows us to see it in the moment for what it is and continue on.  A set back becomes minor, maybe a bad week here and there…not a complete derailment.

I hear and deal with a myriad of excuses everyday.  I listen to people blame everything and everyone for their weight, their poor eating habits, but themselves.  If you’re going to fix the problem then you must first see yourself as part of that problem.  You can’t be part of the solution if you don’t see yourself as part of the problem.  It’s shitty that your spouse doesn’t support you and eats crap in front of you.  But you know what it really is… sad.  It’s sad that they want to sabotage you.  Or that they don’t care enough about themselves to take care of themselves.  But that’s not your responsibility in life.  You can’t make other people change – this has been a hard lesson for me as a fitness coach.  You can’t make others change because it’s convenient for you.  You can blame them for your weight problem, however, and you can stay the same and keep complaining about how you aren’t supported.

You can keep doing that.  Or you can get up, decide for yourself what you want.  You could be your own hero.  You don’t have to wait for someone else to change their lives so that you can change yours.  Imagine what’s possible if you changed it anyway?  If everyday, despite what everyone else around you did, ate, said; you got up and put your fucking sneakers on and exercised?  And what if while everyone else was eating deep fried food, you were eating a healthy homemade pasta?  What if in 10 years time you could look back and said “I saved my own life by deciding what I would do”.  Imagine what’s possible when you become your own hero?  Perhaps you can then influence those around you to change their own lives, not because you’re shoving it down their throats, but because you have become an inspiration to them.

The first step is to decide if you actually want to change or you just want to complain about not being able to change?

Everything you need is available.  Money isn’t an issue when you have a drive and desire to do it.  You’ll set it aside (maybe even save that take out money for a gym membership or a personal trainer or life coach?) or you’ll find the information you need on the internet; there’s a ton of free stuff out there!  Time isn’t an issue when you have the drive and desire to do it.  You’ll use your time wisely and always make time for your workouts – chances are you’ll spend less time in front of the TV or on the internet.  Bad days become a motivator to sweat it out and not flake out with junk food that only feels good in the moment.

Be your own fucking hero.

Don’t wait around for anyone else to change.  Don’t wait for someone else’s permission to get the results you want.  Don’t let your light dim because you’re afraid to do it alone.  Don’t let other people’s choices in life influence your life choices.  Don’t let other people’s trauma, drama, bullshit, negativity hold you back from stepping up and saying “I’m fucking awesome and I’m gonna do this FOR ME”.  Own it. Be It.  And drop the bullshit blame game excuses.  Decide.  Do you want it?  There is no “try”; there is Do It or Don’t.

Mad Love,

Tonya

 

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