If you’re reading this… thanks already.
In the intro to my blog, I stressed the importance of my core values: happiness, health and balance- and given that my most recent post addressed my thoughts on happiness, you better believe “health” is to follow. So here it is, paragraphs announcing how to achieve God’s greatest gift to everyone in the world: HEALTH. The one thing ya really can’t live without.
I’ve told ya before, this blog ain’t a business endeavour, nor is it another fitspo, fitspiration, fitfam filled proclamation of my life. But, if you would have suggested I write 1,000 words on “health” nearly 5 years ago, you better believe weight-training, core circuits, fasted cardio and loads of boiled chicken and asparagus recipes would have been my solution (and truly, I only got about 3 ways to cook asparagus and none of them can revert the horrid smelling pee and spray tanned memories that come along with this fucking vegetable, so don’t count on me for that).
Now, after years of disordered eating habits, restrictive and binge behaviours, 6 years of science education, 4 years of intense food research, daily goal setting and 8-12 hour days of listening to women’s health battles, I am spewing knowledge on this topic. Seriously, the passion I have for health leaks from my pores. It flows through my veins.
I cannot count the number of women I’ve discussed this topic with, it IS my job after-all. These are usually the same women who tend to sign-up for quick-fix weight loss programs (like.. 5,6, maybe 10 of them), detoxes, couch to 5k’s, 21 Day Fixes and weekly boot-camps… only to fold faster on their goals than I do in game of poker. The problem being: the media, the books, the programs, they spend more time teaching women how to “get back in their groove” then they do TEACHING women how to establish a real “groove” in the first place, and without a foundation for long-term fitness, you’re fucked.
My number one piece of advice to those searching for their own secret to health success: “Can you see yourself doing what you did today in a year from now? 2 years from now? 5 years from now?” and if at some point the answer is “no”: then, why the fuck are you starting? Sorry, but you’ve now admitted that their is a point when you’re going to fail. And failures, only set you up for more failures (more to come on this in a moment). So, if this is the case for you, it’s time to change your direction, which usually requires a big change in your mindset.
Want to spend a week at an all-inclusive with your fam? Your health goals need to consider that. Want to eat your kids birthday cake? Your health goals need to consider that. Want to enjoy wine with your husband on your weekly date night? Well, your health goals need to consider that. And if you’re sitting there thinking that seeing a lower number on the scale is worth sacrificing these moments for life: YOU’RE DUMB, and you’re probably not gonna be too healthy after all ‘cause you’re doing it all in the name of aesthetics- and that’s a sure way to get your mind twisted, sister.
You see, I’m here talking about HEALTH- not weight loss, not body fat percentage, not shredded abs, calves, bi’s and thighs. I’m here to talk about HEALTH folks, and that shit is deep, and given that health is the greatest gift a human can achieve in the world, it’s going to require some work.
If you really want lifetime health for yourself, you will find a way- NOT another excuse. If you REALLY want lifetime health for yourself, you will stop repeatedly setting yourself up for failure by going from “I’m lazy and am doing fuck-all for myself” to “I’m going to jump on stage and be a god damn bikini model”. Take it from someone’s who been there, extremism IS NOT THE SOLUTION. “But Ash, I NEED a goal to hold myself accountable” that’s cool, start small sister, if you regularly blow off a walk with your girlfriend or a yoga class with your sister to stay home and watch “The Bachelor” the likelihood of you running a marathon in a month or completing your 200 hours of yoga training this summer is slim to none. And when you fail miserably ‘cause you jumped into the deep end with all your clothes on and no ability to swim- what are you teaching yourself? That you’re a failure, that’s right. And failures, only set you up for more failures.
Let me put it like this: do you have a friend who continually flakes on you? Who says “sounds great girl, I’ll be there” but never shows up? Who texts 15min before the workout is supposed to start only to let you know she’s “gonna sleep in today”? What about the person in your life who’s starting fresh on Monday… Every. Fucking. Monday. The one who’s “totally going to be Vegan”, and 2 days later she’s throwing back cheeseburgers? The one who’s “doing keto” this month… until it’s time for a glass of wine, a piece of toast or a fucking banana… you get my point. Do you trust this chick? Do you believe them when they commit to you? Nope. No way. I don’t either.
Now, reflect on YOURSELF. Reflect on the commitments you make to YOUR subconscious. If you say you’re gonna run 3x this week- do ya do it? Or do you talk yourself out of it? If you tell a friend you’re coming to their party, and now your boyfriend decides to be a dick about it, do ya go anyway? Or do you lie to get out of it? If you join the book club, do you read the book? Or do you cliff-note that shit and show up for the snacks? Can you commit to the project? To the workout? To the “12 week challenge” you sign up for? CAN YOU TAKE YOURSELF SERIOUSLY? Or are you a flake? Do you RESPECT yourself enough to follow through? ‘Cause for long term health- this is a requirement.
Your brain ain’t dumb. It KNOWS the difference between the shit you SAY you want and the shit you REALLY want. Your brain has no problem looking back at your track record of commitments and letting you off the hook if it’s the same pattern you’ve established before. Again, failures, set you up for more failures. The brain recognizes patterns, so teach it the right ones.
This is why I set goals. And tackle them in small pieces. Setting small goals and showing myself I CAN DO IT allows my brain to realize that I am a fucking rockstar and therefore, big goals WILL happen cause I’m a superstar. So when I tell ya I am going to do something, you better believe, I’m gonna do it. I also say NO… a lot. ‘Cause if I genuinely don’t believe I will do it, I’ll own that too, without guilt. Not just for YOU, but for myself, for MY subconscious, for MY brain. For MY long term success.
Saying NO is going to be a requirement for long term health and that is OK, so get acquainted! If you don’t want to do the juice cleanse with the 5 girls from work- DON’T SAY YES, if you would rather die than run 5kms do NOT sign up for a 10K. Knowing when to say NO is going to be critical to ensuring that your YES has power!
So, ditching your friends party, the yoga with your sister, the 6am spin class, the book club you were pumped about, the dishes you told your man you’d clean- it might not seem like this has anything to do with long term health or fitness success, but I’m telling ya- IT DOES! The little shit matters girl, please don’t discredit the little shit.
Establishing success with your commitments in one area, will transfer to the next. So the next time you think you can be on the HCG, Slim-Fast, Jenny Craig diet for life, you might not commit so easily. You might realize that saying NO to extremes and starting SMALL might just be a better solution for LONG TERM COMMITMENT/ LONG TERM HEALTH after-all. ‘Cause failures, only set you up for more failures.
Can you drink 2L of water per day? Awesome! Start there! Can you pack lunch for work opposed to frantically finding take out? Awesome! Start there! Can you agree to consume 1 salad per day? Awesome! Start there! Can you meet a friend for a 30min cardio session once per week? Awesome! Start there! But I’m telling ya, if you’re currently wondering if you could do ANY of these things, DO NOT COMMIT TO DOING ALL OF THEM AT ONCE- why? Because you will fail. And failures, only set you up for more failure.
Whatever standard you set for yourself is what you’re going to achieve at the end of the day, so it’s time to put up a fight and negotiate a NEW pattern. Give your YES power, show yourself you’re a rockstar, follow through with your commitments, respect your damn self and start SMALL- and once you start small, those BIG long-term health goals will all fall into place, I promise you.
Now go do what ya said you were gonna do!
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