When I was in 3rd grade I had a good friend named Holly. Holly's sister, Heather, was in the 7th grade and on the Middle School basketball team. In my 9 year old eyes, Heather was a super star and the coolest older sister on the planet. She was also tall, just like me! I didn't know much about basketball, but because Heather played it, I figured that it must be the coolest thing to do. So I decided that no matter what, I was going to be a basketball player too.
I began paying close attention to how Heather did things and and her habits. Heather ate toast for a snack before practice, so I went home and requested my mom buy extra bread because toast was my new favorite. Heather always got her homework done right away when she got home from school so she had more time to focus on practicing. I stopped procrastinating when my mom told me to do my homework. When Heather was alone, she shot baskets in the driveway by herself. So I went home and practiced shooting every time I had a spare moment. Heather dribbled around the block with 1 hand behind her back. I started doing the same thing. Heather talked about how much she liked her coach so when he offered a clinic for younger kids on Thursday nights, I signed up. Every little thing Heather did as a basketball player, I tried to do myself. And before long, I was pretty decent at the sport. I became a basketball player. That's how people knew me and for many years, that's how I identified myself. At age 9, I literally created my own identity and as a result, learned a very powerful lesson about what you can achieve when you have the courage to "walk the walk and talk the talk" and start behaving like the person you want to become!
If you are struggling to find a healthy connection to fitness, take a moment to reflect on what the "FIT AND HEALTHY" version of yourself looks like. What do you wear? How much water do you drink? How are you moving your body and how often? Write these things down and then start small. Pick one habit or characteristic of your "FIT AND HEALTHY" self and start doing it. Today. And then when you have that one down pat, pick another one. Little by little you will start to truly identify as FIT AND HEALTHY. And if you are stuck and unable to even envision that new version of you, don't panic. Find your "Heather". Pick someone you admire and start noticing. How does that person goes about their life? How do they exercise? When do they do it? What do they eat? How do they treat themselves and other people? What do they wear? I'm not talking about being a stalker, I'm just talking about noticing and maybe even asking. What small healthy habits that you admire in others, can you try out for yourself.
Take the small action steps to creating your new identity as a FIT AND HEALTHY person. The truth is, you can become ANYTHING you want if you are willing to put in the work and truly want to change. Talk the talk and walk the walk of the best version of YOU. YES YOU CAN.