Horrified by what I saw, I cried as I ripped a short stack of old photos in half and hid them deep in the garbage.
When I was 17 years old, women would compliment me, “Dear, you have such beautiful skin.”
But in those pictures, only a few years later at only 25 years old, my skin was colorless and covered with regular breakouts of painful cysts. My eyes were sunken with dark circles. My face looked drawn with hard lines. I looked sick and exhausted and old.
I didn’t need a picture to remind me how bad it was back then.
I vividly remember the hours I’d spend standing in front of the bathroom mirror trying to artfully hide the evidence of illness in my body.
After all, I was one of the 4 Americans who suffered from 2 or more chronic diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And while it could have been so much easier to curl into any of the typical reasons for why illness seemed to be my lot in life, like ‘this is normal, everyone takes medication, everyone feels like shit to a greater or lesser degree,’ when Jack Canfield asked me about the most important success principle, “Are you 100% responsible for your life, Carol?” it was like he plugged me into a Lear jet!
Bottom line, I heard Canfield say, “If you really want to look and feel better, make it happen. It’s on you.” And make it happen I did.
I completely turned around my chance of being one of the 50% of Americans who die from chronic disease every year.
If you are committed to playing full out in life, if you are committed to looking and feeling as healthy as you are successful, I offer you three key lessons I learned about reclaiming vibrant health and soaring energy, so that you can get back to what matters most in your life and career.
Give it all up.
Give up all the reasons, all the justifications, all the excuses, all the stories that stop you from committing to your health and wellbeing. This one lesson is your gateway to reclaiming your health.
Clients say things like, they are “too busy to eat healthy and get to the gym,” “my friends and family don’t eat healthy,” “I eat out to eat all the time,” “healthy is too hard.”
If you experience less-than-your-best symptoms like excess weight, exhaustion, and foggy thinking, they are no doubt impacting your ability to feel fulfilled at home and work. Look for the reasons that stop you from choosing healthy, and choose differently.
For example, choose to eat a green apple instead of a sugary snack in the afternoon, and when you notice your just-say-no to junk food muscle getting stronger, think of me when you feel energized. This health hack changed my health game.
Lean into it, but find your sweet spot.
I was recently reminded of the power of simply ‘leaning into’ eating more healthfully during my last run of the highly-acclaimed More Than A Detox program.
I encourage participants to find their sweet spot, the place between challenging themselves, so they feel growth and forward movement, and not overwhelming themselves, so they don’t give up. Like do what you can sans the struggle… but if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.
While most participants try to rally up to the group’s level of participation, I was super impressed with a participant this past season who held onto her ‘lean-into-it,’ space and said after the program was over,
“I learned I can change my behavior and I can change my eating habits in a positive way by not overwhelming myself, by doing what felt comfortable and challenging for me.”
By finding her sweet spot, she was able to release 4 pounds in just 10 days, and is now in control of her eating habits.
You get to choose. You’re the CEO.
When I read Invictus by William Ernest Henley for the first time, knowing that Nelson Mandela was so empowered by it’s message of self-mastery that he read it to other prisoners on Robben Island, I was blown away, especially by the last four lines:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I was struggling with food addictions, a sick body and all the ways they were impacting my life with not a whole lot of progress. Mandela, conversely, in spite of how difficult his experiences were, was using his time on Robben Island for self-examination and meditation. He looked for ways he could leverage what power he had, his mind, to choose thoughts that helped him overcome “bad habits and cultivate the good ones.”
This one poem, read by this one man, during this singular time of his life bespoke a level of personal power that I had never heard of or experienced before. I got, I mean I really got, that I was the CEO of my life, like he was, like you are, and we get to leverage the power of choice with every thought we think and every action we take, or not.
If you know you are settling for being less than your very best, and if you know it’s time to pick up your get-healthy game, take on Canfield’s most important success principle, “you are 100% responsible for every detail of your life.”
Lose the excuses, reasons and justifications.
Look for your sweet spot by challenging yourself to get healthy, without overwhelm, and fully step into your biggest role, as CEO of your health and watch your energy grow, your weight drop and your focus and mental clarity improve.
As business philosopher Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”
HERE’S WHAT TO DO NOW.
1. Leave a comment below.
2. Get my totally free guide to look and feel your very best. It gives you the foundational tools to change everything.
3. Come back next week to learn what else you can do to increase your energy and feel your very best.
You can look and feel as healthy as you are successful. You can take back control of your health. I can show you how.