By: Meghan Crutchley
This time of year is exciting because you may experience a sudden rush of motivation and revelation… but then the thought of getting started can be overwhelming.
There’s going to be ups and downs. You’re going to get pissed and frustrated.
You may even start talking to yourself in your car in the gym parking lot.
You never see that one at the beginning of a P90X workout.
Just imagine a workout DVD with the instructor exercising in front and her kids hitting each other in the background. Then she has to stop what she’s doing to put one of them in time out.
(And they’re yelling at her off camera from the bottom of the stairs)
That’s more realistic right?
Yeah, it’s gonna be a little rough to start
But the most important thing is to start! And to keep starting…
Fitness is not a b-line straight to the moon, as you may already know.
It’s a knock down drag out fight with your old self. The one that wants pizza and four beers and would rather watch a movie or stay in bed another hour.
She’s tough but only because she’s familiar
You’re tougher because you have more power than you think.
And all it takes to feel that power and to see it play out in your life is to practice having it, owning it, and taking responsibility for it.
Kind of like money, or anything else that’s of value
The following 3 Books were the first that we read as part of our Organic Fitness Book Club. Because the work doesn’t stop when we leave the gym!
The goal is to have a sounding board or a mirror to help you reflect during this time. Because no one really knows what you’re dealing with
And what you need to let go of in order to move forward.
And let me know what you think…
1) The Obstacle is the Way by: Ryan Holiday
The Obstacle is the Way is about the ancient idea that life gives us obstacles to overcome because it’s through those specific challenges that we grow as human beings.
To bring this to light Holiday uses a series of anecdotal stories- some well known some not- about our most prominent historical figures. People like Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart, George Washington, Winston Churchill and dozens more.
You might be thinking, what does Amelia Earhart have to do with my weight loss goals?
Well a lot, actually.
Because each story illuminates the struggles every human faces when dealing with their obstacles:
- how your perception affects your reality
- how emotions are liars and crooks stealing your power
- and how viewing the obstacle as an opportunity and not a setback can change everything.
“There is good in everything, if only we look for it” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
This book is motivational gold. It’s easy to read and Holiday unpacks some serious wisdom. He also gives you actionable steps for seeing that boulder in the road for what it really is… a gift in the making. (Even though right now it might look like a cow pie!)
And when it really comes down to it, as Ryan Holiday so eloquently says,
“No one is coming to save you.”
So get the book and do it yourself!
2) The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*** by: Mark Manson
This not a traditional self- help book…if the title didn’t already give it away.
Mark Manson is like an old friend who’s seen all the shit you’ve put yourself through. And he’s here to call you out on it.
He says that instead of focusing on what we want to make us happy, we should considering what type of ‘pain’ we’re willing to go through. Since that’s the real indicator of what our life will be.
An example of this is how people view their roles in the lifestyles they create. People who are willing to struggle with the discipline and sacrifice of going to the gym and eating well will get the abs and fulfillment of an active life. While those who choose a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of goodies have to deal with being overweight and the negative health implications.
“This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. Our problems birth our happiness.”
In essence this book will help you take a good look at the areas in your life where you can take back the power of choice. Seeing the struggle and accepting it as a way to start moving through it.
So what are you willing to take on?
3) Daring Greatly by: Brenee Brown
I saved my favorite book for last.
Daring Greatly is one of those life-changing books. I don’t say that lightly because everyone has different experiences as readers. But everyone I know who’s read this book said the same thing: holy shit.
The reason? It’s all about how our ability to be vulnerable is a major indicator of our overall happiness in life.
And who do you know that is perfectly comfortable being vulnerable?
It’s shocking in its accuracy, it’s hilarious, and it will seriously call you on your actions and what you’ve been choosing to believe about yourself.
In that way it’s the perfect book to help you re-imagine your story in ways that will be helpful and not destructive.
Brenee Brown has a PhD in clinical social work and did over 12 years of research around the topic of vulnerability before writing this book. It’s based on thousands of hours of interviews and case studies.
It’s also as funny as it is enlightening. The author shares that her family is made up of old school Texans and their motto is “Lock and load” and this is in a book about vulnerability!
This book is not to be missed, but it will take you a while to read.
I had multiple instances of reading right along …only to say, “fuck that” and have to put the book down. Because something got a little close to the bone.
There’s a reason this book is so famous, there’s some serious truth inside.
Want a sneak peak? Check out her amazing TED talk, which has become one of the most viewed TED talks ever.