Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Change

It's befuddling - the fine line between super easy and hard as hell when it comes to understanding what it takes to improve your life. Here's my shot at it. I'm learning that when you decide to eat right and exercise regularly the person you become has it pretty easy and life no longer seems hard as hell. It's been the strangest phenomenon in my personal life. I used to have so many problems and issues. Everything seemed difficult and daunting. There was so much drama and conflict. I was lazy, tired and overwhelmed. Life was a struggle. Not in a million years would I have equated a poor diet and erratic physical activity as the bane of my existence.

In my late 20s and early 30s I began to eat better and workout more regularly - oddly enough new opportunities came my way, my confidence improved and the drama began to fade away. At that time I still wouldn't have thought life outside of my workouts was getting better because of my workouts and healthier food. I never put 2 and 2 together. I chalked it up to luck, nothing more. There were times in those days when I'd get lazy, eat garbage food and blow off workouts and what do you know, life got hard again. I still didn't think the two opposing situations/events had anything to do with each other.

By the time I met BeachBody CEO Carl Daikeler 13 years ago my fitness and food balance was close to great. Not perfect but pretty good. Those early days creating routines for Great Body Guaranteed and Power90 were fun and exciting. I was in the right place at the right time with the right experience to be able to help Carl and Jon create something different and better when it came to in-home workouts. We were striking Gold were it had never been seen before. You'd think by then I'd have a clear understanding that my regular exercise and healthy eating had something to do with my early triumphs, but the answer was still no. More great luck right?

Turns out that the more consistent I was with my workouts and the better I ate, the more opportunities came my way. As a teenager and young adult when I had a horrible diet and very little exercise, my life was a wreck because I didn't have the feel good brain chemistry of a person who was firing on all cylinders from making better choices. When I was in my sometimes-on-sometimes-off phase I was suffering from what I call "Fitness Bi-polar Disorder" because I wasn't consistent enough to reap the life altering benefits of a true health and wellness lifestyle. In only the last 2 or 3 years have I understood how 6 to 7 days a week of exercise and eating whole foods can provide the energy and enthusiasm to take life on. John Ratey's Book "Spark" and Chris Crowley's & Henry Lodge's book "Younger Next Year" were also the catalyst for my present thinking.

I'm writing this because I want you to realize that life can be incredible - not through luck or upbringing or even education. I know plenty of people with a great education and money and they're a mess. Joy, happiness, opportunities, success and the life you want comes from making The Change to a lifestyle that involves regular exercise and whole foods. What seems hard as hell at first will turn your life into a carefree world of endless experiences, plenty of opportunities and the energy and enthusiasm to enjoy life for the rest of your life. The issues and drama of the past will fade way because you had the courage to make consistent fitness and healthy food a priority.