Take a minute and count the number of diet tips you’ve read AND tried in your lifetime. Yet, standing at the supermarket you still pick up the latest copy of any magazine because the promise on the cover is weight loss or flat belly. That tells me the tips to weight loss success, if they worked at all, weren’t sustainable. So you’re on the prowl again. I count on people coming to me for professional advice. That’s how I make my living, but often I discover they’ve already made up their minds about what they want to do. They’ve read about something in some book and they want to know if they should try it. My response is for them to learn to recognize the fitness advice they’re getting from their body every day.
Desperation can make us go crazy. We might wake up one day and be consumed with a desire to drop weight, stop drinking, build muscle, or start running. Then pull out all the stops to get there — at any cost. The danger is that chasing after a dream can make us disregard the things we know. I remember when I was competing in body building. I did EVERYTHING I was told to do because I was afraid one of the things would be the “trick” to make me improve. I trained 7 days a week. I ate NO FAT whatsoever (which I now know was wrong), and around 400 calories a day — also wrong. I lifted very, very heavy weights. I was excessive with my cardio work. I took supplements from two different companies and some things from the health food store. I can’t even count the number of pills and protein powders as well as other supplement mixes I took. Did it help? I can’t be sure, but I do know I got deathly ill.
How I Was Saved from Death
At the time I worked in a marketing and advertising department, and part of my job was meeting with the artists who were designing brochures for my department. At one meeting the designer asked how I felt. Then she said, “I just found out I’m diabetic and I want to test you.” I agreed and we discovered my sugar was 65. (Follow this link if you know nothing about blood sugar, because it just may save your life). She immediately gave me food from her supply and ordered me to come to her in an hour. We did this for the next week. My go to food for between meals was 1/4 cup cottage cheese — it stabilized my sugars. Fortunately, I dodged the bullet. Now, my clients can learn from my mistakes.
What I Learned
The most important thing I took away from this experience was that I should always listen to my body. I hadn’t! Even with all the signs of struggle with low blood sugar (the article….read the article). Rather than heed that advice from my gut I followed advice from a multitude of sources. That’s a reaction based in fear. It’s not a way to live. Life and fitness must be peaceful, joyful and healthy. A perfect integration of the body with the mind, emotion and spirit. So as you see how your body feels you respond by increasing water or fiber or fats. My coaching method has developed from this personal experience, and now I not only encourage — I insist people follow their inner guidance. As a matter of fact the first instruction I give new clients is to:
- Talk to nobody about your workouts.
- Read no more diet or exercise books.
- Establish your personal Mo-Jo by writing in a diary (a journal). When you can turn through the pages and see what you have done, what you ate, and how you felt each time you will establish your routine.
It’s a simple thing really! Turn your thoughts inward. Listen to the silence. Breathe deeply. Then make decisions based on the peace you feel with the choices you’ve made.
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