Changing ones life path takes courage. It involves taking a clear assessment of one’s habits and ingrained thought and emotional patterns…and making conscious steps to override these patterns to bring about change.
Changing from an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle to a fit, healthy lifestyle is an example. Many new years resolutions go by the wayside after a coupe of months. Most people simply do not stick to their new routines, or if they do, they have mediocre success at best.
However, some do make the change. They create a fit, healthy life. Why?
The ones that are successful make an internal shift. He may take a serious reflection on his life. Maybe a traumatic event sparks a whole new motivation. Maybe she wants to be able to play with their grand-kids. The main thing I noticed over the years is that rarely can an outside influence, such as friends, family, or even the hired fitness instructor make a difference. It comes from within. It is a shift of attitude that the person experiences. Once that happens, all the excuses go to the wayside. The individual becomes fit. He lives it.
3 examples of The Shift.
- Several years ago, my sister was working full-time and had three children to take care of. She was exhausted all of the time and she and hardly had any time for herself. Due to inertia, she gained weight and basically was out of shape. She consulted with me to help put her on a plan, and over time she lost about 25 pounds. She has had two children since then, and her weight fluctuated from the pregnancies, but overall she has maintained a good level of fitness. As a matter of fact, I recently trained her to kick-start her back on her more serious routine. She has the time to dedicate to that now. She said that the motivation for her was a need to gain control of her life again. She was so busy with other demands…from work and family, that she felt she lost control of her life. Getting back on an exercise plan helped her gain control over an aspect of her life from which she was able to build upon. Moreover, she wanted to be fit and mobile when her kids had kids, so a high quality of life into old age was important.
- My brother in-law lost over 60 pounds of fat over the last 8 months. I have to give kudos to him, for he had a real challenge with controlling his weight. He would typically work nights and then he would come home to a houseful of kids. Bad eating habits formed, along with no exercise routine for several years. I always knew he would have a real hard time to make the change. I often wondered if he would be able to make the shift. He did. He used a structured supervised program that would not let him exercise. The goal was to lose weight, and the practitioner he worked with believes that exercise can slow the rate of weight loss down, so exercise was not prescribed. Now he is at the point where he can add exercise to his program. His motivation? To improve his blood profile, and like my sister, to be able to be around to play with the grand kids.
- “I’m going to live to the age of 96, and be able to take care of myself”. This is what my brother told me recently. He used to play football in college. He was in great shape, but after college he started working full-time and devoted long hours to his career. He also kept his big appetite college football appetite, and he did not work out consistently. He gained weight. He started an exercise and nutrition program in earnest about six months ago, and recently consulted me to streamline his fitness program. He has lost about 20 pounds of scale weight while strength training. My guess is he lost about 25 pounds of fat, and gained back roughly 5 pounds of lost muscle. He looks fantastic. What turned him around? He has been spending a lot of time reflecting on his life, and he realizes he needs to make some serious changes. He wants to slow down from his frantic work schedule, spend more time with friends and family, and he wants to be healthy when he is older. And just like my sister, he felt he was not in control of his life. Starting an exercise program gave him back some control and a sense of being grounded. I have noticed these changes in him before we even talked about it. Personally, I am happy to hear it, for I always felt my brother (and sister too) simply worked too hard. I have no doubt that he would be happier…and healthier with these changes.
I have to say, on a personal note, I am proud of my family. They clearly see the importance of fitness, and collectively are taking the necessary steps to be fit. I made the commitment to be in shape for the rest of my life no matter what when I was still in my teens. My family made the change…the shift many years later. They did it.
So, what is the shift for you?