As January approached, the topic of goals and intentions came up with almost all of my friends and clients. Its interesting to me because everyone has such different goals and is in such different places in life. However, the same theme kept coming up in all conversations and it was this:
We know we can be better than we are right now. We want to be better than we are right now.
After the holidays people can be quite hard on themselves. Not only is the Christmas spirit “high” over but all the guilt sets in and it can get out of control for some. The guilt of over eating, over drinking and not a lot of sticking-to-the-plan-ing. People who are very invested in their fitness goals are not typical affected by holidays. They enjoy food and enjoy good company but they get right back into the gym the next day. I am one of these people. I may not see my abs on these days but I know they’re there. Just hiding underneath some extra carb and sugary “fluff”. My energy is low and my lifts might suck but I can pin point the culprit and I get back on track that next day. But for the average person who is either just starting out or hasn’t quite yet found a program/trainer they enjoy, the holidays can be a stressful, shameful roller coaster ride.
I work with women (mostly) and since being in the fitness industry for quite some time now I can say that there are more women who feel bad about themselves then there are who walk confidently in who they are as a whole. I’ve learned over the years that the guilt associated with eating “bad” food or having that extra glass (or bottle) of wine is far worse on the body than the actual calories and unwanted sugar, fat and bloat. Why? Allow me to explain…
Everything is energy.
We’ve all heard this. Einstein said it. Oprah says it. Bob Proctor preaches it. Everything is energy including everything you are made of, everything you eat and everything you tell yourself in your own head. All of our thoughts become things in the physical world. Now, without getting into a quantum physics lesson, let me tell you what this has to do with your holiday guilt. What you tell yourself you are, you become. You tell yourself you’re fat, you will be fat. You tell yourself you have no will power or self control, you won’t have any. You deprive yourself of all of life’s deliciousness with the mindset of “can’t eat that”, chances are you will find yourself binging sooner than later. You tell yourself it’s impossible to eat healthy, guess what? Tell yourself you will only be happy if you stick with your plan, stay home so you’re not tempted to eat or drink to achieve your “dream bod”, will only make you think more about eating and drinking while you hate yourself sitting at home, for not being where you want to be in life and not being in the body you want to be walking around in.
What would happen if you allowed yourself to indulge a little bit? What would happen if you let yourself have your wine or margaritas on New Years Eve… and enjoyed it? What would happen if you shared dessert with your kids or took them for ice cream and enjoyed one with them? Really, in the grand scheme of things what would happen to you?
If there was no guilt associated with eating “bad”, treating yourself or “cheating” on your diet, the reality is nothing would happen to you. One celebratory occasion will not make you blow up into a huge whale. Just like one salad is not going to mold you into your ideal body. The guilt and the constant self hatred will do more damage to your body than that cheesecake can. The guilt and negative self talk lasts longer, hurts more and can ruin days, weeks and months. It can take away precious time with our loved ones and take years off our lives. It can turn a beautiful woman into an uncomfortable one who can’t enjoy the pool with her kids because she fears her own self image in a bathing suit.
I’ve seen beautiful women feel like hideous monsters over a meal or a Christmas dessert or family vacation. Heck, I’ve been one of them. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
When you look back at your Holiday season, ask yourself this: Did you have fun? Did you laugh? Did you enjoy your time? Did you enjoy the food you ate, the drinks you drank and the time spent with your loved ones? Did you enjoy the look on your kids faces? Did you enjoy your life?
Did you worry about your fitness? Did you fall off your program? Did you go the entire month without exercise? Did you not eat a single vegetable? Did you feel uncomfortable in your clothes? Did you skip your workouts? Did you give yourself permission to be your own worst enemy because hey, January’s right around the corner?
If the answer was yes to the above then what does that tell you? The problem isn’t your body. The problem isn’t your fitness level. The problem isn’t that you don’t have time or will power or a trainer or any healthy friends or a gym buddy or a supportive husband or anything in the external world at all. The problem, my dear, is your mindset.
What if, instead of an all or nothing mentality, there was a way to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine. What if you could eat well, work on the body you desire, work on fitting into those skinny jeans, while you still enjoyed the act of living, guilt free?
Accepting yourself as you are today is the first step in the process, holiday fun and all.
I live my life this way and I can say it is such a great feeling. I don’t crave anything. I don’t over indulge. I keep to my fitness plan. I have goals and big ones at that. I can be strict with my diet and when I am I choose fruit over chocolate, baked yams over muffins. I cut out sugar completely. I skip the cupcake at the birthday party and the wine at dinner with my friends. During the holidays or on vacations or after I accomplish a goal I’ve set out I allow myself room for the “treats”. I don’t have any guilt about it. I get right back into the gym. This is more than motivation. It’s a commitment to myself. It takes self discipline. It takes strength. It takes some reminders of who I am and why I’m doing this. Yeah, I suck during my workouts after a little too much of my grandmas homemade goodies but I know why I’m sucking and that was my choice. It’ll get better, I will get better and life’s not over. And I continue on with my goals and get myself back to crushing them.
My intention for 2018 is to help as many people as I can change their mindset around the way they enjoy their lives.
I hope in time we can stop the judgment and accept ourselves completely while we work towards becoming stronger, better versions of ourselves. Forgiving ourselves for not being perfect, for not looking air brushed 24/7 and for enjoying being a little “bad” once in a while.
Keep your mind on self love. Keep it focussed on your goals. Don’t allow error to mean failure. Get back up. Not after the weekend but at the next meal or next workout. Honour your body. Honour your life. Get help where you need it. Hire a coach and get yourself a trainer for a while (not to be too self promoting or anything 😉 ).
Respect the process, know you will get there and most importantly never feel bad for living an amazingly full life of love, happiness, laughter, abs and booty gains. Who says you can’t have it all, anyway?
Happy goal crushing.