I was so unhappy. I blamed my past. I blamed my boss. I blamed my marriage.
Then, during one session, she said something so simple, yet powerful, which jolted me awake. She said, “Do something different.”
I felt shame rush through my arms and legs as I saw the truth of my life. I could stay stuck for a very long time, blaming everything else, or I could take responsibility and do something different.
That moment set me on a different path. A path of doing life differently. That is when I got my personal trainer certification and put the wheels in motion to change my career.
Since then, I have learned a lot about the change process. In the Stages of Change Model, I have always found it interesting that the first three stages center on thinking about it, the fourth is doing it, and the fifth is continuing to do it.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes the stages:
- Precontemplation (Not Ready)-"People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behavior is problematic"
- Contemplation (Getting Ready)-"People are beginning to recognize that their behavior is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions"
- Preparation (Ready)-"People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behavior change"
- Action – "People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behavior or in acquiring new healthy behaviors"
- Maintenance – "People have been able to sustain action for at least six months and are working to prevent relapse"
Not ready, getting ready, ready, action and maintenance.
All that time I’d spent talking and talking, I was getting ready. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was already IN it. I was changing. I just couldn’t see any fruits yet, because it was all internal.
I hear so many clients say to me, nothing is happening. I disagree! If you are talking about it, you are doing something about it. You are getting ready.
We need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and instead start claiming the victories.
If you went for a walk, that’s a victory.
If you talked to someone about starting a fitness program, that’s a victory.
If you looked up fitness classes online, that’s a victory.
If you tried a new recipe, that’s a victory.
Every step in the change process means something. Every victory is a fear, or a lack of belief, that is somehow overcome.
This is worth celebrating.
I love when my friends post their workouts, or healthy meals, on Facebook. I believe that is a victory worth celebrating. Let’s like the heck out of those posts. We all know what it takes to stay on the path, day after day.
If you have been talking about making changes in your life, health and fitness for a long time, maybe you are ready. Take that next step. And then another.
When I look back at my darkest hours, the worst part was the feeling that I’d given up. I’d stopped trying. I no longer believed that change was possible for me. I was stuck with my choices. I was stuck with my brokenness.
But that’s never true. There is a second chance at the beginning of every single day. Feel like you’ve done nothing but fail up until now? I understand completely. Feel like fitness will always be somehow out of your reach? I understand that, too.
But it’s not true.
Change is possible for ANYONE. All you have to do is decide to keep showing up, with the commitment to never, ever give up.
And when you are ready, you will do something different.
And you will be free.
“It is the fear of change that has power over you. Find the strength to take that power back and dare to do something different.” - Unknown