Changing Your Body
Questions and Action Steps
CHANGING YOUR BODY
With all the information out there today, most of us know the unhealthy things we do to our bodies. As we look again in the mirror of our Changing Room we’re reminded we need to exercise more, eat less, drink more water, take our daily vitamins and supplements. The problem isn’t knowing what to do, the problem is doing it!
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail in this module about the right kind of exercises or the balanced meal plans for your body type. There are thousands of people out there trying to sell the next magic pill or program to lose weight or get into shape without any effort. I think you already know what you should be doing. That’s really the easy part. I’m going into some of the mind sets and the psychology behind why you should take care of your body and how you can get control of your body so it can maximally perform and give you the greatest number of years of healthy productivity. Once you have this most any healthy program you choose will be a success.
Let’s face it. When your body is depleted, or you’re thirsty or hungry you can’t focus on anything else. It’s only when our bodies are fueled, hydrated and toned that our minds can begin to create and focus and dream. If we’re experiencing highs and lows because of too much sugar or caffeine our minds are on an emotional roller coaster and nothing productive is accomplished.
We need to stop the yo-yo dieting and learn to eat instinctively and tune into what our bodies are requiring for that day. Diets are just rules that cause cravings and deplete our energy. Research has determined that 90 to 95 percent of dieters regain their weight anyway. When we learn how to nourish ourselves instead of striving to reach for an arbitrary number on the scale, we’ll be on our way to understanding how to change our body the healthy permanent way.
Growing up my parents and grandparents put a lot of emphasis on my weight. I was a chubby little girl and teenager. I wasn’t allowed to have the second serving of food and I was restricted from certain foods and watched as my brothers were allowed to eat them. I don’t blame my parents, they were just doing what they thought was in my best interest but it caused me to manifest a negative relationship with food. Consequently, over the years I’ve lost and regained the same 25 pounds at least four or five times which has wreaked havoc on my metabolism. Right now, I would love to lose 15 or 20 pounds but I’m feeling pretty good at this weight. When I stopped dieting, I started eating and exercising for the way it made me feel; energetic, healthy, flexible and strong.
I want to challenge you today to think about changing your B.O.D.Y. Again, I will use the acronym for Body, B.O.D.Y.
B – Be Bold and Believe you Can
In order to change your body you must take bold action. Bold is defined as not hesitating or being fearful in the face of actual or possible danger. If we hesitate or become fearful as we question our abilities, we are not acting boldly. But, in order to take this bold action we must first believe. We must know what we want, know we can achieve it and then believe we can accomplish it.
This belief can be developed. We must find other people who have accomplished what we’re trying to do. If you’re starting a weight lifting program, go to the gym and talk to a trainer. Interview or chat with some of the folks in your age group who have had success. Seeing what others have actually accomplished will ignite some competitive neurons in your brain and you will start to convince yourself that if they can do it, so can you.
It’s the American Olympian hurdler Lolo Jones who has dreamed of winning a medal since she was a kid. In 2012, just one year after spinal surgery, she finished fourth; just one tenth of a second shy of earning a medal. Stating that she refused to be deterred by failure, she said, “A failure today is not a failure if it leads to success tomorrow.”
One of the hardest things to overcome when we start a new health program is the justification we use for why we’re the way we are. We’ve told ourselves it’s in our genes, or we’re big boned or don’t have enough time to go to the gym. We must get rid of these stories and lies we’ve used for excuses and take action to change.
We also need to be realistic about our abilities. Consider your age, your overall health starting out and don’t be unrealistic about your actual ability. Be smart enough to know when to push yourself and when not to in any exercise routine.
Also, if we use some of the visions and dreams and mind clarity we learned in the last module about changing our mind, we can apply those here. It was the snowboarding 2006 Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler who said as she was sidelined after a spinal injury, “I visualized what I needed to do to execute my races so that I’d be ready.” Seeing the end goal in your mind helps it feel real, which can revive your hope and motivation. If we simply control the thoughts we allow to fill our mind every day we can replace the excuses with affirmations of “I can” and “I will do this.”
As you take that first small step toward your goal you’ll find your confidence will start to increase. It then becomes easier to believe for the next step and then the next. Pretty soon you’ll be taking two steps at a time. That’s how you build inner strength toward a positive winning attitude and belief in yourself and all you can overcome.
By choosing to live a fit lifestyle you will be stronger to face life challenges. You will have more confidence and discipline in all areas of your life. When you eat healthier and exercise on a regular basis you invest in your life and the lives of those you love. It’s been said that many people take better care of their pets and cars than their bodies. Don’t let that be you….Stand up, be bold and believe you can!
Kris Carr did exactly that. This best-selling author of the Crazy Sexy book and film series was diagnosed over 12 years ago with an extremely rare and incurable, yet slow growing Stage 4 cancer. This amazing woman who started her career as a dancer, actress and photographer lived an exciting life in New York City. After her diagnosis she developed a “watch and live” approach to life and turned to nutrition to boost her immune system and increase her longevity. She has gone on to write 4 best-selling books to encourage others to stop waiting to adjust life styles with better health care and wellbeing food choices and activities. She has hit the road on a self-care pilgrimage and is leading a wellness revolution. Her journey and story is now resonating with thousands of health, spiritual and happiness seekers. She is the first one to say, “Don’t wait for a devastating diagnosis.” Learn now how to look and feel better, lose weight, reduce stress and suffering so you can have more energy and nourish your body and spirit.
You must also, become aware of who you hang out with. Do you like to be with someone because they share your same beliefs or thoughts about unhealthy eating or lifestyles? Do you select friends that are 10 pounds heavier just so you can feel good about yourself? Question your motives and your choices in all areas.
The path we choose in life is our choice. Don’t fall victim to negativity and sudden impulses and let others cause you to lose your confidence. Stay positive and always believe in your ability. We all have hopes and dreams and it’s up to us to fulfill them. There is greatness in the power of the mind and a strong body.
O – Organize
Being organized has many benefits. I’ve never looked at organization as being the end result but as a means to achieve the end result or goal more efficiently or effectively. If being organized is all you think about and when that becomes the only goal it then borders on obsessive compulsive disorder. I’m definitely not organized for the sake of being organized but for the way it makes me feel and makes my life easier. I try to organize as much as possible so when the interruptions to life come, as they always do, I can focus on those solutions if everything else is in order.
Being organized helps you change your body because it lowers your stress levels. Stress raises cortisol levels which is a fight or flight hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. When cortisol levels are constantly high it can result in higher blood pressure, back and belly fat, decreased bone density and suppressed thyroid function.
Cluttered homes and offices will raise our stress levels. We will spend more time in panic and chaos searching for important documents or items needed in a hurry when we live in cluttered spaces. Being organized helps reduce that stress and lowers our toxic levels of cortisol. When our spaces are organized and have a clean, uplifting quality we will be happier and more productive.
Think about purging your home and office of all that un-wanted, un-used, or un-loved stuff. Your environment is a mirror of what is going on internally and directly affects you whether you realize it or not. Think less stuff and lighten your load by purging and throwing away. Imagine being surrounded only by positive representations of inspiring and lovely things.
Being organized in the kitchen assists you with food planning and preparation. When you schedule time on the weekends to cook healthy complex meals for the week you are using organizational skills to stay healthy and change your body.
When you organize your time and find that necessary hour or two per week to go to the gym you are using organization to change your body.
D – Discipline / Decisive
I combine these two because I firmly believe that in order to have or generate self-discipline you must be decisive. Being decisive means being strong-willed and determined to accomplish a goal. Once you know what you want and what you are willing to give up or sacrifice to get it, the discipline required becomes much easier.
You must always give up or change something in order to get something else. It’s a natural law. But, don’t think of it as giving something up but as gaining something much more positive and healthy. For example, you must give up feeling anxious, stressed or fearful in order to gain confidence, satisfaction and happiness. Discipline is the main trait required to accomplish your goals and ultimately provide the healthy, happy lifestyle you deserve.
In applying discipline to changing your body, you must decide what you’re willing to give up in order to have the healthy, sexy and energized body you were meant to have. Those with self-discipline do not allow their choices to be dictated by emotions or feelings. They don’t get angry with their spouse and grab a bag of cookies. They don’t fuel their insecurities with food. Rather, they make daily rational decisions without feeling stressed or upset.
Discipline is a learned behavior and it’s like a muscle. The more we use it the stronger it becomes and the less thought is required as it gets stronger. We don’t wake up motivated every morning so we must rely on our commitment, not our motivation. I’ve outlined 4 steps below to becoming disciplined and committed.
- Decide Your “Why”.
When you identify the reasons you want to change your body, it has to be so big and so important that you will do just about anything to accomplish it. This won’t be the same thing for everyone. Some people want to change for their husband or their children, and that’s OK, if it’s a strong enough motivation. But, I’ve found my biggest motivator was for myself. I wanted to feel lighter and stronger and freer. This is what kept me going and pushing through my comfort levels.
- Create and write out your specific, measurable Strategy and Plan.
Everyone has a different level depending on your age, body type and where you’re starting from. Make sure you’re being realistic and practical considering your current situation. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure before you even begin. If you want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year start with a small goal of 2 pounds a month for 10 months.
- Pain and Gain and Treats.
As you schedule your workouts be sure to stretch yourself and increase your levels without becoming overwhelmed or overly exhausted. As you stretch and grow, take time to relax and get enough sleep along the way. Your body will find its own rhythm. Keep healthy snacks available and reward yourself once a week with a pedicure or a massage. Keep that balance between pain and gain and treats.
- Forgive, Forget, and Keep Moving.
You will have ups and downs and everything won’t go according to your strategy plan, but don’t get frustrated or discouraged. This is not an “all or nothing” exercise. This is developing a life style pattern that will sustain you and give you freedom for the rest of your life. When you have a setback, acknowledge it, analyze it and adjust slightly if necessary and keep moving forward with a renewed motivation.
Y – You Are Worth It
Never forget or under estimate your worth. Being worthy means having value and you definitely have value. You have a story and a message to tell the world. You have people who depend on you for many things. I know at times this might feel heavy but you have a purpose and a calling in your life.
If you have a dream or longing in your heart, there’s a reason for it. You know your calling. You know what feels right for you and what feels wrong. As we end this session on changing your body always remember that you know what you need to do and basically have an instinct about how to do it. It’s the taking action part that you’re struggling with. I know, because I’ve been right where you are many times in my life. But I also know that you have the power within you to choose to excel and grab your purpose.
You may not have spoken up when it mattered in the past or you may not have made your needs clearly known but now you know how. You know what you need and how you’re going to start changing in order to get the best out of the world for your life. It’s the things we fight for and struggle with that have the greatest worth in the end. When it comes to changing our body there will be fights and struggles within. But when you’re at your optimum weight and feel flexible and strong you will know it was all worth it. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it and you, my friend are worth it!
I’m honored that you’re still here with me…..as we look forward to the last Module coming up next week….. hang in there. I know it’s a lot but this is so important for your future. I’m proud of you for taking these small steps toward your goal.
Remember, Change starts with you, one thought, one choice, then one action at a time. I’m committed to helping you change!
Let’s do this…..Dare to change Your Life Today!