Brene Brown once said…
“I define wholehearted living as engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
I have many thoughts about this idea of courage and vulnerability and being brave and feeling worthy. Some of us work really hard at our health. We are “doing all the right things”, “we’re eating clean”, we are fire breathers in the gym, we’re counting the macros, getting in mobility, stretching and doing mindset work. If you’re doing all these things and seeing huge gains, I see you and I sending you high fives.
Who I really want to talk to is the other 95% of us who are trying really hard just to maintain, trying hard to figure out how to do better for ourselves and our family. But life keeps throwing us curve balls that we just can’t knock out of the park. Not yet, at least.
I see all of you who are trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep, but a kid or pet or some other family responsibility makes that really hard to do.
I see all of you who want to make meal prep a regular part of your life. But laundry and your kid’s school projects gets in the way. So you do your best and meal prep every other week and that’s just what you can do for now. Some nights you order a pizza or Chinese because that’s all you have to give. And that’s ok.
I see all of you who wish you could go to the gym more often, but finances keep you from joining that CrossFit gym that you pass on the way to work. So you’re making due with a couple sets of dumbbells, a kettlebell, and a jump rope for your at home workouts.
I see all of you who are afraid to take that first step into a gym or to change your way of eating because it goes against all the social norms of your community or family. Or you have some deeply ingrained fears about being in a gym because of past experiences due to your body type/size. So you are stuck in a pattern of “if I just lose xx pounds, then I can go to the gym.”
I see all of you and I am here to lend an ear and offer some advice.
So, first let’s just say the thing we already know; life is hard. There’s always something else you wish you could’ve done each day. The to-do list never really gets completed. There is always one more thing to do and one more goal we wish we could achieve. But keep in mind what Brene Brown said above, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough… Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
It can be easy to get down on yourself for not getting everything done that you wanted to do. But I’m pretty sure that what you did get accomplished was good enough. You showed up for yourself and others in the best way you could. Are there opportunities to tweak things? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthy of love and belonging. So don’t forget to show yourself some love at the end of each day.
What can be super helpful is to write about three things that you are grateful for each day. Or even better, write down three positive things that your friends would say about you. It will make you think about and re-frame any negative thoughts that might be brewing in your mind and it will help you end the day on a positive note. As a nighttime practice you can also incorporate deep breathing, meditation or prayer to end the day on a positive note. The important thing is allow your mind and heart acknowledge the good you have done that day and to get your mind and body in a receptive state for good sleep.
So after your good night’s sleep, how do you get brave and take the first step to improve your health? What’s the magic key that makes it all happen? I want to be able to give you one universal answer that works for everyone. The truth is that what you need to do first is entirely up to you. Ask yourself this question? What one thing am I willing and able to change today? Just focus on one small change.
Don’t forget: You are brave and worthy of love and belonging
Suggestion #1: It could be that you decide that instead of spending your lunch hour in front of your workstation, you take 20-25 minutes to eat and 20 minutes to walk around the building or outside. As you walk, don’t scroll through your social media. Just take in the sun and nature around you. If there are trees and flowers, notice the colors. For me, nature is living artwork. So take it all in. That’s just one suggestion, but there are plenty of other things you can try.
Suggestion #2: If you want to incorporate meal prep into your weekly routine, 21 meals can be daunting. So why not start with one meal per day. What if you made breakfast casserole or batch cooked hard boiled eggs and other quick items that can be tossed into a bowl or baggie? Also, don’t get caught up on “breakfast food” for breakfast. Try a savory breakfast or dinner/lunch leftovers for breakfast. Don’t limit yourself.
There are a ton of small things you can incorporate each day. The small things add up to make big changes.
I would love to help you figure out those first steps. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk things through. The CONNECT EMPOWER STRENGTHEN journal can also help you get started on the road to a healthier you.