I know I'm not alone when I say there have been times when I've felt completely "stuck" in a situation, environment, or idea and I don't know where to turn.
Many times I feel that way when trying to provide guidance to my health and fitness challengers. My unofficial title is "Coach". I don't have a degree that has awarded me this title. I paid a few bucks into a system so I could get some discount product and in the process learned that I do have a gift of encouraging people. And, personally, I was reinforcing actions that were already tiny habits for improving my own personal health and fitness. Actions that were proving in my favor to help me be a stronger, more confident person. One that was starting to feel good with my life and more comfortable in my own skin.
A lifetime of health and fitness isn't easy. Not that I've lived a long life up to this point, but society doesn't make being healthy easy. There are so many stigmas of what "healthy" is and isn't. There are so many non-factual do's and don'ts. Confusion of what foods people should and shouldn't be eating. All of these components, and so many more, add up to those that are striving to make a healthier lifestyle for themselves just that much more difficult and seemingly unattainable. No wonder there is so much lack of self-worth, self-esteem, self-value, and self-awareness. We do this to each other.
I've had this feeling of a being an "actor" lately due to the title I inexpensively purchased for myself.
Can I encourage people? Yes
Can I be a good/better example to healthier living to people? Yes
Am I an expert in personal training? No, but I do know what I like and what has been good for me
Am I an expert in nutrition? No, but I do know good things and things that aren't so good to be including in my nutritional plan
Am I really a Coach? Maybe not so much, but I do know that I can help people change their lives
I don't always have the answers for my fellow challengers in my health, fitness, and accountability groups. This leaves me frustrated. That feeling of frustration has lead me to reaching out to other people that are more experienced and have a sense of level-headedness and also the "expert" wisdom that I need.
I was recently introduced to a health and fitness guru on the other side of the country, Maria Brilaki. While I haven't met Maria in person, I have chatted with her several times online and have followed her personal health and fitness blog. I like her! She's good and a great model of many of the things I believe and want to enforce. My interest perked with a book that she has written, "Surprisingly Unstuck". For many, this would be a quick read. For me, I had to take some time to absorb it and get lost in many of the topics she was referencing. The book is so relatable to anyone that has ever tried to get going with a healthier lifestyle.
What I really like about this book is that it is REAL. These topics are things that I'm pretty sure everyone has at some point dealt with. Maria does a great job of not making anyone feel inferior in their efforts and has a sensible approach to stepping into the lifelong journey of being healthy. There's no diet approach here. It's about being kind to yourself, learning steps (from the very tiniest of tiny steps to the big hairy ones). I like that she makes this read sound super personal; like she's been there. We've all been there at some point.
I worry for the people that I know are beating themselves up about not being up to the societal standard that people place on each other. I worry about the people that give up to the nutritional efforts that they try.
This book helps to reinforce that as long as we keep trying, stop beating ourselves up over the little things, stop trying to conform to the exactness that society thinks should be, and allows us to realize that each and every one of us has the ability to achieve a better lifestyle for ourselves.
There isn't a one-size fits all model. We have to meet ourselves where we are, in the moment we are in, and do what we can and are able to do in that moment.
A. BETTER. Lifestyle.
Not. A. PERFECT. Lifestyle.