Looking back over the last few years, I’ve noticed my efforts at fitness have been pretty half-assed. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never gotten to where I wanted to go. So often, my physical effort to melt fat and burn calories were thwarted by what I was feeding my body. I would CRUSH a workout HARD and then eat all kinds of crap. I’ve even met up with friends right after class, still rocking my yoga pants (cause that’s not gross at all), for a few beers. What was I thinking? The desire to exercise and lose weight was a part time endeavor. My desire to eat whatever I wanted and throw back some drinks with my friends on a Tuesday night was still there. It was like vigorously treading water. I was working hard but not going anywhere.
Part of me wanted to move forward toward my weight loss goals and another part wanted to eat whatever I was craving and do whatever I wanted. The thing about craving is that the feeling of satisfaction you get from fulfilling it rarely lasts long. My food cravings become more and more demanding. My crap foods of choice are mainly processed carbs and I would crave bread, pasta, crackers, chips, pretzels, pizza, and cheesy goodness all the time. But something happened as my urge to eat half a box of pasta in one sitting became more frequent. I realized I was a slave to my stomach. Even worse, I was a slave to my mind. There was always this loud voice in my head nudging me to eat whatever popped into my mind, drink whenever I wanted, and more often than not, skip the exercise entirely. Like a crazy 8 year old with license to do whatever they want, I had no control, no discipline and no way of getting what I really wanted. I was fighting myself.
This is a pretty great revelation. When we talk about getting out of our own way, this is the kind of information you look for. How am I resisting what I want? By clinging to my habits like eating a bunch of pasta for dinner and washing it down with wine, I was literally blocking my progress.
As I dust off the Fitbit I got a year ago for Christmas, the one that has literally been dead in a drawer for the past few months, recharge it and recommit to eating clean, I ask myself what needs to change in order for me to achieve success this year. I think we all see change as this wonderful thing, and it is! But we often over look the idea that you need to let go of something old to bring something new into your life. If you don’t, the new stuff doesn’t have a chance. There’s this brand new infant intention in your head saying “Hey! let’s exercise tonight after work” and the old habit, that’s bigger, louder, and has been there for a looong time, goes “Um yeah that’s cute but we want to go relax and have a few drinks with our friends because it’s fun and that’s what we do and you should just stop talking.” And guess which voice steers the ship? The old habit. So, what do you want to bring in (dream big), AND what can you let go of (roll up your sleeves and clean house).
The dare: Focus on one goal you have set for yourself and make a list of the top 3 changes or intentions you want to invite into your life. Then, make a list of 3 habits or patterns you can release to make room for all this wonderful newness to grow. Don’t get all judgy harsh on yourself just observe. The observations are enough. Be gentle. Have fun.