This is the first of our three part transformation series…to skip right ahead to the goodies – the bonus handouts – just click here!
Flashback – 20 years ago
I drove home from yet another stressful day at the office. It seemed like there was always one problem after another at work, and I was so frustrated about all the people who weren’t doing their fair share. Traffic was horrendous as usual (it was Southern California, after all) and I was starving, again. I was determined to lose weight – again – so I’d been tracking my food. I think my food diary that day consisted of a piece of dry toast, grapefruit, salad (no dressing) and carrot sticks. I might have had half a grilled chicken breast…or maybe not. I was tired and irritable, certainly in no shape to even think about my physical fitness. When I got home my husband was sprawled out on the couch with a beer watching hockey. I was so stressed and frazzled I poured myself a big glass of wine, drank half, and refilled it, relieved to have something to take the edge off. I hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer, and had no desire to cook. After another glass of wine, I rechecked my food diary. I’d done so well for the day. The wine convinced me I could splurge a little for dinner, so I did. The next morning I woke up with a fuzzy head, and disappointment. I’d blown it AGAIN. I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. I vowed today would be different, and started a fresh page in my food log. Today would be different.
Except it wasn’t. What I described above was pretty much EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life for most of my twenties. I should have been active, vibrant, and excited about life but instead I was tired, listless, and not enjoying anything. The only relief I got from the ever-present stress of my life was from cigarettes, food and alcohol – except all of those were creating even more stress. I’d been thin for about five years during college, but only because I’d become obsessed. I stopped my disordered eating behaviors, only to replace them with drinking. I was bloated, with bad skin, puffy eyes, and constant bruising from lack of vitamins, looked at least ten years older than I was, and felt twenty years older. My doctor told me my blood pressure was dangerously high, and I suspected I was developing a drinking problem. I wanted to have kids, but felt like the world, and my life, was too much of a mess to bring kids into, and I was pretty sure my marriage was on its last legs. Despite all that, I just couldn’t seem to get motivated to make true change. The instant relief of food and wine seemed far easier to attain than any benefits I’d get from eating right or exercising. Those things might work for other people, but they never had for me. I hated everything about myself: How I looked, how I acted, how I treated others, and how I allowed others to treat me.
To say I felt hopeless was an understatement.
Flash forward twenty years later.
I wake up early – ridiculously early, to some people – feeling clearheaded, optimistic, and as energetic as one can be at that hour. My husband (not the one from before), has already gone to work, at the business we started together. I get a vigorous workout that includes strength training and cardio, that leaves me feeling exhilarated. I then enjoy some coffee while I pray and meditate. I am almost always excited about the day ahead. I’m ready when my kids wake up. My 5-year-old daughter and one of my twin sons (they’re three-and-a-half) are not morning people, so that’s a challenge, but my other son is like me and wakes up cheerful. I’m able to laugh with them, and play, and get everyone ready and out of the house when we’re supposed to. For the rest of the morning I work on my businesses, excited about the ways I’m able to help, inspire, or entertain people, and looking forward to more family time later.
I love my life!
What a transformation! The people in my life who knew me then and now all say that I seem like two completely different people. I know it seems that way to me. I can’t believe the energy and enthusiasm I have for life now, and the way it’s positively impacted EVERY AREA of my life! I am a better employee, boss, wife, friend, and mom now than I ever could have been before. Certainly the path to where I am now took a lot of work, and faith, but there are certain things that I consider instrumental to my new way of life. They are:
- Physical Fitness
- Understanding how to reprogram my mind and my beliefs to support my goals
- Building a community where I am supported in achieving my goals, and support others
In our previous article, we told you that we would be publishing a three-part series about how to create lasting positive change in your life. This is a free series, with information that you can use immediately to start improving your life. We’re going to walk you through – step by step – what we personally, our friends, and our clients have done to transform their lives and take control of their fitness and overall well-being. We’re going to start with physical fitness. For many people trying to change their lives, fitness is last on the list. Usually we want to start with our job, or finances, or relationships – things that we suppose are more directly related to our happiness than our appearance.
If that’s your opinion, I understand. I agree that appearance is really not an end-goal of TRUE transformation. I mean yes, you’re going to look like the best possible version of you by applying the fitness and nutrition principles to your life, but all the other benefits you’ll receive from this will totally eclipse any other concerns. Physical fitness is a key to lasting change, and frankly, the key to enjoying your change. Whatever else you want in your life will be enjoyed more fully if you are your healthiest version of yourself.
As you may have surmised from above, I used alcohol and food to deal with some genetic anxiety and depression as well as the anxiety and depression brought on by abusing alcohol and food – a vicious cycle if there ever was one. My circumstances felt so unbearable that it was inconceivable to me that I could have or enjoy life without my crutches, but after becoming suicidal, I realized that I had nothing left to lose. The booze was the first thing to go, and it left a hole in my life I wasn’t prepared for. Drinking had been my main source of socializing, relaxation and entertainment, so abruptly removing it from my life meant a lot of long, empty hours.
The only thing I could think of to fill in time was exercising (well, that and water color painting, but we’ll leave that for another day). I was about sixty pounds overweight when I started, with a persistent smoker’s cough, so initially I just started out by walking on the treadmill. Just that small amount of exercise, coupled with the removal of all the sugar and toxins of the alcohol, brought me some very rapid results, which encouraged me to keep going.
Soon, I realized that the exercise was doing more than taking my mind of drinking, I was feeling better. A lot better. My stamina increased, and I even started lifting some weights. Before long I was looking forward to my exercise time. I loved the feeling of getting stronger, and seeing what my body could do. I loved the way a great workout could dissolve my stress and clear my mind, and I loved the way I looked under all the bloating. My skin cleared, my bruises faded, and best of all my mind settled down so that I could enjoy the simple things in life without extra stimulation.
Adding physical fitness to my life gave me a foundation of discipline that carried into every other area of my life. Not only that, but by dealing with my stress through fitness I was able to be kinder and more compassionate with friends and co-workers. My mind and emotions were calmer and able to handle pressures much more effectively, so I was far more productive at work. I was capable of building healthy relationships, and contributing in my community.
There were other things I introduced into my life that contributed to my transformation, but fitness was the bedrock underneath it all.
If you are looking for lasting change in your life, whether it’s in your job, relationships, or just increasing your peace of mind, fitness is a great place to start. There’s a mind/body/spirit connection in all of us, no matter what shape we’re in, and investing in the health of your body is the greatest act of self-care anyone can perform.
If you’re just starting out, it can be overwhelming. There is an abundance of information out there, and everyone is an ‘expert’. I remember when I was first starting out that simple was best. I wasn’t sure this was something I would stick with, I was highly skeptical of anyone asking me for money and I was way too self-conscious (and stubborn) to ask for help, so for me, it was do-it-yourself or bust. If that rings true for you at all, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve created a quick start guide of things you can do to start exercising. After a brief introduction and explanation of different forms of exercise, we get into the nitty gritty. We’ll provide you a blueprint of actual exercises you can do at home with no equipment whatsoever, and some things you can do on your own with minimal equipment. We’ll start you off with very basic, common moves. If you follow this guide, you’ll quickly find your strength and endurance increasing, allowing you to do a wider range of activities. We’ve included some exercises you can do at home or when you travel so that you need never be without one of the most effective stress-reducers known to man (and woman) kind.
If you’re like I was, and feel like you have long way to go, or that you’ve tried before and failed too many times to count, please don’t give up. You don’t have to do everything at once, or do it perfectly. If you just start with a few small steps, as I did, you’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to do, and how you’ll feel.
Your transformation starts today!
Click here for a free guide on how you can get started with physical fitness. The next step in our transformation series is how to apply the science of nutrition to nourish your body properly. Tony is going to share his story of how he tapped into the secrets of eating right to virtually reverse the aging process and eliminate some chronic health risks he was facing. You won’t want to miss the free bonus we’re including with this, so if you haven’t subscribed on our page, make sure to do so.
Now, go be Limitless!