Compassion doesn't mean you're always a cheerleader

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As a nutrition coach, my job calls for compassion.  Often times this means being positive and supportive, but sometimes I need to be less positive and more real.

Being compassionate means:

You're present.
You're kind when you are suffering.
You choose self-care rather than self-criticism... but you still might feel bad for a while.

And that's OK.

Operation get real
Today’s post is kind of Dr. Phil inspired. He became famous because he knows how to lay it out for people and dole out cold hard realities that make people listen. Today, I have some harsh truths for you. Some tough love that I hope will provoke you to change your line of thinking.

1. You are not special.

Oooh. Ouch. In an era when the term “snowflake” is used daily on the interwebs to demean a whole generation, I know this truth can be a real zinger for some. But, I am not saying this in the way that it may come off. I am saying this to remind you that there is no real difference between someone who is achieving their goals and someone who is not. It is easy to look at another person who has lost a significant amount of weight or who is starting their own business or someone who is famous and think, “what do they have that I don’t?” Or “I could never do what they have done, even if I wanted to.” Let me be the one to tell you that they aren’t special. There is no secret formula that makes one person more capable of achievement than someone else. In other words, somebody just like you in the exact same circumstances is doing what you want to do. And nothing makes them special. The only difference is they are actually doing it. It isn’t about something they have or something that is different about them. They are you. . . but they are doing it. And, you my dear snowflake, can do it too!

2. There is no end to this process.

It is really easy to fall into the line of thinking that, once we reach our goal, the struggle and the work are over. Unfortunately, the weight loss industry seems to prey on this faulty thinking. Selling magic pills or extreme boot camps or unsustainable diets gives the illusion that being healthy is all about reaching a goal weight. There is almost NEVER talk about maintenance or what happens after the after the photo or creating an (unending) lifestyle. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not and whether we are talking about exercise or personal or career goals, there is no real end. You reach a goal (and that IS amazing) but then you keep on going. You stay consistent. You do the work and the work doesn’t end. Because that is life. Life is an ever-evolving process. So, stop worrying so much about the end point or the goal or the dress size and just focus on right now because this illusion of an “end” is never going to come. All you have is today and today IS the process. If you are living a happy healthy life through the process, you ARE meeting your goal. Boom!

3. You are going to fail.

Yep. You are going to fail. I have failed. You have failed. We all fail. We fail at making it to the gym. We fail at parenting. We fail at our jobs. We fail ourselves. We fail our friends. We fail our family. I would go as far to say that failure is one of the few guarantees in life. That may seem like a bleak outlook, but let me ask you, have you ever met anyone who never failed at anything? I can’t name a single person I know who hasn’t experienced some type of failure in their life.  Can I give you a new way to look at failure? I propose that failing is one of the greatest opportunities in life. It is in failure that we learn the most about our resiliency. Failure is not about the actual failing, it’s about what you take away from it. It is about getting up as fast as you can. You live, you learn, you move on. Also, please know that if you’re not failing, then you are probably not trying. Those who risk nothing, gain nothing. Lastly, when you do inevitably fail, don’t get stuck in that spot. Don’t define yourself by your failures. Get right back up and try again. Define yourself by your resiliency!

So, if you fall into the mind trap that other people are better than you and that is why they are able to live their dreams, let me ask you “how is that working for you?”

If, when you reach a goal, you go right back to your old habits, let me ask you again “how is that working for you?”

And, lastly, if you constantly beat yourself up for failing, I’m going to ask you one more time “how is that working for you?!”

Dr. Phil and Dr. Kylie (okay, I am not an actual doctor) are here to let you know that you can change your life through your thoughts. You can achieve your goals. And you can hear and learn from harsh truths.