As human beings, we are continuously influenced by the world around us and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. None of us live in an isolated bubble where our daily life choices only affect ourselves. So inevitably, when we embark on a journey to improve our health and wellbeing others get involved as well.
I am a registered nurse and a holistic health coach. Every new client that I work with comes to me with their own unique issues. They want to reduce their bloating and heartburn, increase their energy, feel comfortable in their own skin, look good naked. Whatever it is, it’s their own desire. They have come to me because they have said, “Enough is enough. Life is too short to keep feeling miserable. Let’s just do the damn thing already.”
It starts with an individual desire, but our actions and choices inevitably influence those around us as well. When we surround ourselves with like-minded people, we feel more supported and have greater success achieving our new goals.
I love it when I speak to a client who is trialing a clean eating meal plan and she says that her husband (who prefers big steaks and asks to “hold the veggies” at restaurants) has decided to join her, or that her kids loved the new chocolate smoothie recipe I suggested for her breakfast.
This is the ripple effect of making positive life choices and it’s my favorite thing about being a registered nurse and health coach.
It’s not always the case, however, that we have people around us on the same path, cheering us on. If we are surrounded by people who don’t share in our desires it can be pretty tough to make changes, especially when the going gets tough and we need some support.
If you’re trying to cut out processed foods to alleviate your severe digestive issues (because every time you have Taco Bell you have to sprint to the bathroom) and your partner keeps bringing home cheesy gordita crunches for dinner and telling you to “enjoy your bird food” it’s going to take a lot more willpower to stick with your plan.
If you go out to dinner and avoid the unlimited bread basket every time it gets passed around and ask for your meal modified with no dairy and your friends roll their eyes and talk about how high-maintenance you are, it’s going to make you think twice about your order next time.
In a world that’s already set up to make feeding ourselves with nutrient dense food a total challenge, it can be infinitely harder to achieve our goals when those closest to us are our biggest critics.
So what do we do? How do we live in a world where we desperately know we need to make positive changes but lack support from those around us?
We say, screw ‘em. (Yeah even if we happen to love them). And we keep going.
Your journey is not their journey. It is yours alone and only you know what you need, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there. Your desires are meant for you. You deserve to feel amazing in your own skin.
Here are my 4 tips for succeeding in a world of skeptics:
1. Reconnect to your “why” every day.
If your goal is to eat healthier and improve your zapped energy due to your thyroid condition, dig a little deeper and figure out why. Do you want to make some changes so you can have the stamina to continue your awesome career as a badass lawyer? Or reduce the amount of medication you are taking? Or to be able to keep up and play with your children after school? Whatever it is, connect to it and remind yourself of it every day. Write it down or say it to yourself every morning. When you are so closely connected with your why it’s impossible for anything to set you off your course.
2. Lead by example.
Once others in your family start to see your skin improve, your energy increase and your pain subside, they will want to feel like you too. If I’ve learned anything it’s that you cannot (and will not) heal or change another person if they do not want to change. What you can do is be your glorious self and radiate with feel good energy and others will naturally want what you have.
3. Get a coach
If you feel overwhelmed, confused or just need a little bit of guidance or accountability hire a health coach (that’s me, and lots of awesome people like me!). Health coaches are there to provide education, insight and accountability and can help you reach your most important goals. Don’t waste time trying to figure out what others have spent years perfecting. Get support if you need it!
4. Stay the course.
Making gentle dietary and lifestyle shifts is a gradual process. Be patient with yourself! If you “fall off the wagon” because your partner brought home cookie dough ice cream cake and said he/she would cry if you didn’t eat it on his/her birthday and you ate it (a lot of it) it’s ok. Don’t be like, “It’s all over. I’m a failure. Let’s order pizza for breakfast.” Keep. Going. (And then refer back to Tip #1)
I hope this helps you feel more confident about your journey towards feeling like your best self. If you’re looking around and thinking “Hmmm I really am on my own with this stuff,” just know that I’ve got your back. I fully support you. Your desires are meant for you. And you’ve totally got this.
Bio: Christina Tidwell is a cardiac Registered Nurse and Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach who specializes in helping women suffering from chronic autoimmune conditions to increase energy levels, reduce pain and inflammation in the body, and decrease stress and anxiety in order to live a more vibrant life not ruled by their chronic disease. Christina is the founder of Live Well with Christina, a holistic health coaching practice based in Seattle, WA.