For centuries, people – from scientists and doctors to friends and relatives – have taken a stance on nature vs. nurture. The age old psychological debate questions whether the key components of human nature are inherited or acquired. It asks: does our biology make us predisposed to certain qualities, or are we a byproduct of our circumstances?
If you ask me, it’s a little bit of both. But, that’s neither here nor there. What I care most about is the factor that the nature vs. nurture debate seems to have forgotten entirely. Free will. The ability to choose. The ability to take action.
I’m no psychologist, but to assume that we are solely defined by either our biology or our environment, is stifling, limiting, and unfair.
Consider the physically
disabled differently-abled, who rank among some of the best athletes in the world. Consider those who seek sobriety. Consider children who defy geographical and demographical statistics. Consider me, an average gal who adopted health and fitness.
I was born, but I wasn’t born with the body composition of an athlete. I was raised, but I was raised in a culture with considerably warped standards of nutrition and exercise. I’m not wired for this lifestyle – by nature or nurture. One day, I chose it. And two years later I continue to choose it. Every. Single. Day.
Your life isn’t determined by destiny, defined by DNA, or sealed by circumstance. Your life, in the very simplest of frames, is the sum of your choices. So often, fellow fitties slide into my DMs with questions (“how do you wake up every morning?”) or praise (“I wish I could meal prep like you!”). I love it! Please, keep it coming. But let it be known, I’m not going to sell you on a step-by-step guide full of tricks, tips, and supplements. I’m going to give you just a little bit of tough love. I’m going to tell you to make a choice.
When I decided to change my lifestyle, I didn’t suddenly gain more hours in the day. My favorite take-out restaurants didn’t vanish from my block. I didn’t acquire knowledge by immaculate conception. I created new priorities, new habits, new expectations, and new standards. I created a new life for myself… and you can, too.
Create Your Life
Let It Go. Respect yourself enough to walk away from things that no longer serve you, nourish you, or make you happy. There is a distinct difference between actions that benefit you long term and actions that give you instant gratification. Run a gut check of your relationships, routines, memories, and emotions – you’ll know what to do.
Just Start. Not on January 1st, not on Monday, not tomorrow. Not when the moment is right (whatever that means). Start night now. Every second of every day presents an equal opportunity to commit to a choice.
Embrace Failure. From burnt brussels to bailed back squats, I’ve had my fair share of failures throughout this journey, and you will be sure to have yours. Failure doesn’t mean you aren’t capable, it’s inevitable, and it simply identifies a space for growth and development. Fear of failure is not a legitimate reason to deny an opportunity, avoid a movement, or skip over a recipe. Seek failure, with the enthusiasm of someone who has lost 1,000 protein pancakes to a “non stick” pan 🙄
Define Your Why. Without a clear motive, your mind is much more likely to convince you that your goals are not in fact your priorities, and this could not be farther from the truth. I challenge you to define the reasons why you are going to sweat, lift, run, meal prep, try, fail, and try again – but get this, I don’t want one of them to be aesthetic. Think beyond the six-pack and get down to the core (see what I did there 😉 ). Take it from me, aesthetic driven motivation only leads to mismanaged expectations.
Have Patience. Sure, this whole article empowered you to choose. But make no mistake, a lifestyle change is a big f@$!ing deal. There is no clearly defined road map, no one-size-fits-all approach to health, fitness, and wellness. Choices happen in real time, but the results of those choices do not. Be patient with yourself as you evolve. With consistency, even the smallest of choices add up to the biggest results.
We have all magic inside of us. What matters is how we choose to use it.