Overcoming illness, getting fit, and becoming financially independent in 2018.
About a year ago, I looked in the mirror and as though it happened over night, I suddenly realised how much weight I had put on! My tops were wrapped tightly around my body, I was bursting out of my jeans, and all I could think was, “What the fuck happened to me? I look like a sausage!”
I had slowly been putting on weight for a while. I was in my 30s, and I figured that accumulating kilos bit by bit was a part of ageing. I even started giving away clothes that didn’t fit me anymore, convinced my slender years were over!
I felt like shit. Even though no one around me was calling me a fat-ass or anything, I didn’t feel good about myself. I felt heavy, bloated and unattractive. It was February and I promised myself, I’d lose weight and get toned by summer.
I worked out once or twice and then I went back to my same old habits.
It was just like setting a New Year’s Resolution – my intention was good, but I had no game-plan. I wanted the change but I didn’t have a strong enough purpose for it except that I was mad at myself!
“What if I fall?”
In April, I went to a workshop by the life and business coach, Tony Robbins. I had been building my self-development agency, “A Life I Choose” for a year and a half, and though it was growing, I was having difficulty making it profitable. Listening to Tony’s podcasts and reading his books, I knew that a workshop with him would kick my ass into gear and help me achieve the results I wanted… at least, I hoped it would – his workshops are crazy expensive!
My goal was clearly Financial Freedom. I didn’t want to be financially dependent on my husband anymore. But while I was at the workshop, something shifted within me. I realised that to become financially independent, I needed to gain control over my physical health.
You see, there’s a part of the story that I haven’t shared with you yet. About 5 years ago, I became really unwell. I was in agony from head to toe, I had zero energy and I couldn’t think straight because I was trying to make contact with life through 5 layers of pain every moment of everyday.
I went to a few doctors and the general consensus was that I had fibromyalgia. They all said roughly the same thing: “This is a chronic condition. There isn’t much you can do about it. Here’s some medication. Oh, and try to exercise.”
Being told there wasn’t much I could do about a condition that had robbed me of my vitality really messed with me. I felt trapped within a body that was working against me. And I wondered if the life I had dreamed of – with a blossoming career, family, travel… – would ever be possible.
In two years, my health deteriorated faster than I even thought was possible. My skeleton creaked with the slightest movement, and even putting on clothes, I felt bruised all over. I felt like I understood what it was like to be 80. And I began wondering if I was going to live much longer because I knew I couldn’t keep going like this.
Luckily, I finally found a doctor who was more optimistic. Although medication was part of the treatment he prescribed, he didn’t box me in with some life-long medical condition that couldn’t be healed. He acknowledged that yes, things were bad now, but they could get better. Together, we created a plan for moving forward: slow physio in a heated pool, massage, and a long break from work so I could just recover.
I remember walking out of his office feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Maybe I wasn’t going to be trapped in a painful physical experience for the rest of my life! There were things I could do and try, slowly but surely.
A year and a half later, I was well enough to get off medication. I felt like I had overcome a huge hurdle and my life was getting back on track.
But the moment I got off meds, it became difficult to live again and I had a stroke. I could feel the life being sucked out of me and my fears of dying young came swooping back with a vengeance. Maybe the doctor was wrong that I could better. Maybe I did have a chronic condition that was going to deteriorate me slowly.
I’m not writing this for you to feel sorry for me. I just want you to know where I was coming from.
Our Beliefs Determine Our Fate
At the workshop, I realised that to get my business in good shape, I needed to get myself in good shape. I couldn’t keep getting sick. I needed to be fit – not just bikini fit – but healthy fit. I needed energy, strength and freedom from the belief that a life of health wasn’t for me.
To achieve both my goals – becoming financially free and getting fit – I was going to have to push through a lot of fear. I was scared that if I began taking on more work that the condition would get worse. I worried that if I exercised I would get injured and flare up like I used to. Over the past few years, I learned to think of myself as “sick”, “weak” and “vulnerable”. To make any kind of change, I was going to have to start with my beliefs.
From that day, I committed myself to believing that:
“I am strong.”
“My body heals.”
Then I created a game-plan that would work for me:
I began working out at home, 5x a week for no longer than 20 minutes each day.
I chose to value rest-time for recovery and I educated myself so I could make smart diet decisions and support myself to be well.
Committing myself to this lifestyle change for the past 8 months, I’m now stronger, fitter and more energetic than I’ve ever been in my life! Feeling my body respond so well to the consistent change in habits, positively reinforces me to keep going.
In under one year, I’ve drastically improved my health and as a result I’ve had the energy to build my business and reach my goal of becoming financially independent!
What I learned from this experience is that it’s not enough to want to make change. For any change to happen, we need to have a strong purpose for it, we need to have a game-plan that works for us, and most importantly, we need to address the beliefs that are hindering us from achieving what we want.
There is a clear science to achieving our goals. Because this science has had such a positive impact on my life, I’ve studied it intensely so I can bring it to you in a workshop I’m hosting on the 19th January 2019. At this workshop, I’ll guide you to breakthrough your limiting beliefs so that you can create real change next year.
This New Year, don’t make resolutions: make lasting change that matters to you. Get your tickets to my New Year Evolution Workshop here let’s rock 2019 together!
Psychotherapist & Founder of A Life I Choose
(B. Psy (Hons), M.A. GPTIM)