Monday, November 2, 2009

The Four Agreements and Your Health!

Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.
-Mark Victor Hansen

It's never a "good time" to do anything. Everyone is busy, everyone is working or working on something. We all have "to do" lists, errands to run, places to be, people to meet. We're never "all caught up" and thinking "there aren't enough hours in the day" is very common.

This week I want to talk about breaking that pattern! I read a book over the summer called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I suggest you all pick it up because it's a short book, quick read and filled with very POWERFUL lessons.

How do the Four Agreements apply to you and your health and fitness? I don't watch a lot of TV and I've never sat through a full episode of the Biggest Loser-however, I always hear people talking about Jillian Michaels and I have read one of her books Making the Cut. What I love about Jillian Michaels is the way she digs in with people, to get to the root of why they have allowed themselves to get to the unhealthy state they are in. Figuring out the mental and emotional reasons why people accept defeat in any aspect of life including health and fitness can be a turning point in your fight!

These are the Four Agreements:

1. Be impeccable with your word.
If you set a goal for the week, "I'm going to run x miles", "I'm going to the gym 4x" "I'm not going to eat any cheese this week" hit the goal! Follow through! One of the greatest ways to boost your confidence and self esteem is to say you're going to do something and do it!

2. Don't make assumptions
Although Don Miguel Ruiz goes into a lot of depth with this one, I am going to apply it as follows. Don't assume you can't do something just because a) it looks challenging or b) you've never done it before.

Sometimes I joke and say things like "I'm Italian and Puerto Rican, I'll never be skinny" and maybe I won't be skinny like a contestant on America's Next Top Model but I am skinny for Liz...everything is relative.

I love when client gasps when I show them a new exercise I want them to try as if to say "yea right" but they try it....and many times SURPRISE! they can do it just fine.

Making assumptions about yourself, your abilities, what you can and cannot be is extremely limiting. Break that habit!

3. Don't take things personally
Here's how I would like to apply this to your health and fitness.
Defeat is a challenging thing to deal with. And although you're fully capable of setting goals and hitting them, there will ALWAYS be that day or that week when you just don't do what you set out to do.

There are two ways to handle this.
1. Get upset, depressed and down yourself and use it as an excuse to not do better tomorrow or next week.
2. Give yourself a kick in the butt and say "hey! I'm better than this, get it together and let's do better tomorrow/next week!"

4. Always do your best.
Don't half ass anything. If you only have 30 minutes to work out, work out hard for 30 minutes. If you're in a class surrounded by people more fit than you, don't get discouraged comparing yourself-YOU DO YOUR VERY BEST! The best part about doing what you can, is the exhilaration you feel as what you can do increases.

I know this week's post was a little "touchy feely" and guess what? I'm sorry I'm not sorry.
Taking care of your self means taking care of your whole self, brain, heart, soul included. Sometimes we need mental and emotional checks to be on track to being who we want to be. So think about the Four Agreements as you eat, move and exercise for your health this week.


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