Dirty Underpants and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The more people I train the more I’m reminded that the most powerful component of weight loss isn’t what you think.
Is it exercise? Nope. Exercise can lift your mood and sculpt your muscles, but if you have a snuggly layer of fat no one will see them.
Is it food? Nope! Although food is more important for weight loss than just straight up exercise, I’m discovering that food isn’t the most important ingredient either. You can “eat clean” and still gain weight.
Know what it is? Your mind.
The way you think will determine your success rate. There are some people who have a ton of excuses (we all know them, heck maybe we even are/were one of them!) Person A says, “I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I’m too broke, the dog ate my homework, it’s Wednesday.” There’s always a reason why this person can’t exercise or eat well balanced nutritious meals consistently.
There are other people who are just as busy, just as tired, with just as many snafus to deal with along the way, but they really, truly want to get healthy so nothing gets in their way. Person B says, “I’ll make it work.”
How do you change from person A to person B? Change your perspective for starters.
When you’re looking at all the obstacles before you, it’s easy to feel frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed. It’s easy to throw yourself a pity party and lots of people in their own miserable state would be willing to join you, thereby amplifying your sad sack thoughts.
Stop seeing them as obstacles, start feeling grateful and get into action mode.
The worst job I ever had was logging in returned items at Saks Fifth Avenue in Los Angeles. I was 25 years old and attempting to be a movie star, which meant I was working a temp job that paid peanuts but was flexible so I could leave for auditions.
You would be amazed at what rich people return to the store and still expect full refunds. There were men’s leather shoes worn so much there were holes in both soles, dresses with lipstick stains, clearly worn several times, and I swear to God just underpants with poopy stains. Swear. To. God.
As I was sorting through all this stuff, man was I angry! These rich people were so cheap! I felt like such a loser. Here I was, college-educated and 25 doing remedial tasks instead of something stimulating. And the pay? I could not believe I was doing such awful work for minimum wage. Why didn’t they pay more?
It was like a dark cloud hung over my head. I didn’t speak with anyone because I was caught up in my own entitlement and the sheer unfairness of it all.
Then I had an epiphany. I actually should be grateful to the store for hiring me, because it allowed me to pay my rent. It also allowed me to purchase food, which was lovely because that “starving actress” thing is real. When I got out of my own funk I was able to look up and notice there were a bunch of people doing the same job as me, and why not talk to them? Time passes way faster when you discover snarky people who are able to joke around about used underpants. As a temp job, it also paid hourly and gave me the flexibility to leave for auditions for acting jobs, which was truly what I wanted to do.
One such audition was for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which I ultimately booked, and still collect royalty checks for today. (Season 4: “Beer Bad”, I played Paula).
By getting grateful about this temp job, it made it tolerable. The tasks hadn’t changed but my attitude had. By viewing this boring work as an obstacle to be overcome and not a final destination, I was able to use the “temp” aspect of the job to take action on what I really wanted, which was flexibility to audition. Ultimately let it lead me to my dream job – a paid acting gig on national television.
To tie back into a fitness scenario – instead of viewing exercise as yet another chore on a long to-do list of items you don’t want to do, why not view workout as “me time”? Working out shouldn’t be a prison sentence it’s more like girls night out minus the high heels and next day hangover.
Personally, I like to get up early when everyone is still sleeping and no one can interrupt me. When I’m on the elliptical I either watch funny YouTube videos or listen to motivational podcasts to get me psyched up.
Exercise gets your blood flowing and studies shows it reduces stress and even increases your creativity. And did I mention that everyone was asleep and so there weren’t any interruptions?
Be grateful that you have an amazing body capable of anything you set your mind too. Look forward to your workout as ‘me time’ and get going. Chances are likely you’ll feel better after a few minutes.
Same thing goes for all those hunger games we play. Instead of focusing on good foods versus bad foods just think about how things taste. Think about it: who gets all hot and bothered for a frozen TV dinner? Fresh food tastes amazing.Vanilla Greek yogurt with fresh berries tastes amazing. So does Italian herb rotisserie chicken with French green beans. See? You can eat clean and feel all fancy because the food is European 😉
Be grateful we live in a country that is full of farmers who grow delicious food at a relatively affordable rate. Instead of seeing food prep as an obstacle, view it as a time saver that helps you get through mid-week chaos. It’s also a chance for you to connect with friends and family who are willing and able to help you cook. Take action and get your food prep done.
If you’re feeling frustrated and angry about a situation do a check up from the neck up and get your head in a more positive zone. You can’t control all situations, but you can control your response to them.
Back to School – Back to YOU! Train with me:
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!