This week’s series is all about TRANSFORMATION. I personally just spent a transformative weekend in Indian Wells, California. This desert landscape proved to be an oasis for me in terms of personal transformation. I attended a
retreat “life-changing 4-day transformative experience” called NeoGenesis (literally, “new beginnings”) hosted by the supreme Niurka.
The experience was indescribable and deeply personal for each and every attendee, and I wholeheartedly recommend checking it out for yourself. I did my best to distill my key learnings on the elements of transformation in my Instagram video series on this topic (and I also shared those videos on Facebook). If anything, the course also reinforces the importance of effective communication when it comes to improving the quality of your life in ALL regards: health & fitness, wealth & finances, love & relationships and more.
Given that I’ve already been privileged to receive the gifts of fitness and nutrition to transform my body and my health, I’m SO excited to apply the underlying principles of transformation to EVERY area of my life, and to share these principles with you.
Are you ready to be TRANSFORMED?
When it comes to results in transformation, they reflect the cumulative effects of our decisions/actions. Our decisions/actions are shaped by our thoughts and language, which are informed by our beliefs. Our beliefs sit on the bedrock of our values. We’ll go through each of these elements in turn, below, and you will see their dependence and interconnection.
Values are the foundational elements of our very essence that shape our purpose and destiny. These are the principles, concepts, emotions, etc. that we hold dear. A simple Google search pulls up this dictionary definition: “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.”
Values sit at the very root of our results, so I invite you to sit down to a conversation and time of introspection with “you and you” (a beautiful “Niurka-ism”) to consider your core values.
Beliefs reflect not only values but also reflect the “programming” of our individual lifetime collection of experiences – events, memories, words spoken to and around us by family, friends, strangers and various forms of media.
These beliefs can shape the ways in which we filter, interpret, process and store information, and the entire process then drives our thoughts and language (covered in the next section).
I invite you to consider some of your beliefs, either in the context of health and fitness, or other areas of your life. Do you believe that fat loss and body change come easily to you? Or do you believe that it is harder for you than for others, based on X or Y? Have you allowed X or Y to become limiting beliefs? “It’s harder for me to lose weight because I have a slow metabolism.” “It’s harder for me to lose weight because I’m so busy with my kids, I don’t have time to work out.” Whenever you are defending, justifying or giving reasons, no matter how “valid” they may seem, you are “at effect.” You are allowing yourself to be held hostage by the effects that external forces exert on you. When you are “at cause,” you can still acknowledge the existence of these things in your life but now you choose how you will respond in face of them. Cause > effect.
Thoughts & Language
Thoughts and language are shaped by and reflect our beliefs, as we saw above. These two are together because “language” is really “thought given voice.” If someone believes she is worthy of love, she will think and say “I am worthy of love” and her actions AND results will align with that. If she believes that she is NOT worthy of love, she will think and say “I am not worthy of love” and her actions and results will align with that. Did you see how powerful a shift in thoughts and language can be?
You can see how this is important when it comes to health transformation. If someone believes that it is hard to lose fat, she will think and say “it’s hard for me to lose fat.” Consciously or subconsciously, her actions and decisions will align with that.
“But Lauren, my doctor told me that I have thyroid issues that will make it harder for me to lose weight. Since it’s going to be hard, I’m not even going to try.” Your doctor said that to you. Did you say that to you, too? Does your doctor’s language serve you in this instance? Or is this an opportunity for you to be “at cause”? “I have a thyroid condition that is being appropriately managed by my primary care health provider. Countless other people with thyroid conditions have successfully lost weight and achieved health. I will achieve health by seeking out resources to help me and finding out what works for me.”
Consider approaching a committed exercise program from the point of view of the two different statements above. In the first, she is operating under the belief that it is hard, she is saying it is hard and she will actually look for evidence to show that it is hard (our minds actively scan the environment for proof that our thoughts are true). And guess what happens to our actions and results when we believe and say something is hard? In the second, she is dedicated to finding out what works for her and approaching the workouts with openness and possibility.
What are YOUR beliefs telling you in terms of the language you use around health and fitness? Do those beliefs serve you? If not, I invite you to let them go and replace them with new beliefs. Change your words, change your beliefs. Change your beliefs, change your words.
Actions & Decisions
Our actions are predicated by our thoughts and language, which are informed by our beliefs, which sit on the foundation of our values. Actions in pursuit of fitness goals might include going to the gym, or drinking more water, or eating more healthful food.
Interestingly, there can be a mismatch or conflict or incongruence between our stated goals and our most important values. This can make taking consistent action challenging (harder than it otherwise would be).
For example, if someone says she really values health and fitness but it turns out she places the value of comfort even higher, she might struggle to take consistent action in the gym because it’s not as comfortable as staying the same.
This is where many current fitness programs fall short – jumping in at the action stage (“Do this workout!” “Eat these foods!”) without taking underlying values into consideration.
Are your actions consistent with your desired values? You can often hear people describing what they think they “should” do, but their actions speak louder than their words in terms of their values, whether they want to admit it or not. Your actions will always point to what you TRULY value, at a deep and subconscious level.
The working father who claims he wants to spend more time with his kids but has to work late each night to provide for them? He actually values financial security more than family time.
The overweight friend who exercises regularly but routinely eats “treats” above and beyond what her body needs? She actually values comfort and protection more than vitality and transformation.
What about YOU? When you take an inventory of your actions, what do they say about your beliefs? It might not be want you want to hear, or what you’ve been telling yourself and others, but this awareness is the first step to making a change.
Our results are the cumulative effect of our actions, as measured at a certain point in time. Niurka shared a great quote along the lines of “you cannot lose weight by staring at the number on the scales; it is merely a reflection of all the actions you have taken up to that point.”
So, if your results are not yet what you desire, it’s time to take stock of your actions. And how are those actions supported by your thoughts and language? Recall that thoughts and language are informed by our beliefs, which sit on the foundation of our values.
We can state what we think our values are, but our actions speak louder than our words in terms of revealing our true values. Are your values in line with your goals?
If you are noticing a pattern that reveals that your true underlying values might actually be holding you back from achieving your most important goals, take heart! This new awareness is the first step to charting a course of change. It might sound cliche, but acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step in solving that problem. In fact, I invite you to call it an opportunity. It is an opportunity to learn, grow, stretch, evolve and TRANSFORM.
This is where my new VIP Program for 16-Week Total Transformation is different from traditional fitness programs. Instead of jumping in at the actions stage, this awareness and knowledge of the importance of uncovering, exploring, and learning to “re-code” underlying values, beliefs and even the language you use is woven into the program.
If you’re ready to TRANSFORM your approach to fitness and your body and your LIFE, please apply to work with me TODAY.
Have a fit day!