Life happens, and . . .
Almost two years ago, I decided to become fit by 50, and I did. I was in better shape than I had been in 25 years. I hired a trainer and was working out 4 or 5 times per week. And I’m not talking about a casual stroll on the treadmill...I was up and at the gym before 6 a.m. and I was SWEATING not GLOWING. I felt great! Then, I don’t know how it happened, but I woke up one day and found myself flabby at 51.
I could blame it on a variety of circumstances and situations: a major move from the Midwest to the Northeast, (I tell people that moving from Oklahoma to Massachusetts is like moving from Earth to Mars), a teenager, a new job, a slower metabolism, a heightened work load…the list of “reasons” is seemingly endless. After all, aren’t moving and starting a new job in the top 10 life stressors?
As I think back to the challenges of 2016, I know I could convince you that it was perfectly reasonable to let some of my mental and physical practices slide. In fact, I feel relatively certain that by the end of our conversation, you might even start telling me to quit being so hard on myself. Practically everyone gains weight in their 50’s. That’s the beauty of long sweaters and Spanx. You might even go one step further and tell me that you think I look great…for a 51-year-old woman.
I could leave our conversation, continue to rationalize my current weight and probably even decide to comfort myself with a few chocolates or a bagel or both. In retrospect, that is exactly what I did for the majority of 2016…which is how I got mentally flabby. I began to make excuses and quit taking full responsibility for my choices. I started to live out of the narrative that I “deserved” to treat myself to a second serving. I started to justify Reese’s cups as “protein” because they contained peanut butter and wine as “fruit” because it is made of grapes. I stopped exercising during the week because I felt I deserved to come home at night and rest and forget exercising on the weekend…I deserved a break! I began to personify entitlement. Entitlement expects tomorrow to be different even if you do nothing differently today.
My favorite part of a new year, is the chance to hit the refresh button on your life. Research shows that success in any endeavor is 80% psychology so I decided to focus on becoming mentally fit first then physical fitness would follow. I started by reengaging with some of the mental disciplines I let slide over the past year. The first discipline I reincorporated into my routine was a daily mediation practice. Numerous studies confirm that 10 minutes of daily mediation reduces stress and increases creativity and self-regulation…who couldn’t benefit from that?
I also believe that how you do anything is how you do everything, so I started making my bed every day. That might seem like an insignificant practice to some; however, research supports the correlation between making your bed every day and increased productivity. There are even links between making your bed and sticking to your budget. (This study got my husband on board)
I am choosing to incorporate one new mental and physical discipline per week and while I haven’t seen a huge change in the scales yet…I am committed to being Mentally and Physically “Flabuless” by 52! I recently read a quote that I am adopting as my mantra in 2017: There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permits. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.
I am committed to creating different results in 2017 because I make different choices mentally and physically. I want to invite you to look at the results you created in 2016 and then rate your mental and physical fitness. If you feel flabby mentally, physically or both, then join me in exchanging entitlement for action and make this a “Flabuless” year whether you are turning 52 or not.