“Don't let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It's your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others' prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.”
Roy T Bennet -
Being honest and true to yourself is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself to improve your health, happiness, and self confidence. Often times I hear the saying, be in this world, not OF this world. So much of what I have learned is that our culture (US predominetly) is not conducive of real happiness, real health, or real purpose. We are surrounded by values and pressures like
"Fake it till you make it"
"Keeping up with the Jones"
"Stable job so you can afford the nice house, nice car, nice things"
Not everybody buys into these values and that's abundantly clear, but it is very easy to get sucked into and before you realize it, the twister of false happiness keeps you from escaping.
Being a health and fitness professional, something that I believe is one of the most important aspects of helping others create success is being honest and transparent about your journey and what they can and should expect.
I am on The Road to Better Health just like everyone else, and like everyone else, I have areas that I struggle with and am continually learning and improving in. Just because I have a degree and several years experience does NOT mean that I am perfect and have everything figured out. I am real, just like you.
I struggle with consistency on my workouts. Throughout the year I find that there are times that there is a close to a week between my workouts and at times maybe even a little more. Staying consistent with training when work is really busy (Ocean lifeguard for me) or while traveling (lots of road trips and traveling to see family). I do often find ways to "play" during those times with things like surfing, hiking, and maybe even some skateboarding, but I am less consistent with getting training in. Don't get me wrong, I train regularly and I would consider myself in great shape, but sometimes life grabs you and it takes a little while to figure out how to wiggle free.
Another thing I struggle with is DONUTS, I am someone who really enjoys donuts. I always have, and always will. I have done several things to help me figure out how to better control how many and how often I eat these. I often used to buy a dozen donuts at a time and I could eat them all in one sitting or over the course of a couple days. I NEVER felt good after eating those donuts but would continue to do it to my body over and over. In 2016, I vowed to stay away from donuts for an entire year. after about 2 months it was much easier to stay away for the rest of the year. Nowadays I let my self have a donut here and there when I really feel like having one. No longer do I let my self eat SEVERAL at one sitting or let myself do it nearly as often. No I still don't feel great after eating a donut, but I enjoy it while I eat it and I don't feel guilty or shameful for doing it.
I also struggle with productivity when times are slow. Most of every summer the past few years I have been lifeguarding for Los Angeles County and also coaching and training, during the winter when I am not lifeguarding I work significantly less hours and find myself twiddling my thumbs looking for things to do (a few hours here, a few hours there) and know there are better things I can be doing with my time from planning some adventurous trips, to taking continuing education courses to further my knowledge in the health and fitness world, deepening my friendships, playing, even taking some time to do some leisure reading that I have been wanting to do. There are endless possibilities and I need to step out and turn those possibilities into realities. In the past year I have been developing this site and writing blogs more and more. I have even stepped in front of the camera a few times to share. One of the biggest fears of mine and possibly a reason why doing these things takes so much intentionality is my fear of failure. I let the idea of failure or the actual act of failing paralyze my actions. It has been increasingly humbling to understand that failure IS normal and that in fact a necessity to move forward and learn, grow, and mature.
Sometimes joining The Road to Better Health can be pretty terrifying but I am here to tell you that despite what everyone tells you, we ALL struggle to keep our journey on the right path. Don't be deceived by by the cool photos, awesome websites, and miraculous before and after stories. Don't get me wrong, they are awesome and are absolutely a TRUE part of the journey but they are not the ONLY part of the journey. Be ready to embrace the hardship alongside all the benefits and remember that you want someone who understands those struggles to be along side you with you during your victories.
I leave you with with this quote from one of our former presidents Mr. Teddy Roosevelt:
"Nothing in the world is worth having or doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many of people who led difficult lives and led them well."