DISCLAIMER: While the context of this article is around a health and fitness goal I had, the learnings are universal and the goal, immaterial. So, you won’t find any before- after pictures here!
To give a context, I’d been working out regularly for years and eating what I felt was healthy for a long while, but nothing much had shifted on the scales for me. The workouts felt great but as a mum of a 10 and 5-year-old, I did want to be at a healthy weight too, particularly at…… (ok not divulging my age 😉).
Great things happen when people share their success stories and they want others to benefit too. We had serial marathon runners over for dinner one night and naturally the conversation led to health and fitness. The evening ended up with my better half and I signing up with a nutritionist. The next few months (and much exercise and food up-haul later) ended with us collectively losing 16-17 kgs.
- Know when you don’t know
The journey began with the realization that “I don’t know how to do this”. When I figured out that what I was doing was not working, it took just a few phone calls to get the right kind of help. Seeking help is not a weakness. It’s always a smart option.
- Two’s company
Doing something for someone you love (In this case meticulous menu planning and execution, when I DON’T enjoy toiling in the kitchen) increases love. When you do things together there is healthy competition and you want one another to succeed. It fails unless you BOTH win. This applies at home and in our teams.
- Constraints breed creativity
When you put constraints around something, you usually get creative. The weekly menus were tough. Keeping it tasty and interesting meant experimenting with new ingredients and thinking about things I usually found tedious! But more than edible things did emerge from my kitchen! I’m sure this applies to work and other situations in my life, too.
- When you have time and negative energy
I started working on this goal because I was emerging from an energy draining situation. The options were to brood or replace this with something positive. A new experience, learning a new skill, playing a sport or doing exercise are great ways to get out of a rut. Your brain builds fresh connections, leaving you for new.
We often have an image of ourselves that we tend to hold on to. It’s what we’ve read; people have told us; we’ve told ourselves. These can become our limiting beliefs. In this case, “people don’t get back to the shape they were before babies. You won’t be as fit at… (not saying age!)…as when you were twenty. Long held beliefs become crutches that hold us back. It IS ENTIRELY possible to identify them and move beyond.
- Discipline and moderation
If you must indulge, indulge in your loved ones. For most other things, (particularly health and fitness) moderation and discipline, goes a long way.
- Everyday is a celebration
Last, but I’m sure not the least, the little things are the big things. Health really is wealth. We are so lucky in so many ways everyday. So why not pause to celebrate?