You want to get in shape and get healthy? Get selfish.
One of the chief excuses I see on a daily basis when it comes to fitness is what I call the “me last” excuse. The premise is simple. You get so focused on putting everyone else in your life first, you forget that you need some attention as well. Kids forget they need cookies for class tomorrow? You drop your workout to take care of it. Best friend is in town unexpectedly, you throw your meal plan out so you can eat at her favorite spot. The boss needs something done yesterday, you stay late and miss workouts and meals.
Over and over again, this pattern repeats. You argue that this is just you being responsible. You are doing your job, being a good parent, being a good friend, a good spouse. Sure. You are missing the point. You are being a horrible you. As you skip workouts and meals, you reinforce poor patterns which are keeping you stalled out. You make poor decisions, feel terrible, and look worse. The longer it goes the worse things get.
You cannot make the changes you want in your life and be all things to all people. If you want this to work, you’ve got to be selfish. When it comes to your meals, your workouts, and the things moving you forward, they have got to be an absolute priority. If the situation doesn’t warrant a 911 call, it is not an emergency. The world will not end if there are no cookies tomorrow. It will not end if you tell your friend no. It will not end if you explain to the boss you’ve got an appointment you can’t miss. These situations may lead to some deeply uncomfortable moments to be sure. They will not kill you.
The more you put yourself first, the better you get at balancing the demands in your life. You have energy to do things, and that energy helps you create time. You’ll have the energy to teach your kids how to bake, which means no more cookie emergency. You’ll have energy and feel better, meaning you have the patience to explain to your friend why this isn’t the best week to step off plan. You’ll have confidence to talk with your boss and get things done right.
Be selfish. Fight for yourself the same way you fight for others.