Why you are your best investment?

January 17, 2023

I asked one of my clients what she would like to know more about if I published a blog and I unexpectedly got this answer. I usually get, “how much protein should I be eating?” or “how do I lean out for summer?” Both fine answers, but never did I expect to get, “how do I put myself first?” Now what does this have to do with health and fitness? My answer would be, everything.

Day in and day out I watch people struggle with how and when to put themselves first. In my head, I put people into the category of being a flip switch or a dimmer switch. Flip switch people tend to be all or nothing in most things. They work hard, play hard. Dimmer switch people are more like a sliding scale and tend to adopt the art of moderation. They know how to scale back when they need too. One is neither good or bad, but I tend to see flip switch people struggle with saying no, setting boundaries, and have a harder time integrating healthy habits or moments of joy day to day. They tend to work in extremes which when it comes to health and fitness can make it challenging in many ways.

I love coaching not just because of movement, but there’s a level of psychology that comes with it that. I find fascinating and let me tell you, it really comes out when people train. They are faced with vulnerability, discomfort, and some major fears. How they react to these things tells me so much about the person I’m working with. This can also change over time and that’s the beauty of what I do. I get to watch my clients change into completely different people and sometimes face a huge part of themselves they’ve been avoiding or neglecting for years. Heavy stuff.

Putting yourself first is an art and takes practice, but it’s possible. You don’t have to run yourself into the ground in order to realize you need more intentional time for yourself. Training is an example of people putting their health and wellness first, as you should, in my opinion. You shouldn’t have to wait for chronic pain or ailments to tell you to to move. Most people are really good at running around distracting themselves from feelings or deeper issues. This happens a lot in nutrition, as well. Constantly stressed and distracted that people forget to eat. It’s pretty crazy to me, but it’s more common than you think. I’ve had people leave their jobs all together because they struggle with setting boundaries and/or managing their stress. Once they quit they wonder what all that was for and come to realize that it’s not worth sacrificing their health and wellbeing. They are currently now living their best lives, lol.

So, how do we begin putting ourselves first? And I’m really talking to those flip switch people; my extremists. First, what does it mean to put yourself first? To me, that means putting your true needs first (write them down to get clarity), having self respect, and put integrity at the forefront. It’s about doing what’s best for you in the long run. Not doing that will (not might), but will affect your mental, physical, and emotional health. Here are a few ways to adopt the art of putting yourself first…

  1. Watch how you talk to yourself. This is a big one and I hear it a lot as a coach.
  2. Set boundaries. Write these down!
  3. Saying no. This is a big one and can be the hardest for many people. This takes practice so be patient. Baby steps.
  4. Slow down. Take 15-30 minutes a day to disconnect. Social media, work, etc.
  5. Ask for help. We cannot do anything great alone. It’s okay to reach out and ask for help. Take one step back to move five steps forward. Therapy, training, nutrition, etc.
  6. What makes you feel good? It’s a simple question not many people can answer. Lean into these things and do them more often. Daily walks, massage, training, coffee with a friend, journaling, cold plunges, traveling, etc.

Just remember, this is an art which means it can be improved.

Leave a reply below to share any additional ideas or tips of how YOU put yourself first.

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