On a weekly basis, people ask me how I stay motivated and make time to be active every day. I always have the same answer: “we all make time for what is important to us.” When people tell me they don’t have time to exercise, I say that I don’t have time to watch television. Every day, I choose to do things that my body needs in order to thrive. I search for physical, emotional, and mental nourishment to enhance my overall well-being. Being on a mission to become insulin free used to be a tall order, but I have found ways to simplify that path. Are you rolling your eyes yet? Are you thinking, “ha! Easier said than done…”? Well, most things ARE easier said than done, but the most amazing thing about being alive is that we are fully capable of choice. We make choices minute by minute. Choosing to NOT do something is also a choice.
We all hold the key to overall wellness in our own hand. I didn’t learn this from a text book; I learned this from personal experience. Get ready for some truth. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in my senior year of high school in 2000. Before my diagnosis I was a skinny kid but I started taking so much insulin that I gained 30 pounds in a year and a half. Going from a size 4 to a 14 was quite the experience. Every day, I felt like a victim. I felt bad for myself and allowed my ego to start that inner dialogue that went something like this: “you’re fat.” Mean! Would I have let anyone else say that to me? Nope.
I wasn’t practicing self-love and I wasn’t allowing myself to be the radiant being that I truly am. I felt like I looked lazy, so I became legitimately lazy. I told myself I was a “big girl”, so I ate foods to fulfill that self prophecy. I had gotten big enough to be a plus size model. Yes, I made it work to my advantage. Even though I “owned it”, I was still wanting to be closer to my high school weight. Even though I wanted to lose the weight I had gained, I made up excuses every day for why I couldn’t reach my goal. We all have and use excuses for why we aren’t “ready” to make changes. What if I told you that the hardest part of transformation is actually making the choice to make the change? What if you made the choice to focus your energy on WHY you want to make a change, and then HOW you were going to execute the change, instead of obsessing on WHAT isn’t working for you? We all expend energy however we choose. Make the choice to take the first step towards your goal.
The other day, I overheard someone say, “no matter what diet or kind of exercise I do, I cannot lose the fat on my stomach.” First of all, I thought she was perfect just the way she was. And secondly, I wanted to ask her, “how often do you tell yourself that every single day?” When we tell ourselves that we are a certain way, we synergistically do things to keep ourselves in that box in both negative and positive ways. Our body will believe ANYTHING we tell it. So someone who tells herself: “I cannot lose the fat on my stomach” will also do things to fulfill that prophecy.
I bet she would lose the weight she wanted to if she would just stop obsessing about it – i.e., not weigh herself every single day, stop trying a new diet after the last one stops working or exercising in an upstream way. When I moved to Spain to study abroad 7 years ago, I lost at least 20 lbs. because I stopped focusing my energy on the fact that I was not happy with my size. I walked everywhere. I relaxed. I breathed in life. I occasionally went on a jog, climbed stairs and I did yoga in the comfort of my home when I felt like it. I think I weighed myself twice in the 7 months that I was there. I just gently and lovingly R E L E A S E D the fixation on not being able to lose the weight. I started to need less and less insulin and, sure enough, I lost the weight I wanted to lose.
Weight gain is not necessarily a direct result of a problem. Think about that for a second. We overeat because overeating is the symptom of another source problem. When we are out of balance we crave foods that do not nourish our body. When we are under slept or thirsty, we sometimes think we are hungry. I wasn’t taking too much insulin because I had diabetes. I was taking too much insulin because I wasn’t living holistically. When I returned from Spain I continued to eat small meals, began exercising on a daily basis and started taking natural supplements to enhance my body’s ability to utilize my blood sugar. My energy levels were through the roof and I soon realized I wanted to make fitness my life. I began to crave foods that didn’t put me on a vicious glucose/insulin roller coaster. I wasn’t waiting for “the right time” to make some changes anymore. Being active and eating well became a routine just like brushing my teeth.
There is no quick fix that will provide you with long lasting results. The diet industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry. There’s a reason for that. Diets don’t work, so we’re always on to the next one to undo years of waiting for the right time to get started. The right time to get your health to an all-time high is NOW. If you want to lose weight, you gotta get rid of the wait. Don’t focus on the length of the journey. Focus only on the first step that must be taken. That first step could be any of the following:
• take a brisk walk on your lunch break to get your blood pumping
• take the stairs and avoid elevators
• get a hot tea everyday instead of a gigantic sugary latte
• make a date with your best friend to try that new hip hop class at your gym
• go to that organic restaurant with your sweetheart and order an alkaline meal
• do situps during commercial breaks while you watch TV
• aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
• and, most importantly, practice positive affirmations every day and love the amazing creature that you are
You owe it to yourself to mix things up. You will drive yourself NUTS if you do the same thing over and over again and expect to see a change. So, what are you going to do differently tomorrow? Make the choice RIGHT NOW to make the change you wish to see. No one else can do it for you. You, my friend, are possible.