A lot of negative emotions that range from discontentedness to unhappiness, frustration, sadness, and anxiety show up when we expect our current state to be different from what it actually is. We get so focused on our bodies and how they use to be or what condition we think they should be in, we lose focus and energy of actually putting in the work to do what we need to do on a daily basis.
We focus on how we use to workout when we had all the time in the world, what we use to wear 10 years ago, or what we use to eat when we were 19, on a diet, stressed, or did not work full time.
We focus on what our bodies could be in the future: healthier, leaner, stronger. We focus on how our minds could be: happier, freer, more confident.
But what about now? What about what we need to do today, this afternoon, at this very moment to get unstuck from the past and future and work toward our own version of healthy. How do we stop putting off what we know we want to do? How do we bridge the gap from where we are and where we want to be?
As much as health is physical, it is equally, or more, emotional and if you are feeling stuck, start to learn to shift the way you think about things. You may ask, but how?
I know that I personally can easily get hung up on what other people are doing or stress on a daily basis if my daily habits don’t line up my with health vision. I always hold on to the hope, desire and belief about a vision of where I want to continue to go but when I don’t do it, it frustrates me. It makes me feel stuck. It makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel frustrated when I just am not following through with what I intended to do.
The thing is, I have always put in the work to be healthy. I workout regularly and eat well but the way I use to think about food and exercise has not always been healthy.
I would either get caught in the deprivation of food or thinking more and more exercise was the answer. I would think about diets or workout programs I did in the past that worked or how I could eat whatever I wanted when I was training 3 hours a day for volleyball practice.
I would focus on the wrong things, thinking that my happiness was equated to being leaner or having a flatter stomach in the future. That if I could just hurry up the process and be in complete control of my choices I would just be ok. I would just be happy. I could start living my life more and be more confident.
Learning a little bit of patience, consistency and focusing on the commitment of doing what I need to do now (as in today) instead of the or future has helped me feel, not as overwhelmed.
How can we learn to not tie our happiness to some long term goal but find satisfaction in daily commitments and successes?
The book The Slight Edge discusses positive psychology research that actually shows that happiness is derived more from the day to day actions and accomplishments than big events or ultimate goals.
This. Is. HUGE. When it comes to our healthy journey could we learn to be more engaged in the process, the day to day accomplishments then continuously seeking some big end goal? Success with health is ongoing and a daily commitment for the rest of our lives, as scary and enormous as that may seem. It is not a one and done kind of program.
How to become unstuck?
Becoming “unstuck” and finding your version of healthy is a combination of effort and the way you think about things. Because being miserable on our journey really does nothing for us. It sucks the energy from us that we could be using to our body and health.
Before focusing on the exact eating or workout plan start here, as simple as it may seem.
Acknowledge your current state.
Acknowledge your current state with your body, your schedule, your habits. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past or could do in the future. It matters what you choose to do now.
Ask yourself these questions.
Does success lead to happiness or does happiness lead to success?
Does having more make you grateful or does being grateful make you feel like you have more?
Does being having a better body make you worthy or does feeling worthy lead to a better body?
The big misconception that happiness is created by the big, elaborate events, monetary gains, the perfect job OR reaching a certain standard with your body.
When you can come from a place of self acceptance and ownership of your choices, you start to rely less on what the outcome could be and if you could make you happier and more on the process of doing the work. Belief is a great strategy and starting point but not when done alone. Results and change don’t come from hope. They come from daily action, work and patience.
Do the work by starting small.
Changing everything at once is like trying to teach a baby how to walk in a week. It just doesn’t work. Wake up each day and vow to do your best. Vow to eat more veggies, drink more water, make your healthiest choices at meals. Commit to some type of movement each day, even if it is not a full workout.
Don’t commit to perfection and when you fall (because there will be failures) get back up and try again. And again. And again.
When it comes down to it: where you are stuck in your health journey?
Is it with your body or with your mind?
Does having a healthy body lead you to a healthy mind?
Or does having a healthy mind lead you to a healthy body?