I think a lot about how to best serve people in what I do. Part of the reason I haven't posted in some time is that there is so much I want to say. This post is not for mirror muscle folks, but for the ones who are truly in search of something more.
Many people come to me to me with the goal of weight-loss (weight-loss is important in many cases), but generally after getting to know them, together we discover that they're actually in search of WELLNESS: I define wellness as a state of being that eases your mind and body, you feel strong, healthy and nurtured; you have little to no anxiety about lifestyle and nutrition choices, and you feel confident that you're treating your body with the respect it deserves. Nutrition and exercise are just part of the larger goal of wellness, which includes mind, body and spirit.
For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with exercise, nutrition and what the combination of the two can do to our bodies. I'll be the first to admit that at times my obsession has manifested in healthy patterns and at other times my obsession has reared it's head in ugly and unhealthy ways. Although not healthy or ideal it was always during more challenging times that I was reminded that exercise and nutrition are not enough to be well. I've identified a couple tips that I've found helpful and helpful to others in achieving a long term wellness. I offer these because often even when nutrition and exercise have fallen in to place and weight loss or fitness goals are being met for many people feelings accomplishment or overall wellness are short lived. It's so important to address your goals from a psychological and long term perspective.
1. Take the time every couple of months to sit down and write out what you want accomplish in your wellness journey. The disconnect between what we want and our strategy for getting "there" often comes from a lack of consciousness. Our lives move at such a fast pace that people (often myself included) don't take the time to ask, "How does my behavior serve me and/or my long term goals?"
2. Understand that your parents were right when they told you were special. Every single person is different, you CAN NOT compare yourself to others. As Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." If you ever plan on being happy, you have to embrace who you are, be happy for others and make the most of your strengths!
3. Be well rounded and diversify your passions. Imagine what your life would be like if something you're passionate about vanished? How would you cope or manage to move forward? For me I try to imagine what my life would be like if I could no longer teach my classes and be active doing the activities I'm most passionate about. I ask myself, have I spent enough time diversifying my interest so that I could find enjoyment from doing something else? Have a invested enough time in my relationships with loved ones? Try to create balance in your life and don't let your short term goals consume you. Remember that if your ultimate goal is wellness that too much of anything will throw you off course.
4. Communicate with others. Think of the people in your life as your team, if you've played sports you may remember your coach telling you the #1 key to success is communication. Your friends and family can not read your mind so if you want/need support you have to ask. If you fear confrontation then seek help from someone you trust and can talk to.
Step back from your life and check in with your progress. Wellness is a lifelong journey, but it should also be a fulfilling one.