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Hello and thank you for being a part of the 40 + Fitness Podcast. Today we're going to talk about getting to wellness. This is going to be part two of what's basically now going to be a mindset series. I didn't originally plan it out to be a series but it looks like it's working out that way. If you didn't listen to last week, episode 397 where I introduced the identity grid, probably worth you taking an opportunity to go back and listen to it, either before you listen to this episode or after.
I'm going to try to make it make sense to you regardless of where you're coming into this series. But just know that episodes 397 through 399 are all a part of a three-part series where we're going to get into the mindset of getting well because most of the folks that will come into a gym or start a wellness program of some sort or another are really just feel kind of lost.
They're busy, they've got so much going on and they may not even know exactly what to do when they're getting started or they decide to try too many things and they fail from over fatigue. So getting yourself into the identity grid and looking at how that works. You could get a 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid and having that in front of you might help you a little bit with this, but like I said, I'm going to do my best to make sure that this episode makes sense in and of itself. So when you get started on a wellness journey, there's often so much opportunity, so many things that you can change. So many different things that you can do that it becomes very, very difficult to know exactly what is the right thing. And when someone asks me that, I always have to go back to what's your vision?
What are your longterm goals? I asked that question a lot. As you might imagine, and many times people don't really have a clear vision. They, they know that wellness is something that they're not. They know that it's probably going to involve some weight loss. They know that it's probably going to involve building some strength, probably involves building some stamina, but exactly how to get there is often where the struggle comes in. So as you start this journey, I'll just reinforce that you need to really break down your long-term goal, get something in your head that you can feel that you can, you know, almost see, one of the things I did early on in my fitness endeavors was I pulled out a picture of myself when I was 29 years old. Now at the time I was well into my early forties so there was, there's not much chance that I was going to look like I did when I was 29, obviously had a lot more hair.
Uh, even though I didn't have as much as I wanted at the time. So looking like that really wasn't something that I was interested in. But it kinda gave me an idea of if this person aged much slower than I had, what would I look like today? And I was always able to kind of go back to that benchmark and think of it in those terms. But I couldn't go from where I was, like I said, in my late forties to looking like that unless I did something special. And I knew that my body was not going to be capable of putting in the level of effort to look like I did when I was 29 when I was 29. I put a lot more time into the gym, typically 10 hours or so a week. And I just didn't really have that luxury of time, uh, as I was getting in there.
So it was very important for me to prioritize, which is again, where that identity grid comes in because it's going to help you balance out the four key aspects of your life. And if you know where you need to apply your energy based on who you are, how you identify in your entire life, not just as a wellness effort. Because if you just think of it in terms of wellness will, life's going to get in the way. So you have to make sure you take all of those things into account before you set your path. And then you have to know exactly where you're starting from if you're going to get to that vision. So I knew I couldn't put that amount of time in the gym. So I needed to be very efficient and very effective with the work that I was going to do.
And so I needed to go out and do the work and I needed to do it in a methodical and patient way. Now where a lot of people lose their way on this is that they either push so far out of their comfort zone by trying way too many things or they don't push their comfort zone at all. So I want to kind of talk about comfort zone for a little while because it's a very important line for you to understand. A lot of people will start a diet, they'll start an exercise program and a whole lot of other things all at the same time. And so if you decide you're going to go from the standard American diet and your regular drinks and your regular things with your friends and your regular life to suddenly, you know, and getting up off the couch and going to the gym five days a week, well you're going to experience some pretty staggering, uh, jarring things.
DOMS is a real thing. And a lot of my clients, you know, when they first get into an exercise regime, uh, they're dealing with DOMS and that's something that's very tough and difficult for us to deal with. But it is something that we just, we need to kind of manage, we need to go through.
So I would encourage you to find one or two big rocks as I say in the book. What are those big things that are going to move the needle a little bit for you? Get you moving in the right direction.
For a lot of people it's just cutting out your sugar, cutting out the processed foods, making that your first step on your nutrition is going to be a lot easier than saying I'm going to go full Vegan or I'm going to just eat, you know, grass fed meats and pastured eggs and you know, organic produce.
You know, making that drastic of a change might just be too far outside your comfort zone and sets you up for failure because the first day you find yourself pulling into McDonald's, you're dying. You know you're probably going to quit. Most of us do when we get to that point where we make that mistake, we get off of the plan, we're too far beat, you know, we, so I would encourage you to find that little thing that, that one big rock thing says a little bit big rock that you can put out there and you know that it's going to be working towards your health. Let that get set as a habit. Let that get set as a part of who you are, a part of your identity. And then the next step becomes easier. The same thing with fitness. Um, you know, initially you may, you don't need to go out and try to run five miles a day if you've never been running.
If you've been kinda couch ridden and, and not doing things sedentary, getting out and trying to run five miles on your first day is risk gonna probably break you. So get out for a half an hour and do a walk if you find that comfortable, push a little harder. So the other side of the comfort zone is that knowing how to push, we, we can't get where we want to go by doing the things that we're currently doing. So if you're very comfortable in your life right now, to get well is going to put you in an uncomfortable position many, many times. As I mentioned earlier, you're probably gonna deal with some muscle soreness, some Dom's, uh, you're probably gonna deal with achiness you know, that sometimes might even disturb your sleep. And if you're trying to change your food, you're not going to be able to eat the foods, drink the drinks, do the things that you were doing if you want wellness.
So as you look at moving towards that vision, you need to find your comfort zone and you need to push it. And the way I like to term it is that gentle nudges we want to get just outside the comfort zone until we expand that comfort zone. Once the comfort zone has been expanded, it's time to push a little bit more. Just that gentle nudge to get that comfort zone to expand. That's gonna allow us to progress on our journey. And that's gonna allow us to get the results that we need. Now, so many times as people approach this wellness journey, they approach it like a project. They're like, oh, well I'll go on this diet. I'll change the way I'm going to eat. And then when I get to my goal weight or my goal size, uh, then I'll go back to what I was doing.
So the, it's a project, they manage it like a project. Okay, I'm on the Diet and then I'm off the Diet. The project is there, the project is either successful or not, and then I'm off. That's not gonna work in the long-term. Aging is a slow declining curve. It's gonna take us down over time. So this needs to be more of a program, something that you're going to put in place. Something that is like I said, going to become a part of your identity. I see it a lot, you know, particularly with things like runners. I see it in crossfit. I see it in some other places where people will begin to identify with the activity that they're doing. You ask someone that runs who they are, they're going to say, I'm a runner. Uh, someone that does crossfit, they're a crossfit athlete. Um, they don't make any qualms about it.
That's built into the fabric of who they are, becomes a part of their identity. You look at a gym rat, they're in the gym every day. They identify with being a gym rat. They identify with being there. And it's not that you have to identify with being a gym rat or identify with being a crossfit athlete or a runner. It just means that you need to put this in your head that this is just a part of who you are. And as I mentioned in the last episode, when I was in college, I was a college student. I was a husband, I was a full time manager and I was a gym rat. Um, so I had a set period of time, two hours each afternoon between classes and my time as a manager at a retail pharmacy where I was in the gym every single day.
And that was just a part of my identity. It was part of my natural path, getting off the school, getting into my car, driving over to the gym, spending the time there, driving home, showering, and going to work. That was my normal schedule every single day, every single weekday. Anyway. So what you'll want to do is really kind of build this in over time. Slowly pushing your comfort zone and then just making it a part of who you are, so you kind of have this program that's in place. You've reprogrammed your brain, you've reprogrammed your identity, and that's going to be what's going to get you the most juice that's going to make you successful in the long haul. So this is not a project that you do and then you're done. This is something that becomes a part of you and then you're in this new position where it's a part of your identity and you can make some basic decisions. And those decisions are going to be around improvement and preventing regression.
So a perfect example is me. I tore my rotator cuff and there was a bit of a regression because I wasn't able to do the things that I was doing. I was lifting, getting much stronger and I really enjoyed doing that. I identified with that. But once I tore my rotator cuff, that kind of went out the window for awhile. I wasn't able to lift until I was healed and it's taken me, even today, I still have some strength loss in that particular shoulder. Um, so it's now I'm on a continual improvement program for myself where I'm gonna work on getting better and better and stronger and stronger. And I'm also being very careful to make sure that the issue I had with my right shoulder is not something that I repeat with my left shoulder. So I'm also on a program to try to avoid regression, try to avoid injuries.
So I'm being much smarter, much more fastidious about how I do my lifts, the types of lifts I do and, and I'm working my way through, but I'm still working on getting stronger. I'm still lifting relatively heavy weights and that's how you'd go about this. So it's kind of a recap and this was a shorter lesson, but it's a part of the three part lesson and I'd really encourage you to go back to episode 397 and and listen to that episode. Download the identity grid at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid and kind of just go through that exercise and then come to this exercise where you know now that you kind of have a general idea of where you need to focus your energy and the amount of time and effort you're going to have. Start pushing that comfort zone in the areas that are going to give you the improvements you want.
You want to get stronger, you want to get a little more stamina. You maybe want to lose some weight or at least lose some body fat so that your body composition is better. All of those are good things for you to focus on and you probably know if you've listened to any of these episodes, you probably know a lot of the things that you can be doing to make that happen. Pick your big ones and implement them. Make it a part of a program. Make it something that you're now trying to put into you to make you comfortable at a bigger and higher and stronger and faster rate. Slowly pushing that comfort zone, the gentle nudges, making a part of your identity with program management. And then once you kind of start seeing things happen, adding more of those things that you know are going to improve you or at least keep you from regressing. So I hope you've enjoyed this episode. I'll talk to you next week.
If you haven't had a chance, I would really appreciate if you would take just a moment to go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist. You get to that page, you're going to see that the author Academy Awards, we've been put as a finalist for the health category. So if you go to that page, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist, you'll find a page, go down a little bit. You'll see an arrow where you can scroll to the health category. It's on page 6 of 17. A little hard to find, but go to that page.
Find page 6 of 17 and you'll see the Wellness Roadmap is right there on the top. Just click on the book cover. They're not asking for your email, they're not asking for anything else. Just click that and that's your vote. Really appreciate the votes. I really do want to win this award. It means a lot that I was nominated as a finalist and a really would appreciate if you take just a moment, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist page seven of 16 and vote for the Wellness Roadmap.
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I've seen many clients self-sabotage their wellness journey by telling themselves lies. On this episode I discuss the lies we tell ourselves.
Before I get into today’s topic, I did want to ask you for one quick favor. My book, The Wellness Roadmap, is up for an Author Academy Award. If you would go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA, that’s going to take you to the Author Academy Awards page. Scroll down to the bottom. You’ll see a place where you can vote. Don’t do the “Submit”, but go down to where you can vote. It’s going to be on page 6 – that’s the “Health” category. Find The Wellness Roadmap, the book cover. Click on that and you’ll be voting for The Wellness Roadmap. I really appreciate that. Again, that’s 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA. It’d really help me out a lot. Thank you so much for that. So now we’ll go ahead and get on with the show.
For today’s topic, it’s going to be a solo episode where I wanted to go into something that a lot of us don’t talk about a whole lot, but it is something that’s real in many of our minds. We lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves all the time, and it can be something that can keep you from reaching the wellness that you want to have. As a recap, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be, and you do have to focus on all three. And these lies that I’m going to cover today are part of your journey. If you’re telling yourself these lies, you’ve got to stop. I’ll get into some strategies about that towards the end.
I broke this into three different sections, the first being “Getting Started”, and then we’ll talk about “On The Journey”, and finally we’ll talk about “Success”. And I’ve got several lies in each of these categories that we tend to tell ourselves. So as we go through this, I really want you to do some deep thinking. This is part of the self-awareness aspects as you go through your Wellness GPS. If you’ve gotten The Wellness Roadmap, you know what that is, but basically we have to get to this point of self-awareness where we know what we’re doing and what we’re saying to ourselves, because if we don’t get there, we’re not going to make this journey. We’re going to struggle. And that struggle is going to keep you from getting where you could be getting.
So the first one that I hear a lot is, “I’ll get started tomorrow.” And that might be at the beginning of the month, at the beginning of the week, but in a general sense, it’s starting your plan any time other than right now. There is no better time than right now. So if you find yourself saying, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow. I’ll start my exercise program tomorrow” – you’re already lying to yourself. You’re putting off something that you probably could start today.
The next one is, “My genetics are keeping me from losing weight” or, “My genetics are keeping me fat.” You may also hear this termed “big boned”. It’s not always genetics. Yes, some of us are designed to carry more body fat than others. That’s just a natural part of genetics. But none of us are genetically inclined to be obese; none of us are genetically inclined to be morbidly obese. That’s not the case. Now, there are genetic issues with some people and there are illnesses that will cause you to gain weight. There are medications that you might be taking that can cause you to gain weight. Those are real. Those are things you have to deal with. If your thyroid’s not functioning right, you’re going to be bigger. That’s not your genetics. That’s not your genetic potential. We all have the genetic potential to be healthy, fit and happy; we just have to make sure we’re doing the right things based on who we are. So your genetics are not what’s keeping you where you are. You have the capacity to do better.
The next is, “I don’t lift because I’ll get bulky.” This is mostly things that women will say. They’ll say, “I don’t want to get bulky. I actually want to get smaller, so I don’t want to lift weights because I’ll get big.” And the reality is, one, you’re female, so to get big, short of performance-enhancing drugs, it’s not really going to happen. Two, you are never going to work hard enough to put on a whole lot of muscle the way body builders tend to. And third, finally, we’re all over 40, so our genetic potential, our opportunity potential to put on muscle is much lower than it was in our 20s and 30s. So straight off the bat, you’re not going to work hard enough, you’re not going to be taking performance-enhancing drugs, more than likely, and you’re old enough that you’re not going to put on significant muscle. But you should lift weights to maintain muscle mass, to maintain bone density and to maintain strength. All of those are very core to you being healthy, fit and happy.
The next one is, “I have a bad knee”, or a bad hip, or some other injury that basically you can’t work out. And this is almost never the case. I seldom see people who have an injury that they can’t work around, that they can’t do something with. If your knees hurt or you’re getting a knee replacement and the doctor says, “No leg workouts” – that’s fine. Can you walk? Can you use the elliptical? Can you use the bicycle? Can you lift with your upper body? There are still things that you can do with that injury to work towards the fitness level that you want to have. It just takes some forethought and planning, so that you can get the work done without injuring yourself further. But very few injuries that I found will prevent you from being able to work out at some level. A lot of times we’re telling ourselves these lies because we don’t want to work out. It’s not that we can’t, we just don’t want to. So, don’t let the injury stop you from doing some form of training. You can work on your mobility, you can work on your balance, you can work on your endurance. There are things that you can do; you just have to figure those things out.
And the final item in the “Getting Started” section that I want to talk about is, “I have to work out to lose weight.” One of the early interviews I did was with a gentleman named Todd, and I also profile Todd in the book. Todd lost over 323 pounds without doing any workouts at all. In fact, he couldn’t work out because of some physical conditions he had. As a function of being so heavy for so long, he literally would bleed through his calves if he sat down in a chair. He couldn’t physically do the workout. So what did Todd do? Todd took control of his life. He made a commitment and he changed the things he could change, which was his food. Now, Todd did go low carb. You don’t have to go low carb. You can find a way of eating that will help you lose weight if that’s what your goal is, but you do not have to train to lose weight. Training helps the weight loss process, so training as a side effect will often include some weight loss, but that’s a side effect of the working out, just as weight loss is a side effect of eating better. So, working out can enhance your weight loss, but it’s very unlikely that working out is going to be all you have to do to lose weight. Calories of energy output is very, very expensive for our bodies, relative to how easy it is to eat those calories back. You’ll see those little diagrams all the time of, this is how much exercise you’ll have to do if you eat that Snickers bar, this is how much exercise you’ll have to do if you eat that McDonald’s meal. You can tell the amount of exercise is insane for the effort and time it’s going to take for you to eat those calories back. You’re never going to out exercise a bad diet, so don’t think that you will. Don’t tell yourself that you’re not working out. You’ve got to focus on the food first.
So those are the “Getting Started” lies: “I’ll start tomorrow. My genetics are keeping me fat. I don’t want to lift because I’ll get bulky. My bad knee or other injury won’t let me work out. I have to work out to lose weight.” All those are not really good reasons; they’re lies. So, stop telling yourself those lies if you’re having difficulty getting started.
Next, “On The Journey”. A lot of us will say, “This time is different.” But you didn’t really change anything. Last time, what did you do? You went gung-ho for five days and then you had a cheat meal, and it turned into a cheat day and it turned into a cheat weekend, and then you didn’t start back on Monday. So, what is different this time than the times you did this before? I can tell you, for me the main difference, the one time, was when I made the commitment. If you haven’t made the commitment and you’re not making some substantive changes to your lifestyle, you’re not going to get what you want. This time is different if you make it different, but going at it the same way you did before is just insanity, so don’t do that.
And then another one is, “Damn it, since I had that cookie, the day is blown.” You go in in the morning and they have donuts in the office, and suddenly donuts in the office becomes a crappy lunch at a restaurant, and then it becomes after work Happy Hour with some coworkers, and that turns into a whole terrible weekend of things. Each event is independent, each decision is independent. The cookies have absolutely nothing to do with the martinis after work. Each of them were decisions that you made at that point in time. So don’t think that one decision blows your whole day and therefore you just blow it out. Don’t let those other decisions become components of the decision that you make. They’re independent decisions and you need to treat them that way.
“I earned a treat.” So, you go into the gym – and I won’t name the name of the chain – but there’s one that they leave Tootsie Rolls and cookies at the front desk. So you go do your workout, and then, “Here’s your treat”, as a way of you congratulating yourself. Or you went and you did a good workout in the morning. You showed up and your trainer maybe trained you very, very well. You felt like you had a really good workout, so that entitles you to have your favorite treat after dinner that night to treat yourself for that hard workout. That’s not gaining you any ground; that’s actually pushing you backwards. You might not feel that way when you’re doing it, but it is in fact doing it. So, don’t let a victory celebration become a bad decision.
“I can’t afford good quality food.” I hear this all the time – they say, “I can’t afford organic.” I’ll admit, organic food costs a little more in the grocery store; it does. It takes more time and effort to grow. They get smaller production because they’re not able to use the hormones. All those different things that are happening are going to make the food a little bit more expensive, based on that volume of food. But what I have found is the difference in quality. If you eat slow and you let your body’s hormones do their thing – the leptin and the ghrelin do their thing – they’ll tell you you’re full when you’ve had enough. When you’ve gotten what your body needs, they’ll turn off your hunger sensation and it won’t turn it back on as early. If you can get your body to listen to those things, eating higher quality food is going to give you the nutrition that your body deserves. I can tell you that higher quality food is going to be a lot cheaper for you in the long run, particularly when you start thinking about the expenditures and the things that you’ve got to go through, the pain and suffering if you end up with diabetes and some of the complications that come along with that. You don’t want that in your life. You don’t want to be obese. You don’t want to have all those other problems and the medical issues and everything else. The quality of the food does matter and it’s an investment that you should be making.
Finally on the journey: “Since my family won’t support me, I’m doomed.” The family wants to have cookies in the house or whatnot. I can tell you right now as I’m recording this, my wife went out and bought some M&M’s. I thought they were the peanut M&M’s when I first saw them. She said they’re the caramel ones. She loves them, which is great, but they’re not what I plan to eat. But I have a very hard time saying “No” to M&M’s. I actually do. I know that’s a problem for me, but my wife wants them – I’m going to let her have them. If I’m cooking for myself and my wife doesn’t want to eat the way I’m going to eat, then I just have to be a little bit more into my plan. Typically what I found is, there are foods that you can eat that they will eat, and then there are foods they’ll eat that you won’t eat. So, if you fix a protein, you fix plenty of different vegetables, and then you go ahead and fix them the starch and you make them the desert, but you just stay away from the starch and the desert, you can fill your plate with the kinds of food that you want to have and you can meet your goals. If you’re really into this, if you’re really committed, you’ll come up with a strategy, with a plan to work around what your family’s needs are. Segregate their snacks to a different pantry or to a different cabinet so you’re not in them and seeing them all the time, and that might help. Fixing your meals in a way that is modular, so that you can add the things that they want and you can avoid those things. Fixing the plates in the kitchen and bringing them to the table will make that even easier for you. So that’s the “On The Journey”: “This time is different”, when you haven’t really changed anything, “Damn it, since I had that cookie, the day is blown. I earned a treat. I can’t afford better quality food.” And finally for “On The Journey”: “Since my family won’t support me, I’m doomed.” All of those are lies. Stop telling yourself that. If you’re really committed to this, you can get through these things.
And then the final section is “Success”. The first one in “Success” is, “If I lose X more pounds, I’ll be happy.” So for some people that might be five pounds, others 10, and for some it might be 25 or 30. Whatever that is, “If I lose X more pounds, I’ll be happy.” Weight loss is not going to make you happy. If you get yourself healthy and you get yourself fit, it’s a lot easier to be happy. But happy in and of itself is its own component of wellness. And yes, they’re all intertwined. A fitter person tends to be more healthy and happy. A healthy person tends to be more fit and happy. A happy person tends to be more fit and healthy. Those are general components of the three and how they interact, but one does not drive the other in a straight line capacity that way. You need to find things that bring you joy, and that will bring you the happiness. That happiness will help you feel better so you’ll be putting more effort into your fitness. And as you notice the investments you’re making on your fitness, you’ll start paying a lot more attention to the foods you’re eating, the sleep you’re getting, and your stress levels. All of that will work out to making you a much weller person.
The second one in “Success” is, “I’m a failure.” People will say this even when they’ve made significant success. I’ve talked to people that wanted to lose 60-70 pounds and they’ve lost about 35 pounds, but they’ve still got that 25 to lose and they feel like they’re a complete failure because they didn’t reach a predetermined goal. And sometimes those goals were based on things that were happening at the early part of their journey. So, they needed to lose 70 pounds or wanted to lose 70 pounds, and the first week they last four, and then they lost three, and then they lost two, and now each week they’re noticing maybe half a pound, and one week it goes up. They’re so fixated on the fact that the scale isn’t moving as much as it did before, they feel like they’re stuck. There are things they can do to get off of this plateau. You’re not a failure. You climb the mountain and you found yourself on a ridge, and now you have to walk across that ridge before you can start climbing again. That’s just a normal aspect of going up this mountain, and it’s something to expect. Plateaus are a normal, natural thing in our wellness journey. If you find yourself on a plateau, you’ve got to keep doing what’s been working for you and you’re going to start seeing results again. You can start working a little bit harder at certain things, get a little bit more restrictive on some things and see if that helps spur some movement in the direction that you want to. But you are not a failure on the basis that your momentum stopped. You’re not a failure until you quit. If you quit this climb and start going back down the mountain, then yes, you can call yourself a failure, but you’re not a failure because you didn’t get all the way where you wanted to go. You are a success by making it as far up the mountain as you have, and you just have to keep working.
And then the final lie that we tell ourselves as a part of the “Success” section: “I’ve met my goal, my journey is over.” A lot of people will do this. They’ll go on a diet and their goal was to maybe lose 10-15 pounds. They lose that 10-15 pounds, and then they go right back to eating the way they did before. And guess what happens? They layer that fat right back on, and in some cases faster and even more than they did before. That’s a normal way that people will do – they’ll do something, they’ll be very successful, but because they weren’t committed to it in the long term, they let it slip through their grasp. They go back to living the way they did before, fully aware that that’s how they got where they got. They know where that road takes them, yet they get on that road and they start going. So, when you meet your health and fitness goals, I’d strongly encourage you to take a moment to regroup, to assess yourself, and then sit down and pick something even better down the road. Find another goal, find another challenge. Find something that’s going to keep you actively engaged in your own wellness. You can continue to improve your wellness, you can continue to maintain your wellness, or you can let it slip away. It’s always a decision that you get to make, for the most part, so I want you making those decisions.
So I’ll recap – for “Success”, it was: “If I lose X more pounds, I’ll be happy. I’m a failure”, even though you’ve made significant progress, or, “I’ve met my goal, my journey is over.” Those are three lies that we tend to tell ourselves when we’re looking at success or we feel like we have been successful. Those are also lies. If you really want to get well, you want to be as happy, healthy and fit as you can possibly be, you can’t be telling yourself those lies either.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. It’s a little different than what I’ve done in the past, but I really felt like as I was talking to various people, I hear these comments all the time and I know they’re just lies that people are telling themselves. I want you to do this deep dive. You may want to listen to this episode again, and there’ll be sections of it that are going to resonate with you. If they did, feel free to send me an email. I’m at email@example.com. We can talk about what’s going on with you. I’d love to help you out if I can in any way, so thank you.
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Also, The Wellness Roadmap, the book I wrote, is up for an Author Academy Award. If you could go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA, that will take you to the page for the Author Academy Awards. You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom. Don’t click that “Submit” button, because that’s not for you, but scroll down a little bit further and you’ll find the “Vote” section, and then there are separate pages for each category. I’m in the “Health” category, which is 7 of 16 pages, so you’ll have to do a little bit of scrolling to get over to the seventh page. Look for The Wellness Roadmap cover, click on it, and you’ve voted. Thank you so much for that: 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA. Thank you.
Hello and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. I’m really excited to have you here today and I’m really excited to share today’s show with you. It’s going to be a solo episode. I got a lot of great feedback from the last one, so I did promise you and I am going to continue to give you some of these solo shows. And the topic we’re talking about today called “Modes of Transportation” is really, really important. It’s something that you really need to make sure you understand before you get into your wellness journey, until you get into your path. It’s a part of what I call the “Wellness GPS”.
What I find is so many people struggle to know what to do when, where to go, how to get there, and when they run into a problem, they really don’t have the tools to break away and get through what’s going on. So they’re in a plateau, they don’t know how to get around that. They get into a roadblock or they hit a stumble or a pot hole. They don’t know how to get around that. If you’ve set your GPS right, it will help you do those things, and if you’ve set your Wellness GPS well, you’ll know how to react and do the right things for your wellness.
I want to help you do that, so to do that, I’m going to launch a challenge. It’s going to be called the Wellness GPS Challenge. This is going to be a short-term challenge – I’m thinking probably something in the realm of about seven days. We’re going to walk through each and every step of the Wellness GPS path, get you completely set up to almost guarantee success.
My clients that have used this strategy, used this approach – they get results, and I want you to get results too.
Now, because I’m going to be working directly with you, I can’t bring on a whole lot of people to do this. It’s going to be a very small group, like 20 people. I’m only going to allow 20 people in, and if you want to be a part of it, you need to be on the waiting list, because I’m going to contact the waiting list first, allow 24 hours for them to join, and then I’ll start looking to announce it on the podcast and otherwise. But the first 20 slots are going to go to people that are on the waiting list if they want it. So you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/GPS. And when you sign up on that mailing list, you’ll be getting some emails from me to let you know what the timing is and what we’re going to be doing, and then we’re going to go ahead and launch it. If I get to 20 just from this mailing list, then I’m done. So if you don’t want to miss out on this offer of being a part of the Wellness GPS challenge, I encourage you to go join that mailing list today. Again, that’s at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/GPS.
Let’s get into our topic – modes of transportation. So I want to set the scene for you. I was probably about five years into my wellness journey, as it would be, and basically it was a yo-yo experience, to say the least. At this particular time though I was in generally good shape. I felt really good, I’d been working out, things were going pretty well, but my work schedule was just getting insane. I was traveling about 90%, and this was one of those rare weekends that I was at home and I just decided I didn’t want to do anything. I was jet lagged, I was tired, so I’m sitting on the couch just pretty much working my thumb. It’s a Sunday morning and I’m flipping between Face the Nation and various infomercials. So as I’m flipping the channels and watching stuff, all of a sudden this commercial comes on for a program called Insanity. You might’ve heard of it – it’s from the same people who did P90X and all the Beachbody people. And this was Shaun T, and this dude looked great. The folks behind him were moving, they were exercising. It all looked really good. And what was really cool about it was that they didn’t need any equipment to do the work they were doing. I was like, “Wow, I travel a lot, it’s really hard for me to find a gym at points in time with all the travel I’m doing. This might actually be the answer.” So of course I get my credit card out, I dial the 1-800 number and I order the stuff.
I come back from my next business trip, and there it is in my mailbox. I was really, really excited about it, so I just decided to rip the covers off, see what’s in it. I knew that I couldn’t carry all these DVDs with me. There were about 12 of them or so. I couldn’t carry all of them with me, so I was saying, “What do I need to do? First thing I’ll do, I’ll rip all these to my computer. I’m getting on another trip soon, and instead of having the DVDs with me, it’d be easier if it’s on my computer. I’ll be more likely to do it on the road.” So I did that first, knowing myself, knowing I needed to have it handy if I was going to use it. Then as soon as I got done with that, I put the first DVD in and it was a fitness test. So I do this fitness test and I really push myself because I want to know how well this does, so I’m going to really push myself to do this fitness test. And it was hard. Not just hard; it was really, really hard. The next day I was basically incapacitated. I felt like I’d been strapped to my bed and beat with a baseball bat. I woke up and I felt so bad, and I really didn’t want to get up. I knew I had to get ready for work and I was laying there and I finally decided, “I’m so much pain, I won’t be able to concentrate. This won’t be a good day for me.” So I called in sick. It’s kind of embarrassing now to look back at it. It’s a little funny, but at the time I was really embarrassed that I pushed myself so hard in a workout that I literally can’t go.
I only tell you that story because I think a lot of us actually approach our health and fitness thinking, “I’ve got to get this done now.” The body weight, the things that we’re trying to get rid of, the things we’re trying to do. We didn’t get into the shape we were in just a couple of weeks, in a couple of days, in a couple months. But I think a lot of us have this general mindset that we want it now. And one of the things that’s going to be a limiting factor, and I’ve talked about this a lot on the show, is just physically what we’re capable of doing. I think in a sense we all know that if we push ourselves too hard, we’re going to break.
But there’s another point to pace that I really want you to take to heart. And it’s the one that’s really the hardest for us to deal with, because we’re gung-ho and we all want to get there – and that is, what vehicle are we going to have to choose to go? The vehicle we choose is going to determine the pace with which we get there. So, in a normal example, if I wanted to drive from here in my home in Pensacola Beach to Hattiesburg, it’s about a 3-hour drive. I’ve done that drive so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. It’s a relatively straight flat road. If I got into a sports car, I could probably get there in two and a half hours easy. I’ll break a couple of speed limits here and there. I know where to not break the speed limits by now, but I’d go really quick. It’s a really easy road, I know the way. Boom, I’m there. It’s just me and the car, and I’m in Hattiesburg. So if I want to be in Hattiesburg for a football game, I’m there. No problem.
So, if you’re single, got nothing else going on in your life, no other troubles, no other problems, no other passengers or baggage – sure, hop in the sports car and get there. As much as your body will allow you to do so, that should be your pace. That can be your pace. But unfortunately many of us do have baggage and passengers. So if I wanted to go to a football game, but I also wanted to set up the tailgate for everybody – I can’t take the sports car now because I can’t carry the tent, the chairs, the grill, the food, the cooler – all the different things that I would want for the tailgate. Now I have to bring my pickup truck. The pickup truck doesn’t handle as quickly as the sports car. It can’t go quite as fast and it’s not going to get there in the same amount of time. So now with the truck, it might take me three hours to get there, which is actually substantially more than two and a half when you sit down and do the math. But because I need to carry the baggage of the stuff in my life, it’s going to take me longer. So, if I have a job that has me working 18-hour days, I won’t be able to work out as often as I may have wanted to work out. If I have some other issues going on with people that are going to want to have food and I want a social life and I want to go tailgate, then I have baggage that’s going to keep me from moving as fast as I might have moved if I didn’t have that baggage. So I have to take the pickup truck – it’s going to take me longer to get there. If I can’t do the things I need to do all the time, without regard to any other timing, any other thing, I might have some difficulty getting there as quickly. And I have to accept that. That acceptance is a very, very important thing.
Before we really get into the acceptance though, I want to talk about the final one, and that is, what if I have passengers? So what if I have six people that want to travel with me to the game? I can’t take the truck because I can’t sit six people in my truck. Now I’m going to have to buy a bus or rent a bus, and the bus is going to be a little harder for me to handle. I might not be as familiar with the transmission, I’m going to have to slow down. And then invariably one of the six or seven of us that are going might have to go to the bathroom while we’re on there. So we’re probably going to be taking a few more pitstops, particularly if those passengers happen to be your children. So, recognizing that you have people in your life that are going to slow you down, you have stuff in your life, events, work, the gym closes, all these different things that can happen that are going to potentially slow you down – you have to set your mind to understand that there is going to be a pace of movement that is going to be most appropriate for you and the lifestyle you want and need and have.
I define wellness as being the happiest, healthiest, most fit person you can be, and I put happiness in there for a reason. Not having baggage can be great, not having passengers can be great. But I’m thinking to be the happiest person you want to be, you’re going to have the baggage, you’re going to have the passengers, you’re going to have those special events. You’re going to have the people – your children, your spouse. You’re going to have those people in your life, so you have to make sure that your fitness journey, the way you set all of this up basically is strategized to deal with that. You may have passengers, or baggage, or you may have both. So you have to choose the appropriate mode of transportation which is going to then reflect into the pace with which you see movement, with which you see the journey happen. Once you satisfy yourself with understanding that that’s how all of this works, it becomes a lot easier for you to accept that you don’t have to feel the acceleration of a sports car to know that you’re moving forward, as long as you stay the path and you keep moving forward. So, getting your mindset on the front end of what is possible and how you’re going to get there, with which vehicle and what that pace is going to be like, is going to go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.
I want to close with one other thing, and I know this is going to be a really short episode. This is a really, really important topic that you need to think about and wrap your mind around, because if you really do want to meet your goals, if you have certain fitness goals that you want to meet – it’s not if you’re going to meet those goals. You must meet those goals. Your health and fitness, your wellness should be the most important thing to you right now, and if it is, then you’re going to want to pick the right vehicle, and then just understand that it’s not if, it’s when you reach certain goals. If right now I wanted to train for a 10K, I have my wife, I have a couple of trips that are coming up. I have to consider the baggage and the passengers to decide, can I do a 10K? Am I capable of doing a 10K in six weeks, or maybe I need to sign up for the next one? I still have it. It’s still there, I still set it up. It’s just a different 10K at a slightly offset time, and I’m doing that because I’m being responsible to understanding what my baggage and my passengers are. And if you’ll do that, that’s going to lend into the whole happiness thing because you’re getting what you want out of your life and you’re meeting your goals. So it’s not if, it’s when. And now you’re on the path and you know you’re going at the pace that’s appropriate for you.
Closing, I do want to leave with one other thing. There are the passengers, there is the baggage, but you are the driver on your wellness journey, period. You have to make some hard decisions, and that might mean at points in time, asking your spouse to eat a little differently or to help you deal a little differently. It might mean telling your children they really can’t have Oreos in the cupboard all the time because you’re trying to accomplish a certain thing. It might mean that you skip a time out with your friends to go do a run because your actual race is coming up really quick. Those are the tradeoffs you’re going to make, but to get the full balance of what we’re trying to get out of wellness, which is happiness, health and fitness, you’re going to have to really tie into understanding the pace that’s the most appropriate to you. That’s not just what your body is capable of doing; it’s what your life is capable of supporting.
So, take some time to think about the pace with which you should be working towards your wellness goals, and then make that your reality. Make those goals happen when they’re supposed to happen for you. You’ll be so much happier, healthier and more fit, and therefore, well.