As I tucked into the homemade ice cream pops I’d made earlier in the day, I had a realization. The process of making this delicious dessert – from start to finish – mirrors how I want my clients to experience the process of getting fit.
Yes, really. Becoming a fit, unbreakable, human is just like making these ice cream pops…
From Idea To Action
It all started when I saw this photo of Rose Petal Creams w/Dark Chocolate Shell, Pistachios & Nettle Seeds posted by Tara who goes by the handle “the medicine circle” on social. Sign me up, I need to make these immediately!
Photo by: Tara of The Medicine Circle.
Making popsicles was only something I thought about in the dead of summer, “oh that would be fun”, and then I’d promptly let that thought go since I didn’t have the proper molds to form them. I know, such a tiny hurdle to overcome but this is something we humans do all the time.
Then I reviewed the ingredients list. I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand and so I had a choice: spend a bit more money and wait for it to be shipped to me to get everything needed for the exact recipe, or adapt the flavors to use things I already had on hand at home.
I really wanted to experience the exact flavors the recipe author used in her creation, but this time, I chose the latter.
Food bloggers often groan about how people often swap out ingredients in their recipe and then complain that the recipe didn’t work. But I had no intention of complaining if the recipe didn’t work with my swaps.
Rather, past experience taught me that I could trust myself fully to make swaps that allowed me to use what I had on hand while still following the structure of the recipe the author had laid out. And, I knew that I’d learn a lot from trying the recipe even if it didn’t work out the way I planned.
Where the original recipe called for a rose flavor as the base, I chose apricot since I had leftover apricot jam from processing the apricots earlier this season. Then I got to pondering what other flavors would complement the apricot. Like any recipe, you want to take a few or several flavors and bring them together in a balanced (and tasty) way.
I remembered a Middle Eastern dish I’d had once that used apricots and pistachios together so I pulled out a bag of pistachios and some dried apricots for the crumble topping.
To bring it all together, I took cardamom out of the spice cabinet so I could sprinkle it into the dark chocolate as I melted it for the shell. A few hours later, I was enjoying these apricot creams with cardamom dark chocolate shell and apricot/pistachio crumble topping, thinking about how making something simple in the kitchen gave me so much enrichment and my mind turned to the particulars of how I got from start to finish that parallel the skills I teach my clients to help them feel enriched and empowered as unbreakable humans.
What’s Standing In Your Way?
First, if you want to take action, the best way to do it is to remove as many barriers to action as possible, no matter how small. Anytime you have to take an action (search for and order popsicle molds) in order to take the action you wanted to take (so I can make popsicles), you risk not taking the action at all.
When you choose a fitness program or a diet, it’s bound to fail if it includes too many hurdles you have to jump over in order to do it.
Common hurdles are total time required, time of day that the program needs to be done, needing to do a lot of extras like preparing several parts of a meal, and having too many things to do in order to tick the box of accomplishment each day. Remove them by being realistic about what you have available for taking on this particular endeavor.
Make It Work
Next, learn the skill of knowing how to make what you have work for you. It’s nice when you have the budget, space, and time to buy the exact right workout equipment to do the program you’re setting out to do.
I love coaching in a home setting because I can help my clients learn how to think creatively to use whatever they already have in their home to get the job done.
Third, learn to trust yourself so that when your inner voice speaks up and says “hey let’s deviate from the plan because we know it will be ok”, you actually listen. Whether it’s your body, a relationship, a recipe, or anything else, YOU know what is right for you and YOUR agency trumps everyone else’s.
Personal autonomy is the most important fitness (and life) skill you can develop, and a program that doesn’t allow you to listen to your innate wisdom of your body and what it is telling you it needs teaches you to ignore yourself. And unless you’re being paid to suffer and ignore your body, that’s not a good thing.
Fourth, understand the “ingredients” that go into the end goal you’d like to achieve. This allows you to confidently tinker with them so that your journey to achieving your goal is uniquely tailored to your needs, circumstances, and starting point.
For example, to become a fit, unbreakable, human there are particular “ingredients” that build your base of strength and support. I put them into a simple-to-remember framework called the Six Pillars of an unbreakable body.
From the ground up the Six Pillars of an unbreakable body are: Strong Feet, Mobile Hips, Strong Glutes, Strong Torso, Mobile Shoulders, and Strong Posture.
How much mobility, strength, and capacity you need to build in each one to achieve your goal will depend on your unique needs and where you’re starting from. And once you know how to work with them, you can apply them to every single sport, workout, or body care routine and ensure you’re not leaving any gaps in your base of fitness.
It Can Actually Be Fun
Finally, if you’ve only thought of getting fit as requiring a rigid method you have to force fit yourself into, perhaps this story can help you see that there’s a way to do this without having to ever force yourself to fit into anything. Adaptability, confidence, ownership, and autonomy, are as important to your development as a human being as your muscle mass or cardiovascular fitness. And a good fitness routine should help you develop all of those things.
Imagine, getting fit and building your unbreakable could actually be as fun as making a dessert. It’s all in how you approach it.