What is a Lifestyle Transformation?

When I first became a trainer, it didn’t take me long to realize that my workouts weren’t as magical as I thought. I naively believed that the amazing way I structured my client’s supersets would guarantee life-changing results. Who cares about nutrition when you have the best exercises ever known to man? To say that I was humbled in my first year as a trainer would be an understatement. While my job description and title only required me to guide my clients through workouts, I felt that they expected more when signing on with me. I expected more from myself. I wanted to change lives, not increase bench press and squat numbers.

I began learning everything I possibly could from different schools of thought and different health and wellness disciplines. First it was various forms of specialized training certifications. Then a few nutrition certifications. I traveled around the country to learn neuromuscular therapy. Eventually my educational journey led me to a professional cooking school and even a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Food Systems. With each step, I found that more and more dots were connecting in my mind. I began seeing underlying principles and similarities among the various disciplines that painted a clearer picture of what health truly looks like.

Health is so much more than fad diets and trendy workouts. Achieving optimal health requires you to change your whole lifestyle. It requires a Lifestyle Transformation.

Health is not determined by whether you have a 6-pack, how strictly you follow your nutritional philosophy, or by how many push ups you can do in a minute. Health is the cumulative sum of everything you do each and every day of your life. It’s your daily lifestyle and everything matters. Its how you eat, sleep, move, laugh, rest, love, breathe, and socialize.

Most important, it’s the way you think. Too many people have a voice in their head that is anything but supportive. As a Lifestyle Coach, I see firsthand how difficult it is for my clients to stay on track with the program I create for them. They spend only 3 – 5 hours with me at the LEAF Wellness Studio per week, where I try my best to motivate and inspire them to keep the momentum moving in a positive direction after our brief time together ends.

But what about the other 163 hours of the week?

After my clients leave the LEAF Wellness Studio, they are essentially alone. Without a doubt, the number one factor in any client’s success is their mindset. If they’re positive, they succeed. If they go back to negative thoughts, they fail. I fail. My job is much more about instilling confidence and changing behaviors than it is about designing an amazing workout program or diet plan. Exercise programs and diets are a waste of paper and ink if the person trying to implement them is being constantly victimized by their own self-sabotaging thought patterns and habits.

That’s why every Lifestyle Transformation must begin with the mind. You must make the commitment to change the way you think. Only then will your old habits and behaviors begin to change. In moments of weakness, depression, temptation, and stagnation, you must have the power to say no to the voice inside your head that desperately wants everything to stay the same. Sticking to unhealthy habits is easier.  Stepping into the unknown world of health is hard.  It’s stressful. It’s a war. But if you win, know that your changes last a lifetime and the investments you make in yourself will pay dividends long after the diet and exercise bandwagons have come and gone.

The Foundation of a Lifestyle Transformation

Every success story you hear about an individual finding health and happiness comes with a different workout program and diet. Doctors, studies, and passionate testimonials claim their approach as superior. So who is right and who is wrong? The truth is that they’re all right. You have look beyond the superficial details of an individual’s lifestyle and see the underlying principles that all healthy lifestyles are centered around:

  1. Real Food
  2. Movement
  3. Rest & Recovery
  4. Lifelong Learning
  5. Community
  6. Love

These are the 6 Healthy Lifestyle Principles that form the foundation of a healthy life. If you examine the lives of the healthiest people you know, you’ll find these 6 commonalities between them regardless of sex, culture, age, religion, or social status. Which one do you need the most help with? Start with that one. If it’s community, make the effort to eat meals with friends or organize group activities. If it’s movement, schedule daily exercise or walk to ride a bike to work every day.

Slowly incorporate habits and behaviors until that principle is integrated into your daily life, then move onto the next principle. Before you know it, you’ll have a life that is centered on health without resorting short-term fads that do little for your long-term health and vitality.