The past three months (June-August 2013) have been a real emotional roller coaster for me. You would think that would make you skinny since you’re sick and stressed all the time, and eating becomes less important. Not so much. When you don’t eat your metabolism slows down, your body thinks that you are going into starvation, tries to hold on to the fact that it has, and stores it for the rainy days. Your body has no fuel, you become lethargic, your workouts start to suffer and you slowly begin to break down. That is what started happening to me. People think that as a trainer we have our act together and never make mistakes. I caught myself slipping. I felt bad about my body but didn’t do anything, just kept going. I refused to accept that I needed a break and things went downhill, and I quickly started losing control. I started questioning myself, over thinking, overdoing and just all around making it a lot worse. But hey, I’m only human. It took me awhile to finally realize that I was no longer in the driver’s seat, just the passenger tagging along for the ride. I knew I had to somehow reclaim the wheel.
But instead of letting this break me, I used it to make me stronger.
It was time to regroup, dig deep inside my soul, body and emotions, and spend some time with God. Faith is very important to me. When they tell you it’s a mind-body connection, let me tell you, it is true. If your mind and soul are not right and in harmony, neither will your body. Let me share something with you that helped me a lot. I love Deepak Chopra’s writings and meditations, and he has seven great tips for creating this harmony and cultivating balance:
- Take time each day to quiet your mind and meditate. That’s your own special time. It can be as little as five minutes, but make time. Here’s one I use when I’m short on time. It’s simple, effective and anyone can learn it. It’s great for developing focus, which you can use in everyday life.
- Choose a place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit in a chair or on the floor, using blankets and pillows to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
- Close your eyes and for a few minutes and take a few moments to observe the inflow and outflow of your breath.
- Now take a slow, deep breath through your nose, while thinking or silently repeating the word So.
- Then slowly exhale through your nose while silently repeating the word Hum.
Continue to allow your breath to flow easily, silently repeating So . . . Hum . . . with each inflow and outflow of the breath. Whenever your attention drifts to thoughts in your mind, sounds in the environment, or sensations in your body, gently return to your breath, silently repeating So . . . Hum.
Whenever your attention drifts to thoughts in your mind, sounds in your environment, or sensations in your body, gently return to your breath, silently repeating, So . . . Hum.
Never rush to or from meditation. Just allow the peace and calm to soak into your body, and you will carry a little bit of this peace and calm with you as you move into the activities of your day.
- Each day eat a healthy diet. That goes without saying. A Big Mac will not make your body happy, trust me.
- Move your body: Engage in daily exercise. Again, no brainer. Who wouldn’t want a natural hit of endorphins, free of charge?
- Take time for restful sleep. We’ve gotten so used to short nights with no real deep sleep. You deprive your body from some much-needed recovery. Be sure to get your eight hours of sleep.
- Release emotional toxins. You can do this during your meditation. Holding on to negative feelings will just wear you down. It’s not worth it.
- Cultivate loving relationships. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
- Enjoy a good belly laugh at least once a day. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Why not stack up on it?
Had I let life get in my way I never would’ve gotten to where I am today. I am now able to coach my clients through their struggles. It’s not always easy to be vulnerable, but how can I expect them to trust and open up to me if I don’t return it? Admitting that you’re human, however simple it may seem, could be one of the hardest things. When you’re feeling down or lethargic, take a moment, close your eyes, go within and find that inner fighter. Just remember the old adage: healthy mind, healthy body. The choice is yours.