You Are What You THINK...I Mean Eat.
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Experts have long encouraged people that a healthy fitness journey is based on the formula; 20% working out and 80% what you eat. The sentiment is that no matter how much you train your physical body it will be nearly impossible to obtain or sustain the results you want if your diet is not in alignment with your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose, gain, sustain, or tone- your physique will be a direct reflection of your overall lifestyle choices.
I contend that the same formula can be applied as the key to realizing our full potential in any area of our lives.
There is a popular saying, “Show me the 5 people that you spend the most of your time with and I’ll show you your future.” Motivational speakers, entrepreneurs, teachers and mentors have championed this quote in an effort to inspire anyone who would listen that the people, places, and things we give our time to is just as important, if not more critical, than laboring relentlessly toward our goals.
Motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn, uttered this sentiment in just about every sea of people he spoke to. “If you want to make a lot of money, the best investment to make is the one that you make into yourself.” He was not merely referring to an audacious wardrobe or any material possession that can quickly lose value after the first use. He encouraged people to focus on involving themselves in matters that would increase personal value.
Many of us desire to live a life that is fulfilling, purposeful, and fruitful. We want to feel as though our existence matters and that the effort that we are putting in to become our best selves will reap positive rewards. The unfortunate reality is that while we want to experience an elevated lifestyle, we often hold ourselves back due to this 80/20 rule. The average person is really good at the 20%; this is the planning, the goal setting; staying up all night and having early mornings; networking; positive affirmations; content creating; and anything else that involves putting our foot to the pavement and pen to paper. We quite naturally mistake this laborious yet very necessary labor as the 80%, because it provides tangible results that we can talk or post about, and the proof of the process is easily visible giving us a quicker sense of accomplishment. In actuality, this work is the 20%. It is not that it is of less importance but alone will not sustain or grow the results we’ve worked so hard for.
Think about the person who wants to lose weight the healthy way. If they lived a very sedentary (inactive) lifestyle and ate whatever was available, the possibility of them losing weight just by increasing their physical activity is still highly likely- even if nothing else changes. Why? Because the body can’t help but respond to the new movement pattern. If the same person continues to overeat, consume junk food, and indulge every craving, they will eventually plateau. Even if they increase the number of days in the gym and the physical intensity of their workouts their lack of discipline in their diet will cancel out the possible results of the work they are putting in physically. Yet if this same individual decides to consume a clean diet they will notice that they can work out less and enjoy a necessary rest day while achieving outstanding results that were not possible before this lifestyle shift. Why? Because the body can’t help but respond to the new patterns it is being fed.
The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Our minds are powerful sources of creation. What we think creates feelings. What we feel creates beliefs. Beliefs determine the actions we take. The actions we take form our habits. Habits make up the experiences we have. And experiences create the life we are now living and ultimately the future we will manifest.
Mind over matter is the practice of training your mind to overcome any physical resistance or limitation that a person believes is keeping them from realizing a goal. The key here is belief. Everything starts with a thought. If you tell yourself something is too hard, it will be hard. If you believe you can’t, you won’t. If you think you are not good enough and something is impossible, you are not good enough and it will be impossible. Not because any of the latter is really true but because your beliefs will cause you to take actions that align with what you really think. They say the hardest thing about working out is getting started. This is because what we feel like doing is not always complimentary to what we know we need to do. If we consider the earlier proposed breakdown that our feelings are a result of what we think, then finding out what we really think is critical to our hopeful progress and sustained results.
There are many people who are talented beyond measure but will never see success because they don’t really believe in their abilities. There are people who are skilled who reach monumental material success yet find themselves in comprising circumstances. There are people who exude and personify physical and internal beauty, yet keep the company of people who have low moral value and integrity. This is because they have mastered the 20% but either neglected or don’t understand the anatomy of the 80% .
The 80% = what you eat; the diet. It is a person’s willingness and capacity to discipline themselves to a practice that sustains and grows the results of the physical labor (20%) we put into achieving a goal.
It is the summation of our habits, that are a result of what we believe, which are a direct reflection of what we really think. What influences our thoughts is what we have been exposed to. If a person has only been exposed to poverty no matter how much money they make it will never be enough unless they change their mind about money. If a person has only been exposed to the struggle and lack they will always think that in order to achieve great success they must first endure struggle. If a person has been repeatedly cheated on and abandoned in their past relationships they will grow to attract and expect people who cheat and abandon them and sometimes hold on to people who are just “good enough.” These are not conscious thought patterns and the scary thing is that sometimes the correlating sabotaging behavior can go unnoticed (specifically for people who have achieved a lot of material success in a given area). This is an unpopular opinion but we see it all the time if we choose to look at it this concept critically.
If Whitney Houston really believed in her internal worth and value do you think she would have surrounded herself let alone marry a person who would reinforce her demise through drugs and keeping her busy and unfocused on her personal well being? If Cardi B really believed in her desirability and vibrancy beyond her material success do you really think she would stay with a man who perpetually cheats and publicly embarrasses her? If Meg The Stallion really believed in the true magnetism of her personality and beauty, the reality of the limitless heights we all know she can reach, and that she can really have any man she wants like she says in her songs, do you really think she would keep the company of a man who holds a moral standard so low that he would move with the intent to harm her in any way?
I do not bring this up with the intent to shame or judge any of these women as I see these same patterns in my own life. If I really believed that I am worth a man who adores me and puts me first; why have I habitually attracted and entertained men who treated me like a secret, men that I had to chase, cheated on me, or didn’t have the capacity to love or respect me? If I really believed in what I have to offer why have I procrastinated, undercharged, or accepted work and positions that undercut my value? If I really believed in abundance why I have found myself repeatedly in financial crisis even when my income increased?
The thing we have in common is the lack of consistent exposure to a narrative that feeds who we are becoming and where we are going. I was doing the 20% like my life depended on it, but the 80% was part time. Meaning no matter how hard I worked, my hidden beliefs had formed patterns that would eventually put me right back where I started- reflecting what I really believed.
Your Diet is More Than What You Eat
We must take into consideration that with change comes change and that change involves everything within and around us. We can’t want a different result while doing the same things. We can’t do the same things and expect a different result, at least not results that will sustain and grow once our initial achievement has been met. Like our earlier example of the person who works out consistently, even vigorously, yet plateaus due to not changing their diet. We sabotage our own success when we elevate our goals and even our work ethic yet neglect to adopt a mindset and environment that supports it.
We can’t want friends who are supportive and thoughtful yet hold on to attitudes that are selfish and people who are careless. We can’t want to form new habits yet entertain people and environments that tempt us to go backwards. We can’t sustain a positive mindset and cultivate new beliefs yet lend our ear to conversations surrounding lack, complaining, gossip, and self loathing. We have to be willing to expose ourselves to something different. What we’ve done so far has gotten us to where we are, but we have to be able to recognize and discern when to switch it up and try something new. Every woman that I referenced as an example in this blog has reached a level of material success that they worked hard for and that is remarkable given where each of them started. At the same time, if we look closely (including at myself), we will identify an area where we’ve plateaued- where what once worked in the past to get us where we are will no longer be the recipe that will take us to the next level. Unfortunately, one of our sisters didn’t get to change her narrative and gave into the diet she always knew.
The point that I am making here is that in a society that prides “show and tell” behavior; promoting our highlights; avoiding feeling pain; and champions achievement through hustling and running ourselves rugged, I want to invite you to value and invest in the development of the qualities and characteristics that are not readily tangible or easily seen. They include the ability to self reflect and be self aware; hold yourself and others accountable; knowing when to let people go; allowing your environment to shift; accepting your own vulnerability; practicing honesty and open communication; enforcing boundaries; deep listening; among other things to be considered.
There is a saying that “ignorance is bliss,” but I believe ignorance is the enemy to elevation. Take a class; read a book; have conversations with people who don’t think like you; join a growth group or women’s circle; get a mentor who is much older than you; invite accountability in your friendships; meditate ;and practice enjoying your own company and being still. The key is to continue to expose yourself to ideas, perspectives, and environments that feed where you’re going not where you’ve been or where you currently are. We have to feed ourselves something new to achieve different results.
Side Note: Just for the people who are intent on misunderstanding and missing the point. I empathize with the stories of the women that were used as examples in this blog. I do not wish what they have experienced on any other woman and I am not in any way minimizes their trauma. I also do not intend to diminish the consequences that the people who caused them harm should face and I do not think these men are bad people. With this being said, my goal for myself and any woman who follows my work is being challenged to take responsibility for her own life, meaning we can’t be victims and victors at the same time. I am committed to the idea that everything I experience in life is a result of my inner reality. I want for us to reflect on ways we put ourselves in harmful environments, relationships, stagnate our growth, and self sabotage ourselves based on what we refuse to deeply heal or acknowledge. The truth is that we can only change and are responsible for ourselves and cannot control or change anyone else- that is their job. If you still don’t get it, you don’t want to, and my work is not for you.
The theme for the month of July is “Your Diet is More Than What You Eat!” We will continue to explore some of the things that can keep us stuck, distracted, and unfulfilled and focus on spiritual principles and practices, emotional well being, relationship building tips, and whatever else God places on my heart to share or takes me through to experience. Y’all pray for me.
Like I always say, I am doing this work along side of you and my writing serves as only a reflection and personal narrative that I hope you find useful in your own experience.
“The life you want is on the other side of the awareness you accept & the decision you make as a result.”
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Peace. Love. & Soul- Glow Grease.
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