You are a leader. You are ambitious, and you are busy. The truth is, it's rewarding. It feels good to be successful!
However, when we begin to forget the other parts of who we are, your career can become unhealthy. What happens when you keep falling off the wagon when it comes to your health? When you make changes for a while, but just can't seem to sustain them?
It is hard to admit that the thing we prize most about our life - our successful career and the accolades that come with it - may be the exact thing that is disrupting our achievement and success in our health.
I know, as a fellow member of the Very Ambitious Person Society, that it can be really hard to think that I can't control or succeed at something that I am putting my mind toward. Really hard!
I want to let you know first and foremost - if you are not succeeding in health - it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH WILLPOWER!
There are a whole bunch of reasons why it has nothing to do with willpower... the primary reason is because willpower is finite and we use it up during the day so it will never work. Other reasons include circadian rhythms that make us lose our inhibitions when the sun goes down, which is why we always end up overeating at night (among other things we do without inhibition), and also because of hormones.
Hormones get their own paragraph. I'd give them their own article, but my business coach tells me they are too boring! Our hormones are in charge. It doesn't matter what we think or tell ourselves, in the end we do what our hormones tell us to do -- not what our brains are saying. Things that cause our hormones to hijack our actions: stress, emotional triggers (like a fight or a rough day), stress, age, stress, monthly changes, stress, sugar, stress, poor diet, stress, caffeine, and... did I mention stress?
If you are ready to take charge of your health a different way, then I have the answer. It all starts with aligning our actions with our values. If you really truly desire to reach and maintain your body's ideal natural weight, then it is time to prioritize it. This is the part where you pull that thread and see where it leads you. The actions you need to take are not the same as the ones I need to take or any of my other clients need to take.
Finding the middle ground seems elusive in the beginning, because we aren't used to taking it. Lots of my clients tell me they really don't know what the middle ground would be. That applies with clients who are looking to give up the dieting mindset (of deprivation as the only way to lose weight) as well as create sustainable exercise patterns (not going hard for 6 weeks... then quitting). No matter what your middle ground is, if you are used to going "all in" it can be hard to figure out how to do something else... something that may feel like "not enough" but in reality is exactly the answer that will allow you to succeed! We have to carve new neural pathways to do this. The steps are simple, though not always easy.
I always approach things by focusing on practical steps you can take right now - using smart scheduling (and, OK, a teeny tiny bit of willpower - just in the beginning!) I couple this logistical side, or "pre-planning" as I call it, with the emotional/spiritual/hormonal/stress detangling.
So as we figure out what your emotional/spiritual/hormonal/stress triggers are and eliminate them from the source, you sustain yourself with the pre-planning, and eventually these meet in the middle... Yes! That is the middle ground that we are looking for!
And it is from this middle ground that you really can achieve your ambitions in both career and health, without sacrificing one for the other, but truly having it all!
I help busy, ambitious leaders to step off the emotional eating roller coaster, so they can lose weight and keep it off, still eat all the foods they love, and finally find the work life balance they crave.