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You Are Healthy: How self-messages enhance your success.


When someone onboards with KPT, large changes begin taking place: We’re suddenly exercising more, vigilantly thinking about how our knees are tracking, making our backs flat, using the whole foot, and engaging the core. We’re starting to eat less, adding more fruits and veggies to our diet, being mindful about excess sugar, all while figuring out how to still feed our soul. We’re taking flexibility and mobility more seriously, stretching and strengthening muscles on a daily basis. In so many ways, these are radical shifts. New habits are being formed--rapidly. My job is to seed these habits and help them stick. Repetition of a new behavior is important for turning that behavior into a habit, but the messaging you’re giving yourself might matter even more.


In Atomic Habits, James Clear asks his readers to think of two different people resisting a cigarette. When asked if they’d like a smoke, the first person responds, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.” Clear writes, “...this person still believes they are a smoker who is trying to be something else.They are hoping their behavior will change while carrying around the same beliefs.” (p. 32)


When the second person is asked if they want a smoke, they say, “No thanks. I’m not a smoker.” This person no longer identifies as a smoker; smoking was a part of their former life. The difference is subtle, yet the shift in personal identity is substantial. (p. 32)


Making the shift from someone who wants to be something to someone who is something can have monumental consequences. “I want to be healthy” vs “I am healthy.” “ I want to be fit” vs “I am fit.” Can you feel the mental shift? Here’s what you need to know about yourself: Every time you do a workout, you aren’t trying to be athletic. ou are athletic. Every time you choose to eat an extra piece of fruit, you aren’t wanting to be healthy. You are being healthy. Repeat after me: I am fit. I am healthy.


I’ve had people tell me, “Jen, you just don’t get it. Being healthy comes naturally to you.” And in some ways, they’re right: Two years ago, my son was having a very bad mental health reaction to some medication he was taking. The doctor told me this might happen and to keep taking the meds because the reaction would level off. Except the reaction didn’t level off, and now my doctor was out on Christmas vacation and unreachable. After a trip to the ER and multiple calls to other doctors, no professional would tell us what to do because they weren't the original prescriber. To say my husband and I were stressed out of our minds is an understatement. I’ve never been so afraid for my child’s wellbeing. I started self-medicating in the form of chocolate chips--handfuls of chocolate chips throughout the day. I started losing weight because I wasn’t eating much else. As you can imagine, my personal mental health only got worse, as well as my ability to deal with the situation. After a couple of weeks of this, I knew I had to pull it together for my own well-being and for my son’s. Surprisingly, I turned my diet around relatively quickly. It wasn’t a steep hill to climb; just a little bump in the road. Why was it so easy? Because I reminded myself that I am a healthy person. It’s at the core of my being. I believe I am a healthy person. I know the choices a healthy person would make, and I made them. I just had to remind myself that I was that person already. Incidentally, once I turned around my mindset, I was better able to help my son, who is a thriving, happy kiddo today.


Being healthy and fit may be new identities for you, but try them on. The more you reinforce that identity with your actions, the more you have evidence of that identity. And the more you transform your beliefs about who you are, the easier it is to act in accordance with your new identity. Before you know it, being healthy will come naturally to you. Be the person you want to become.


You’ve got this. You are fit. You are healthy.


Jen



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