We talk to a lot of moms about transformation. Many of them want to “look” different, for obvious reasons. That’s a fairly common goal for many people embarking on a fitness journey. However, equally prioritized is usually “feeling” better. They have come to a point where what they are doing just isn’t working for them. The want to change it.
So diet first and foremost runs through our head and while it takes a bit of time for each women to explore her unique need in that respect, the goals they have are usually very achievable. Then fitness comes to mind. You need to be active and incorporate certain things into your routine. Its sounds cliché but if you want your body to love you and respond effectively you have to love it back and that involves moving.
There are a lot of self-destructive things we do to our bodies. We over consume unhealthy foods or sometimes under consume food in general. We put substances in our bodies that don’t nourish us but rather take away from our health. We don’t move often enough and our self-talk is negative. We engage in addictive behaviors we know are not good for us but we do them anyway. We are NOT bad people for doing any of these things. The behavior is just not conducive to a healthy growth mentality so we need to change it.
So how do we change this pattern? A diet and fitness plan? Possibly, but EVERY time we lead with what we like to call mental fitness as the answer. We need to work on our mindset. The right mindset is the only thing that will make you both look AND feel good and help you stay that way. Now, we know someone is likely to say “Well so and so looks great physically. I want to be like her.” Okay, that’s fair, but if your goal is to look AND feel better we need to focus inward. We don’t know how so and so feels inside. Why they make the choices they do. So first and foremost, we start with you. The focus is on you. No one else. We don’t compare for that very reason.
Mindset is a confusing topic for people but to simplify the process of working on it we usually start with this. Sit quietly for 15 minutes per day and think of nothing. Be STILL. As thoughts enter your mind accept them and let them flow out of you, and think of nothing. Nothing looks different to everyone but here is one example we use. It can look like an open field of grass very still shinning in the sun. It can look like space and time, as if you are looking into the sky. Or it can look like a calm beach. Perhaps it’s a blank space. Pick what best resonates with you.
This will be hard for you if you have never done it and chances are if you are struggling with weight loss, depression, addiction, fatigue or negative body image it will be really hard. You need to do it though and the reason you need to is that it slows your body and mind down enough to allow you to recognize where you are at. Meditation can bring up difficult feelings. You might weep, or smile or feel sad or elated. It’s odd that you’d feel so many emotions and have so many thoughts considering you are trying to think of nothing, but you probably will. In that quiet space though you are training yourself to be still and accept what is. When you get good at accepting what is, you have taken the first step toward transformation. As you move through that you are more likely to begin to change habits. Why? Because you feel empowered and strong and in that mindset you release fear. You are then capable of doing anything.
Some of our most powerful experiences have happened in those quiet spaces. They have tremendous power to transform you. When you sit quietly with yourself you are forced to accept exactly who you are. Your weaknesses, fears and insecurities are revealed. You learn to accept. You begin to imagine yourself as a pawn in a game. Just one small player on an entire checker board. Imagine what it would like to step outside yourself and objectively see what’s going on in your physical body and the world around you. I like the term you step outside the circle. We live in a circle. We only see from one vantage point. Inward reflection allows us to move outside but you must be patient with the process. Over and over sit, be quiet and be filled with love.
After you meditate make a list of intentions… ways in which you intend to live your life. This is your guide. It’s different than a goal sheet. It’s not a check list of things you need to accomplish. Revisit it after each of your quiet moments. Write it down and read it aloud. Imagine yourself already being in these places and inviting more peace and happiness to come in. Do not operate from a mindset of scarcity. If you start to think you don’t have enough of something or you never will, then chances are you won’t.
A very practical example of this concept is this. My friend sat crying one day talking about how she was scared as a single women with two children that no one would ever love her again. Why would they, with all her responsibilities. She not 21 anymore. Would she ever be a worthwhile catch? She’s older, her time is spread thin, and there are plenty of more eligible women. My response, after a moment, was no, no you won’t ever find someone. You simply won’t when you think like that. You need to believe you are worth of love if you want it. That is exists and it coming to you. That you are worthy. If don’t you won’t get it. Period. No doubt. No scarcity. No fear. Just trust in yourself. I of course gave her a hug after that but my tough love was really honest feedback. If you don’t think you’re worth it, why would anyone else?
The same principle applies to mental and physical fitness. Imagine you are already living it and you will see it unfold around you. You obviously need to seek our resources and support along the way but most importantly is quiet stillness and intention. Build value in your worth. See yourself happy, healthy, physically fit and strong. When the student is ready a teacher appears. Spend less time freaking out about things not happening and more time believing they already are in motion. That’s the secret. That’s exactly how it works. Check out our Mental Fitness 101 Book to help transform your body through the power of your mind.
Images shot by: Stephanie Heymann Photography