Face the Tough Facts and then Upgrade Your Reality
Progress requires that we face our challenges, acknowledge the hard reality of a situation, and put a plan in place to change our situation. It’s a highly rewarding process with extremely positive outcomes. It’s time to Face the Tough Facts and then Upgrade Your Reality.
It’s no secret that society faces many challenges. However, I feel the most important one is the ability to turn around our continuing decline in health, wellness, and happiness. This shocking societal change in health and wellness has been a major catalyst for the evolution of my coaching philosophy and the creation of my 4 Pillars of Performance.
Scientific and anecdotal evidence demonstrates that healthy, fit people are happier, more productive, and generally nicer to be around. Helping more people achieve this state will have a positive ripple effect across every area of life and culture.
The reality is that during the almost three decades since I began my career as a coach, the health of North American society has dropped precipitously.
The Harsh Reality
Rates of “lifestyle diseases” such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, are skyrocketing. As are mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
Lifestyle diseases are generally preventable medical conditions that arise from the way a person chooses to live their life. Lifestyle factors such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, lack of physical activity, and unhealthy eating, contribute to numerous preventable conditions.
The fallout of this trend towards sedentary living and poor health choices shows up most vividly by the fact that obesity rates have tripled in North America since the 1980s.
Currently, more than two out of every three people are either overweight or obese. The unhealthy trend continues globally as other countries emulate the “western lifestyle”. As a professional performance coach, I try not to take it personally.
One disturbing outcome is that the massive increase in weight and body fat percentage is changing our perspective of “normal”.
The New Normal
Obesity is now seen as a disease. People who have this “condition” are viewed as victims of a situation largely outside their control. In my opinion, this couldn’t be further from the truth and sets a dangerous precedent for the future.
While myriad factors contribute to someone becoming overweight or obese. Such as portion sizes, lifestyle habits, genetic predisposition, trauma, life experiences, targeted marketing by food conglomerates, decreased food quality, scientific manipulation of salt/sugar/fat in food, chemical additives, at the base level, regardless of the person, his or her origin, or past events, each has the power to be in control of his or her daily thoughts, decisions, and actions.
For most people, being overweight or obese is a situation that came about through a series of daily personal decisions over many years in each of the 4 Pillars of Performance. The challenge is that once someone begins this downward spiral, it becomes increasingly difficult to break the cycle.
We see the negative implications in society as a whole, but the solution resides within the decisions and habits that every individual (starting with you), can create in his or her own life by learning key skills in the 4 Pillars of Performance. It’s important to realize that we are directly in control of our decisions.
The 4 Pillars framework is not designed to blame or shame anyone. There are many factors in life, within and outside our personal control, that impact us. However, each of us is in much greater control of our lives than we often believe. Simply put, most people know what they need to do, they just aren’t doing it.
The challenge is that when so many other people are going down this same path, the journey can be “normalized”. This makes it more likely that people will resign themselves to their new “reality”.
Keep in mind that I’m not saying everyone must fit some “barbie-doll” or “superhero” ideal. Everyone is different, unique, and has the power to decide where they are happy being in their health, fitness, and wellness journey. Some people are completely fine with where they are, and that’s great.
Upgrade Your Reality
I have almost 30 years of experience working with thousands of people. I can say firsthand that the mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects of life are more challenging when people are overweight, obese, and/or out of shape. I’ve yet to meet a person who has achieved a healthy body composition, fitness level, and lifestyle that decided it wasn’t worth it.
Being healthy, happy, and fit will not magically solve all the problems in life. However, it provides a much better foundation for success than the alternative! It might be time to Upgrade Your Reality!
Speaking of success, it comes from reframing your mindset and lifestyle so that you will feel willing, able, and excited about doing the ‘right’ actions for your needs each day in each of the 4 Pillars (Mindset, Habits, Movement, Fuel).