Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lessons from 2009

Wow, I took a nice, long brain break. It's good to be back. 2009 wasn't exactly my all-time favorite year, but in all the chaos and challenges we had too many fantastic blessings to count. Someone recently said that this is not only a time to celebrate a new year coming in, but also a time to reflect on the blessings and accomplishments of this year. How true! We have a second grandbaby, celebrated my Dad's 80th birthday, joined a new church, had steady work, Jimmy did great in his competitions, I achieved my personal training certification and we have our home, too much food and lots of love (just to name a few!). I think every year is a blessing, whether hard or happy, because we move forward, experience life and grow.

Here are some of the things related to fitness, nutrition and just healthy living in general that stand out to me from 2009. Truly nothing is new under the sun, but these lessons, whether new or old, rise to the top.

I've got to want it bad enough.

What is my goal? How much does it mean to me? I have to tear through the superficial fluff and dig deep. I can hire the best trainer, read every diet book ever printed or try numerous fat loss or muscle building training programs, but if I don't have follow-through it's a waste of time and energy. I'm not going to have follow-through if my goal doesn't mean enough for me to sacrifice some portion of myself to attain it. That doesn't mean the process is hard. It doesn't have to be all-consuming. Remove the hype and marketing and the actual process is simple, but it certainly isn't easy. Anyone who tells me it doesn't take blood, sweat and tears is flat out lying to me. To paraphrase Rachel Cosgrove, if my goal isn't important enough for me to make the sacrifices to achieve it, I need to rethink my goal.

The mental is as important (or more important) than the physical.

No pun intended, but it really took me a while to get my mind around this concept. Just like I can exercise myself into complete oblivion without decent results because of my eating habits, I can embark on training and nutrition programs that I am physically capable of doing but if my mind is not ready I'm setting myself up for failure. My body is smart. It handles all the junk I've tossed its way, right? My mind is really what trips me up along the way. Willpower is not enough for me. I need knowledge, a long-term strategy, a meaningful goal and a sound support system.

I can go to the gym faithfully and eat healthy foods and never change my body.

This statement is downright scary. Time in the gym doesn't cut it. What does? Intensity, challenging overload, calculated progression, beating my personal best. Have I really defined healthy eating for my body? If my body is not changing in a progressive way, if I've stopped making progress or can't maintain, what can I learn from my eating habits? What am I going to change? I need an intimate knowledge of what works for my body and the power that comes from taking action.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? I've written them as if I were speaking them because I have, at some point or another. This is not about a fad diet, the latest ebook or magazine workout, a trainer, TV show, or celebrity who is supposed to have all the answers. It's not really about looking good at a class reunion, a wedding or buying a new bikini for vacation. It's much deeper than that. It's about you. You are important, and this is your life.

What did you learn in 2009 that is going to make a difference for you in 2010 in regard to your level of fitness, your eating habits and your health? I would love for you to share it with me!


Kelley Moore said...

I had a comment left by Emmie J Driskell, but it is in a different language and it doesn't seem to translate to English correctly. Emmie, could you resubmit your comment in English? thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kelley! I know I'm about a week late, but better late than never, right? Love this post! The "lessons" you list are some that probably apply to a lot of us, whether we realize it or not.
What have I learned in 2009?

1. Like you, I have to really "want it" (and I do) BUT I learned that for me, intensity is important but so is moderation. I've learned that (for obvious reasons!) my body takes longer to recover now that I've celebrated the 20th anniversary of my 40th birthday. I need to give it the rest and 'moderate exercise' in between 'heavy days' or else I'll be paying for it for the next few days.

2. I've learned that dialing back on "everything" (workouts, worrying about work, family, future)actually energizes me to be even more intense when I want to be. (make sense? hope so.) That's one of the reasons I've added meditation and yoga to my daily/weekly schedule in small doses.

3. I've learned that life is too damn short to worry about next week, next month, next year. Enjoy today. Enjoy NOW. No guarantee you'll have tomorrow to do it.

4. I've learned that my biggest battle in "getting fit" is my nutrition, specifically my bad habits, late night snacking and asinine addiction to all things sweet and chocolate. Plan on seriously working on that in 2010.

5. And last, but certainly not least, I've learned that friends like you are worth their weight in gold. Enough said. You rock.

Take care, my friend!


Kelley Moore said...

Hi Fred, my friend! Thanks for your post and your kind comments. Must start off by saying that you rock too and I've learned a lot from you this past year. Looking forward to lots more conversation.

Have to agree that intensity with the right mix of moderation is critical; I'm learning to appreciate that recovery time too! Have to remind myself that's when the growth happens. I love how you described dialing back in order to have the energy to be intense when you want to be. That's awesome and I've not quite thought of it in those terms. Need to be more deliberate and mindful in this way.

Nutrition is a progress breaker for me as well. I'll kill it in the gym but struggle with my eating. Perhaps we can push each other this year in that area!

One of my consistent thoughts for this year is "every day counts". I don't have problems with the goal setting, it's staying focused each day to get there.

Thanks again for the thought-provoking comment and your support and friendship! k