Change Requires Choices, Not Sacrifice, Restriction, or Deprivation

Be impeccable with your word.

That's the First Agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz's book the Four Agreements.

It's a quick read and is one that has stuck with me through the years.

Recently, I was reading a post from a business coach who was talking about sacrifice as a means to gains.

I respect the work he does, and I understand what he was saying, but I contest the language he used.

I'm contesting it because of the industry he is in. He's a coach to fitness coaches. And I don't think this is language that fitness coaches should be uses should they wish to mirror what he was saying.

The health and fitness industry has this paradigm that influences this overwhelmingly negative vocabulary. 

Restriction, deprivation, sacrifice.

This is how most food and fitness programs are presented.

But I think there is a better way - a way that encourages us to view the foods we eat and the way we move our body through a lens that fosters:

Abundance, nourishment, and feeling really really good.

And it all starts with the language we use and the story we tell.

In this example, I'm not a fan of the word "sacrifice." This implies giving up something. And yes, technically you have to give some things up some things if you want to change. 

But I don't want you to focus on what you're giving up.

I want you to focus on what you're choosing to do instead.

When we sacrifice something, we often come at this as if it's not our choice. Some higher power is forcing us to do something.

When we choose to do one thing over the other, well, it's our choice. 

It's really as simple as that.

When you get clear on what you want and why you want it, you need a framework to help bring this to life. The framework serves as your guide.

That's why I created the Perfect Fitness Framework.

It takes a very objective approach to the choices that you're making.

We look for things that work and ways to do more of that.

We also look for things that don't work and ways to do less of that or something different.

(Notice how I said "less" and didn't say cutting it out completely).

But ultimately what you do comes down to a choice of one thing over the other.

If you want to lose weight, you may need to choose certain foods over others. For example a fresh salad over a burger and fries.

This isn't to say you can't ever eat a burger and fries. It just means you'll probably want to eat more salads than burgers.

If you want to build some muscle, you may need to eat a bit more, even if you're not hungry. So you might choose to eat a little quicker or a little past full to make sure your newly forming muscles have the calories they need to grow big and strong.

If you want more energy and focus you may need to pay a bit more attention to how certain foods make you feel after eating them and then in a couple of hours after that instead of rushing from one thing to the next.

In each of these situations, you're not really sacrificing or giving up anything. You're choosing to do more of what works based on what you want.

If you chose to eat the burger, maybe losing weight really isn't that important to you or you haven't yet connected to a deep enough reason why.

There is nothing wrong with that at all and honestly, if we were all a bit more honest with ourselves about our true priorities then we'd likely be a lot happier and less frustrated.

But if you're just eating that burger out of habit, then I'd put this in the "not working" category, and we need to find a way to break things down a bit further to make it so incredibly easy that it's tougher not to do something that it is to do it.

Change doesn't have to be hard. It just takes time and the right expectations.

We don't have to sacrifice or give up anything. We just need to know what we want, why we want it, and then enjoy the process of exploring what works and what doesn't.

It won't happen overnight. But if you are patient, persistent, and continue to show up each day willing to try, try, and try again, you'll likely find yourself having more fun through change than you ever thought possible.

Why do I ask, "if it were easy, what would it look like," and "how can we have the most fun?"

Because, then β€œit” works. And not just once. But it works over and over and over again. 

And I'm going to do as much of what works as I possibly can.


On your side,



Evan CookComment