You may remember my letter to myself 5 years ago as I was starting my fitness journey. I shared a little bit of wisdom that I have learned over the last five years and things I wish my 5 years ago self could have known to avoid a lot of frustration and pain. Since then I have been pondering even more what I wish I could have told myself and what I would tell other people as they are starting their journey. I am sure I could write a long series of blog posts on what I have learned but honestly, it all boils down to one thing.
Where we go in our fitness and health journeys all come down to the choices we make.
That sounds totally non-profound, doesn’t it? It is easy to think to yourself, “Well, of course it all comes down to choices! That’s nothing new!”
You are totally right but I think in many ways it really is profound for many people, including myself.
When we start down the road of improving our health it is so easy to get confused and to get lost. There is tons of information out there that support and contradict what we are trying to achieve. It is so easy to be lead down the wrong path by information that just seems to be the answer.
When you are starting a new lifestyle it can be daunting and downright scary. I remember. You so want to succeed and to honestly, just feel better. That is really all you want. So, you go out and start the storm of researching. You come across all kinds of information and chances are you don’t know how to weed through the good information and the misleading information. Your intentions are good but you are in the position to be easily lead down a deep, dark rabbit hole.
As you are seeking out the information you look to the information and the programs as the answers to your success. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
But, that is not the case at all.
Exercise and nutrition plans are excellent sources of information and education when the information is solid. I started out by following a specific program and I will be forever grateful for that program because it greatly increased my confidence in the weight room and I tap into that same confidence every time I lift. Good programs are the answer to educating you when you have no experience or knowledge. Using a program is asking for help when you know you need it.
Programs are not the answer to your success.
When I say ‘program’ I am referring to anything that you go to for help in your journey. It can be a new exercise routine, a new diet plan, a meal replacement shake, a supplement regimen, or whatever you may choose.
As a coach and as a friend I have heard on countless occasions ladies saying things like, “This program is the exactly what I need!! If this doesn’t work I don’t know what WILL work!” I WAS that person saying those things. I would find a new program and think that THIS WAS IT! THIS is the answer to make all my dreams come true.
As I have gone through countless programs and regimens over the years I have discovered that an old cliché saying is in fact quite true.
Wherever you go……there you are.
I realized that no matter what shiny new program I was using that the common denominator was ME. It was always me. I will readily admit that I have done good programs that offered sound information and I have done programs that only fed into my disordered habits. Either way the common denominator was still always me.
I researched and researched trying to find the answers I needed outside of myself in new programs. When I did not find success in one program I would find some kind of reason why it failed me and why it was not the right program for me. Then I would go looking for the next program that would be the answer. I did this over and over and over again.
Does this sound familiar?
It was not until this past year that my thick skull was able to see the whole story as a one big picture. I saw it was not the programs that failed me.
I failed me.
I failed to see my place in this story.
I failed to see that it was MY CHOICES that determined my path.
Once that made perfect sense I started to make changes.
I saw that I choose the path I want to go on. Then it is all about every choice I make along the way.
I always wondered about the people that I met along the way who were extremely successful and didn’t seem to struggle with it. The common denominator was that these people accepted that it was their choices that determined their path and it was all about personal responsibility.
YOU choose what you eat and when you eat it.
YOU choose if you move or not today.
YOU choose how much sleep you get at night.
YOU choose how much sunshine you get each day.
YOU choose how you prioritize your time.
YOU choose your goals and how to achieve those goals.
YOU choose if you will reach out for help or not.
You can choose to use a program for education or even as a little kick in the tail but when it all boils down it is ALL YOU.
YOU choose if you will use the program or not.
As a friend and as a coach I respect your choices and I respect your personal responsibility. I can hold your hand and I can guide you but I cannot make your choices for you. I CANNOT make you want it.
Desire comes 100% from you. And Success comes 100% from you.
CLAIM your choices and claim your success.
Once I stopped looking outside of myself for the answers to my success and I looked within myself I saw success.