Don’t go changing without this.

So Mike and I are doing this nutrition and workout program to get in shape for our wedding.

We tend to try different cleanses and nutritional approaches rather frequently, so I didn’t think much of signing up for a personalized online coaching program from a guy who Mike found on Instagram.

But it turns out this program is far more intense than anything we’ve ever tried before. We’re dialing down grams and ounces to ensure we get the right amount of macro nutrients per meal. And we’re working out every day (we usually work out regularly, but not always every single day).

For the first few days, I totally panicked. Within the first 24 hours of starting the program, I sent our coach about 25 neurotic emails asking him really specific, nitpicky questions.

I obsessed about how we were going to handle our travel schedule and pre-wedding events. I found myself sending our coach emails setting boundaries about what I would and would not do, as though he were forcing me to change my habits.

I was going through my workouts preoccupied with all of the other productive things I could be doing with my time. I was eating my food just to get the nutrients in my body rather than actually taking the time to taste and enjoy it.

With All My Heart

When we make any significant change in our lives, it stirs up the dust bunnies lurking under our beds, so to speak. Some level of resistance to anything new is inevitable. It may or may not come in the form of sending multiple tweezer-brained emails to your new fitness coach, but it will come in one form or another.

On Saturday my assignment was to do a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. I decided to get outside and go running by the water. I got my P!nk radio station on Spotify going and I was off.

Now, let it be known that I am not a runner. I started training for a half-marathon last year and bailed about three weeks in because I just don’t like running.

During the high intensity intervals I’m supposed to go full out, as hard as I can. So, after my warm-up, I ran as fast as I possibly could for 20 seconds.

What happened next surprised the heck out of me. I felt elated. A huge, uncontrollable smile spread across my face. I felt so free sprinting with all my heart. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d run as fast as I could outside. I was actually thoroughly enjoying the experience.

What changed? Running as fast as I could required my full attention. There were other runners on the path. There was some mud. I had to actually BE THERE. And being there, fully in my body, lungs on fire, hair blowing wildly, made me feel ecstatic.

Where is the love? Where is the fun?

Since Saturday I’ve been approaching this whole process from a new angle.

What if, instead of grumbling and counting down the minutes until I’m finished, I actually decided to be present and enjoy this journey? Folks, I’m aware that I’m not the first one to have this revelation. But I find that we need to continue to learn the same things over and over again, but each time in a new and different context.

twitter_standingWhen we make a decision to enjoy something, we usually do.

What’s an area of your life that could use a little enhancement?

Craving some romance?

Is your body overdue for some sweat sessions?

Does your bank account need a little lovin’?

Whatever the area of your life, whatever the program of your choosing, remember:

twitter_standingThe attitude with which you approach anything affects the outcome.

OVER TO YOU:

Do you ever find yourself trying to grin and bear it when making a change? What strategies have you tried to help you be present and enjoying the journey?

I’d love to hear from you — leave a comment below!

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23 comments

  • Kristi Gleason

    Your free Weimar registration says Wednesday April 22 instead of the 23rd

  • My head says do the USANA Reset but my body says not ready. Until I get my attitude right about starting the Reset it won’t be fun. Thanks for that Tweet.

  • Kate,

    Your story reminded of me just a few weeks ago. I have programmed myself to believe for most of my life that I’m not athletic and don’t really like exercise (beyond yoga class which is so much more for me than exercise). A few weeks ago, I decided to stretch myself to take a spin/yoga combo class, and I surprised myself when I discovered that I loved being on the bike! I had no idea that I could bike 15 miles in 45 minutes and, just like you, I discovered that my body loved it.

    Most of the time, when I stretch myself in ways like this, I enter a new level of awareness about what my body and soul love, and I can then more fully step into who I am.

  • Your timing is perfect Kate! My husband and I spent all day yesterday going over areas in our life that we want to change and your post is the perfect kick-off to some serious shifts in our lives.

    Thanks!!

  • Ah, you nailed it, Kate. Beautifully written. I think that we often forget to live in the moment. We’re always in the process of finishing (or not) something to move on to something else, never taking a minute to appreciate a moment NOW, acknowledging where we are, what we’re doing, and with whom. But when I remember to do that I can appreciate and love my life and myself a lot more. It’s a beautiful thing to be present in the moment, but like everything else it has to be a learned practice.

    Over to me…I am having this resistance-negativity-resentment-anxiety-nitpicky-angry experience with university (college). I’m resentful of it because I feel like I’m stuck there until I finish, and it feels as if it takes away almost all of my creative freedom and makes me conform and follow the rules. I’m having the HARDEST time focusing on my schoolwork and getting anything done because I feel so negatively, then I go and beat myself up about it. It’s a vicious circle, and I think that the best way to stop it is TO SHOW UP for the work I have to do instead of half-assing it and doing the minimum. I’ve also come to learn that the inspiration, divine intervention, the angels’ voices, enthusiasm, and whatever else won’t come until we’re showing up and putting in some effort. Just like your breakthrough wouldn’t have happened if you had stayed inside and continued obsessing.

    Time to do some changin’. Thank you for this! I really needed it.

    • Kate

      Doroteja – it’s so true! When we show up fully it’s like the universe says “Ah. Now I know you’re serious. Now I’ll help you.” Thanks for your comment!

  • If making a change constantly feels like I need to just “grin and bear it” I tweak the change to make it feel more inviting or realistic. Being a perfectionist can cause me to set be too hard on myself when attempting to change, but when I relax into the journey and take the change one minute at a time, I separate myself from the outcome just by being present. There is no right way to change, just like with diet and exercise…there is no such thing as “one size fits all” with anything in life. Good luck with your program and thanks for sharing your wisdom with the world!

  • Hi Kate,
    thanks for the reminder!
    Today I’ve put the pressure on me to use my day to get all the things done that are on my to-do-list. First of all that doesn’t look like a fulfilling day, secondly it turns out that there are some tasks on it that would require my creativity and happiness, full attention and connection to my purpose… like for instance when I’m writing an invitation for a workshop. This could actually be enjoyable – if only I wasn’t thinking of all the other important and unimportant things I should be doing at the same time.
    Today I was wondering what would happen if I took my to-do-list, threw it away and did at first NOTHING and later simply the next thing I really want to accomplish.
    Thank you again for your inspiring blog.
    I’m taking a break now and then I’ll choose to enjoy writing my workshop invitation.
    Love, Wiebke

  • rachelle

    I really needed to hear this this morning….thank you.

  • I have recently started a nutritional and fitness program that requires me to run everyday. I have to mention that I found out that the amount of time I can keep in motion is proportional to the amount of presence I have of my mind. The less I think about the miles or time that have past, the more likely is that I can keep doing it. But this is very dificult, I still find it hard to stick to the moment.

    If I can control my mind, I think I could control everything and I hope my fitness program help me with this.

  • What an awesome post, Kate! I actually find this strategy extremely useful not only for making change, but for just being happy where you are.

    I have repeatedly had to learn the lesson that you can’t live fully now if you’re constantly thinking about the future and where you want to be, and disliking where you are now. The only way you can get to where you want to be is to fully be present where you are now and accept it with gratitude.

    I always tell myself I am exactly where I need to be right now in order to learn the lessons I need to learn. That helps me be present and enjoy where I am now, almost as a game – what is the lesson that’s hiding here? How can I best learn it and make use of it? It’s always fun when you turn it into a game.

  • I just had that lesson this last week too. Its always good to get a reminder no matter where it comes in. The funny thing is, once you see what you are doing, you can see everyone else doing it too. The difference is feeling it as opposed to knowing it. Its why I hate when my daughter says “I know”. You may know but do you feel…

  • Sanda

    Thanks for writing this, Kate!
    I guess it must be the Universe talking to me, because 15 minutes prior to reading this I talked to my sister who has recently started to change her limiting belief that she just “isn’t the sporty type” and even signed up for a 5k run. Like you, she’s discovering she actually enjoys running and that it feels great. She even said (as a joke) “Who is this person? Is this really me?” which just proves the power of how who we belive we are (or aren’t) can limit who we may become.

    I’m still struggling to let go of that same limiting vision of myself, get out there and just start running. I’ll take this post as a clear sign that I should. :)

  • Jennifer

    Kate I agree with you 100% for new things, but what about those things that you’ve been doing for a long time that need to get done and you are just plain worn out? I’m in the 3rd year of a very intense health care program and all I want to do is take a long break, but I have exams to study for. How do you work up the mindset to enjoy activities like studying? There’s not way in hell that I can convince myself to enjoy hours of sitting, learning material. Any suggestions?

  • I am safe. I am strong. I am happy. I am at ease. This is my mantra about most everything as I age. It isn’t for sissies! :) I love to run…that sudden burst of endorphins always does it for me. It is just getting out there that is the challenge! Baby steps or full out do it!! :)

  • Igone

    Thank you for the reminder! I´m just going to start a Juice Feast, in a few days, and I´m having the typical “resistance”…afraid of the (possible) changes it can bring me. I´m going to review my attitude and, first of all, enjoy it!:) Thank youuuu!!

  • […] weeks ago I mentioned that Mike and I are doing a super-intense workout and nutrition program to get in tip-top shape […]

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