There seems to be more and more diet and fitness programs out there every day with before and after photos and testimonials that promise amazing results in the form of 6-pack abs and biceps for days. After 21 days, 90 days, 30 days, 2 months, one month, or some variation, you could end up with those results or even better. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Getting strong and feeling proud of how you look is a beautiful thing. But after that amount of time, after crushing it for the brief period of time with intense workouts and limiting diets, you might be left hanging. After the program is over, you may find yourself asking, “What now? What if gain back the weight?”.
A few years ago (ok more like almost a decade ago), when I was in a long distance relationship, working two jobs, and living with family, I worked out every day. Not because I had to, but because I enjoyed it and it was my “me” time. I had also just moved away from my college friends to live with my sister for a few months, so I didn’t know many people and spent my free-time running or at the gym. I would get to see my boyfriend (now husband) once every few months, when he wasn’t stuck in the middle of the ocean on an aircraft carrier. I started working out more and decided this was the time in my life when I would have flat abs – and I did. I spent 50 minutes 6 days a week working out. If I missed a day, I freaked out – because I finally had those perfect abs and what would happen to them if I didn’t exercise? I hadn’t seen my boyfriend in months and instead of enjoying time together, I was grumpy, snappy, and worrying about the flatness of my abs.
I’ve been through plenty of fitness and diet programs, and really do enjoy them and the challenge, but at the end I find myself not sure what to do. I feel as if I have to do this one routine for years on end in order to maintain results. The only thing I know for sure is that I am not staying in that state of dieting and regulated fitness for the rest of my life. The thought of it freaks me out and makes me automatically dread doing another step in the process.
The problem with these programs is that they usually focus on the most perfect version of you that would could attain in an ideal world at the ideal moment. But once you reach the perfect number on the scale or the perfect inches, what do you do? Go for more? Or cut back, worry about gaining a few pounds, and feel guilty when you aren’t that perfect successful place anymore?
Instead, you drop rules and restrictions. Let go of that perfect number or image of yourself and focus instead on living fully.
When you focus on living and what you want to get out of life, the stress around the scale and inches on your waist fades away. Will you still have a day or two where you freak out and just want the abs of a supermodel? Sure thing. You’re human. But you’ll have the tools you need to realize that the restrictions and limitations it takes to get there aren’t worth it and aren’t healthy. Real health goes beyond just fitness and eating to truly balance all aspects of your physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Real health looks at your desires, your goals, your dreams, as well as how you treat your body. This is where you find lasting health and happiness.
Because what good is a program if it doesn’t leave you feeling healthy and happy?
This is what 21 days to Flourish is all about -living your life now, not waiting on the scale to hit a number before you allow yourself to live, In 21 Days to Flourish, you’ll focus on how you can find health and happiness without worrying about numbers at all. Instead you’ll focus on how you feel and what areas of your life you want to feel better about. This way, after the 21 Days is over, you’ll have the tools you need to continue living, to feel even more amazing, and to tweak this as the years go by. 21 Days to Flourish is about learning how to feel good, feel energized, and feel strong, steady, and alive.
I know it can be hard to figure out what all of this means exactly, so I’d love to share more with you before enrollment opens for the Spring sessions of 21 Days to Flourish. To help show you just what you can expect to gain from this program, I’m offering a 4-week video series, where I’ll discuss the program and give you actionable steps you can start incorporating in to your life before the program even begins. Sign up here for 4-part training series, coming in March. I’d love to have you join me!
What is your experience with fitness programs and diets? Do they help in the long run or leave you feeling like less? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!