I had intended to post this on the one-year anniversary of my starting to lift weights, but… life happens #noexcuses. A year ago today may sound a lot better, but regardless, thirteen months ago my life was about to change in big ways. All good things, but huge changes. And it all started with a mindset shift. For better or for worse, the mind is a powerful thing so this was key.
I changed some pretty big things all at once, which worked well for me. That said, for 99.9% of the population I realize that this is not the case. If you fall into the majority and are trying to make lifestyle changes, focus on one thing. Practice makes better, and lifestyle change is no different. Only once you feel that you’ve sufficiently mastered that one thing do you move onto whatever’s next. Remember, it’s a process. Baby steps are still steps, and though the process may be a slower one, it’s more sustainable over the long-term.
Let me give you an example. Has anyone tried a crash diet? You know the drill. Up the cardio, restrict your intake… I’m sure you dropped some lbs. How long did it stay off for?? Or, let me rephrase my question… how much additional weight did you gain back? Yeah.
Anyways, here are some of the actions I’ve taken and realizations I’ve made in the last thirteen months, if you’re curious. If not, no hard feelings. Feel free to stop here 🙂
- I broke up with long-duration cardio. I still love cardio and will never turn down an invitation to just ‘go run’, but my preferred cardio of choice these days is short in duration, high in intensity (think track sprints, stadium workouts and treadmill intervals). Honestly, since getting into Metabolic Effect (ME), my brain functions optimally in 30-minute bouts. With exercise, and everything else. And yes, contrary to popular belief, you can break a sweat in 30-minutes. Even in like 5-minutes, actually. ME = efficient exercise. More is not always better.
- I started lifting weights. Cardio is great to maintain, but does nothing in the way of physique change.
- I started eating meat again. And now can’t imagine my life without it.
- I broke up with the scale. Yes, it’s possible- I was obsessed. How I feel and how my clothes fit are a much better gauge than any number will ever be. It’s liberating, and…what were you going to do with that number anyway?
- I realized my passions, of which traditional medicine is not. I love all this fitness-nutrition-introspective mindset stuff AND I can make a career of it!
- I learned to say ‘NO’…and mean it. You have to set boundaries. And if others don’t respect them, and take advantage of your time, for example, it’s on you- no one’s fault but your own. Do for others, yes, but don’t neglect you.
- There’s no such thing as too much coffee.
- Time > money.
- Life begins outside of the comfort zone. Things are usually a lot more stressful in your head than they are in reality. Think, but don’t overthink.
- An ME favorite: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” At some point, let good be good enough. Your best today can be different than tomorrow’s best.
- Success follows happiness.
- I get to create the exact life I want (and you can, too!).
- You have control over your attitude and effort, always.
- Bacon is good. Really good.
- Be present. You can’t change the past, and you can’t predict the future. Focus on doing you, and doing you now.
- Trust yourself. But really. Stop worrying because in the end, everything will be okay.
- Choose optimism. All this positive psychology stuff is cool sh*t. Positive thoughts –> positive feelings –> positive actions. Unfortunately, this works in reverse. You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.
- You can’t be it all, to everyone, all the time. Instead, find your niche and focus on giving them your all, whoever the ‘them’ is.
- Laugh… a lot. It [laughter], along with diet and exercise, is the best medicine. Oh, and laugh at yourself every once in a while.
- I want my life to be about my work. Priorities differ, and that’s ok. For me, I’ve realized that while yes I will get married, no I don’t think I really want kids. I don’t want the fairytale wedding so many girls dream of. A celebratory dinner with the fam followed by a relaxing trip somewhere is def more my style (there ya go, Steph…your wedding budget just doubled!).
- Exercise is a form of stress. I used to say I wasn’t stressed, then go work out upwards of two hours a day. Rest is important. Sleep is underrated.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- You can learn something from everyone.
- A support network is a support network, however small. But so important nonetheless. You are a product of those your surround yourself with. Be selective 😉
- Ready, fire, aim, aim, aim. Some of the best advice I’ve received this year! Action > inaction, always.
- Be authentically you (because no one else can). Real is relatable, and chances are you’re not the only one.