I hear the expression " I fell off the wagon" a lot in my profession. It's usually expressed with shame and discouragement, two things that I have to come to see as the true enemy on our journey.
In the three years that I have been on my own health journey I have learned a few things that I am going to share with you today. I hope they set you free to leap off the wagon!
1. The wagon is not what we think it is! In our minds the wagon is some sort of direct route to success where the truly smart, dedicated, and self controlled seem to stay. Getting a seat on that wagon means we are doing well. Let me tell you, if such a vehicle existed, it would be empty! We are all a mess!
What is actually happening is that we are souls on a mission of self discovery and through human connectedness we share and learn and grow. So your friend attends a seminar that changes her life, and she is so pumped about it that you decide THIS is it! This is what you need to make progress! You go, you learn some things, you attempt to do all the same things she did and for awhile there is progress. Then, the unthinkable happens, you fall off the wagon. You stop doing the behaviors that brought the success.
You look over at your friend and she is happily still succeeding and the thoughts begin to set in.
I'm a failure. I never finish anything. I didn't set out what I was supposed to do. I am a weak person. I am less than others.
Now you may not have spoken things things allowed or even let the words form in your mind but your emotions are ALL IN. The shame takes over, the discouragement sets in and reach for your old comfortable bad habits and the tv remote to try and numb the pain of feeling worthless.
2. You are SO very worthy! That is the truth! There is not one human on the earth that is better than you, nor are you better than anyone else, but we are SO different. I wish I could tell you that you will find a life seminar or a wellness program that will be everything you need but you won't. You are so unique that it's going to take a unique series of life lessons and experiences to uncover the glories of being YOU. You are a great archeological exploration that only you can uncover. You may glean insight from some of the books your friends have found life changing, you may share in their experiences and connect but ultimately you have to forge your own path and THAT is why you " fall off the wagon". There is no group ride to success, it's a solitary walk through the wilderness. It doesn't have to be lonely though! Surrounding yourself with people that desire to grow is one of the best things you can do for yourself! Sharing resources, talking through obstacles, getting ideas, trying new things that you would never have tried on your own, sharing the journey will take you farther than you would have ever gotten on your own. BUT, in the end, you have to learn to sort through it all and choose what propels YOU forward.
3. You're going to get lost. You are out in the wildnerness with no path laid out in front of you. Each step is your choice and that's a scary responsibility. Often, we would rather follow someone else and have someone to blame when things don't pan out but we can't do that! We have to own our stories and take the risk! That means getting lost from time to time. That means trying things that we find out don't work for us. So we scratch things off the list and keep going!
As an example, in my challenge groups, my challengers often want to know which work outs I prefer. They see my results and they want what I have. I ask a ton of questions and try to steer them in the right direction but often they choose to start with my favorite. A few days in, I will ask them how they are liking the workouts. If they are loving them, then great! But if not, I ask more questions! I generally find out that they aren't a fan of lifting weights or they don't like the personality of the trainer and we dig until we find something that they DO find joy in! They didn't fail, in fact it was a smashing success, because they know MORE about themselves than they did before they started. In the beginning they didn't know anything about their preferences and now they have a starting point to make changes that will help them enjoy a vital part of our journey: our health! Making sense? Getting lost isn't a terrible thing! It's part of self discovery!
4. Success is defined by YOU. Let's be honest. When we are trying to see how successful we are, we look around and start comparing right? We feel good when we see that we are doing "better" than someone else ( usually financially or relationally) and we feel badly when we look at someone else and they appear to be more successful than us. The comparison is a problem.
The first Valentines Day after I got married was quiet. Gift giving is NOT my love language, I hate crowded restaurants, I think flowers are a waste of money, and I am health conscious so a big box of chocolate is not my idea of a great present! However, the recently married women in my circle were flashing their new jewelry and gushing about all the grand gestures their husbands made for them and then turned to me with expectation. I felt SO small. I walked away from that conversation feeling so icky ( though not mad at my husband! So there was a win! ;)) I felt like something was wrong with me. Fortunately I was self aware enough to walk myself through it. I KNEW I didn't want ANY of those things! I just had to accept that I was different and the fact that my hubby knew me well enough to buy me books and my favorite beverage was a HUGE win for our marriage! I had chosen a spouse wisely. ( Success defined by ME) I would have been annoyed and stressed out if my hubby came home with all that stuff, so to get into a funky mood about why he didn't wasn't true to myself and TOTALLY not fair to him! I am happy for all those women that married men that serve them but I will not compare my marriage to theirs. It's apples vs oranges!
So, in terms of your health journey, keep some things in mind! Health is more than just your physical body, it starts with your thoughts and emotions. Start there! Ask yourself questions instead of giving into the waves of emotions that wash over you. Why are you feeling stressed? What about that social interaction made you feel icky, or unworthy, or unloved? Who are you comparing yourself to? Why are you running to food, sex, drugs, or even TV to numb the pain? What truths do you need to face in your life? What mess is in front of you that needs to be dealt with? What is one thing that you can do right now to get started? What is a book or podcast you can read to pour truth into that brain of yours that will address what you are walking though? Read or listen each day! Keep investing in materials that will guide you. Continue to do the work of evaluating which informations serves you and let the rest go. Then take a step into the wilderness. Even if its just a baby step! Can you feel the excitement building? Don't just fall off the wagon, leap! The wilderness is calling and you were born for this great adventure! <3
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.