The uncomfortable truth of my 2021 health journey
If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@fastforwardamy #shamelessplug), you’ll know that I’ve really been prioritizing my health this year.
Given it’s the season of New Year's Resolutions, I wanted to take you through the changes I’ve been making – and show you how you can do the same.
Read on to learn about my health targets and routines, and how you can successfully reach your goals through creating smart habits.
Ready? Let’s go.
Note: This health journey is very personal, so what has worked for me might not necessarily work for you. If you feel like you're really struggling, please seek professional help.
Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of DMs along the lines of “hey Amy, you’ve been focusing on your health so much lately. How did you do it?”.
Let me start with a little backstory for you because this change didn't happen overnight
I actually recorded an episode on this a while ago, so if you want to know more about using data to track your progress check out episode #75 of the FastForwardAmy Show.
After struggling with my health in high school, I ended up becoming a personal trainer. I had gotten really into strength training when I lived in Italy, and I was so inspired that I wanted to build my first business as a personal trainer, helping out other people.
I got really strong, and I loved it. I
Then, I pivoted my business towards my true mission, which is business coaching. I wasn’t a personal trainer anymore, and the weight just kept creeping up. I was also struggling with emotional eating and found that I was super prone to bloating because of high stress. Whatever I was eating or drinking, my belly would just… BAM, bloat.
Looking back on it, I ended up getting into a victim mindset.
Saying goodbye to the victim mindset
I had never stopped eating healthily or working out – it just felt like I couldn’t win.
I couldn’t help thinking: I am eating healthy and I am doing all of these things but it's just not working. Poor me…
Yup, that victim mindset once again.
But I was able to turn it around. Through speaking to friends, I realized that while there were a lot of things I was doing well, I was also lying to myself. Because there were also a lot of things I wasn't doing…
I hadn't had a good night's sleep for a long time, but I'd always thought it was fine until I realized: Wow, this is what a full night of uninterrupted sleep is like.
I had become super sensitive to noises and light because I had stopped taking supplements for my muscle disease for the past couple of years.
I had really become sick of it. Believing that change wasn’t possible. Believing that no one was going to be able to help me. Believing I had tried everything.
Changing your self-talk
Do you know how strong your mental self-talk is? It’s reaaaally strong.
If you tell yourself “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t” all the time, then guess what? You won’t be able to!
At the same time, if you repeatedly tell yourself you can do something, you’ll be able to do it.
It’s science: something literally shifts in your cells as you do that. Positivity and mantras aren’t just woo-woo. There’s science behind it.
What we say to ourselves really matters.
A big part of my health journey was starting to look for the belief that it was possible to become fit and strong again. I wanted to get to feeling really, really strong and believing in myself.
I wanted to be able to trust my body again – so that’s what I started working on.
Taking ownership of your life
Next, I started owning up to my shit.
I admitted the lies I’d been telling myself – the type of food I’d been eating, the amount of wine I’d been drinking… I talked to my personal trainer, and I told her: “Okay, I really want to change stuff. I’m really serious now.”
Even though I’d already been working with her, I was just going through the motions. I was going to the training sessions, but I wasn’t really 100% committed in my mind.
Now, I’m really fully there.
I’m doing it for me and because I want to do this, not because I have to do it.
Track your life
You might know that I’m a data nerd. Seriously, there’s nothing I love more (apart from cheesy romance novels, maybe…).
Something that has really helped me in my health journey has been tracking my data. I have a whole lot of data when it comes to my health, from my weight and my waist circumference (which is a big indicator of your stress levels) to my strength and sleep.
I started looking at my health data and I realized that when I was swimming and walking a ton, but skipping weight training, my weight skyrocketed. Similarly, when I looked at data from times I was feeling great and strong, that’s when I was lifting really heavy weights.
Again, if you want to know more about how I did this, check out episode 75! 😉
I did some more digging and figured out that if I only have 15 minutes in a day, I can choose between going for a walk and a quick circuit session with some weights, I should choose the weights session.
I started realizing that for my body, it’s not enough to just move around: I needed to strength train.
If you start tracking your data, you’ll find your own realizations about what works for you.
Make positive changes quickly
You might not realize how many habits you’re taking in from people around you.
Maybe you’re snacking because the people around you are always leaving snacks on the table. Maybe you’re skipping workouts because your friends always skip workouts. I don’t know.
What I do know is that you definitely have habits that aren’t so great, which you might be picking up from other people. What are you missing?
For me, I was really missing vegetables in my diet. The people around me didn’t eat many vegetables, so I started eating a lot fewer vegetables too.
Last week I had a bit of an off week, so I was going for the convenient option and ordering food. Immediately, I saw that I was feeling more bloated and had less energy, so I added strength training, vegetables, and supplements, and reduced my alcohol consumption.
Make small changes fast, and you’ll see results quickly.
Commit to being the best version of yourself
I’ve come to the point in my life where weighing myself does help – but I don’t obsess about it.
It’s just like my business numbers: the number of sales I bring in doesn’t determine my happiness levels anymore.
I’m not obsessing about the numbers on the scale – I’m obsessed with feeling like the best version of myself.
Without data, it’s really difficult to stay on top of everything and you can get out of tune with your body real quick.
The biggest thing for me was actually committing to being the best version of myself and allowing myself to wanting to lose weight.
Being the best version of myself is not only important for my happiness, but also I need the energy and the low stress levels so I can be the ‘best me' for my business and my team.
I had to get out of my victim mindset and take full ownership of my health.
No matter what you want to achieve in the upcoming year – whether that’s health goals, strength goals, business goals – don’t give up.
We don’t give up on other people, so why do we give up on ourselves?
Asking for help is not a weakness
I had created a scenario for myself of either I’m good health-wise, or I’m good financially.
I really had to work through those feelings to realize that I can have it all.
I can be successful in business and take care of myself personally. And so can you.
The trick is to find people who can support you in your journey.
Right now, I’m working with a personal trainer four days a week and so many people give me shit about it. It’s a lot of money, and some people just don’t get it. There’s a lot of shame that comes with it.
But for me, it’s a necessity, because everything’s better: my life, my emotions, being a boss, being a leader, being creative, and making decisions.
Asking for help is still so often perceived as weak. You can feel judged by others – and by yourself!
But asking for help is not weird, paying for help is not weird.
It’s one of the most powerful things you can do in life. A business coach. A therapist. Googling things. Calling a free helpline. Even listening to podcasts.
Breaking through the feeling of being alone and taking ownership is so powerful.
It’s not always easy, but keep trying, keep believing in yourself, and you’ll get there.