Lifestyle Transformation w/ Adam Stephens

Can we talk very briefly about the 2020 Lockdown? Can we acknowledge that it was a really hard time (and still is for so many)? I know that we are just finally settling back into more "normal" activities, but there's something from that time that's been burbling to the surface that wants my attention. And I'm wondering if you've thought about these things too.

Two years ago, many of us were presented with the task of changing our lifestyles. The pandemic lockdown encouraged us to stay home, to find different ways of obtaining all our necessities, and to figure out what to do with our free time that didn't have to do with shopping or traveling.

How did you deal with the sudden lifestyle change?

When I compare the before and after of the lockdown, there's a part of me that misses the slower pace and the limited options that actually made us choose to do things we always said we wanted to do but never found the time or opportunity to do it. We're back at full speed in my household, which means more "normalcy!" It also means less free time.

Recognizing that we are all in different life situations, I want to acknowledge that however you experienced and handled the 2020 Lockdown was absolutely just right for you! No judgment. But I also want to acknowledge that for me, the pandemic wasn't all doom and gloom. It was an opportunity to look at being STUCK from a different angle and to consider new lessons I hadn't yet learned.

The kind of STUCK I experienced during the pandemic had a different quality than your "run-of-the-mill" STUCK. Prior to the pandemic, I was used to INTERNAL STUCK- getting STUCK from the inside out. It was always my own limiting beliefs or assumptions tripping me up and creating obstacles. The pandemic was EXTERNAL STUCK- it was something imposed on us from the outside in.

It has been interesting to see how different people work with external STUCK versus the internal variety. Some people became vehemently opposed to the external restrictions, choosing to see it as having their freedoms taken away. Others saw the externally-imposed STUCK as an opportunity to protect and serve their family and community. It was merely a sacrifice that served a higher purpose.

Both are STUCK journeys but looked through 2 very different lenses.

I can totally understand why people turned to anger towards the restrictions. It's never easy to be told you can't do something you've always done. But why don't we get so vehemently opposed to our internal restrictions? What prevents us from protesting our own limiting beliefs that stop us from going for an opportunity that could be beneficial? Why do we lock ourselves down from the inside out without too much trouble?

Interesting, right?

Let's say someone wants to lose weight. The experts always say that this will require a lifestyle change. Often, people will scoff at the changes in lifestyle that need to take place- exercise, healthier food choices, support groups, therapy, etc. The negative self-talk starts: "There's no way I'll be able to keep up with an exercise regimen. I tried that, it didn't work. I don't like most vegetables, so I can't change my diet. Plus, if I start losing weight, other people will notice and then I have to acknowledge the fact that they only notice me now when I'm a healthier, slimmer version of myself- it's embarrassing!"

Through this lens, everything seems hard or impossible. The changes might be too much, leading this person to feeling like a failure. Who wants to feel like a failure, right?

Through another lens, perhaps this person decides to re-direct the negative self-talk. That might sound something like: "Exercising has never seemed fun to me, but I haven't tried every exercise regimen yet. I wonder what I'll discover! I also haven't tried cooking vegetables in very many ways- I wonder how sautéed carrots taste different from steamed? When people start noticing that my body is changing, I know I might feel uncomfortable about the attention at first. But the fact that they're noticing means that my body IS changing, so that's cool!"

Looking at being STUCK through the experience of the lockdown has been a good reminder to me that whether our brand of STUCK is externally or internally motivated, we always have a choice of how to view what we are facing. We can choose to see STUCK as something unfair or frustrating. We can kick, scream, and resist doing the things that must happen in order to get UNSTUCK. Or, we can find a higher purpose for STUCK. We can use STUCK to help us do better, be better, and live better.

My guest in this episode of Growing in Uncertainty, Adam Stephens, is a Health and Wellness coach who had to go through an intense journey through STUCK because his life depended on it. In order to face morbid obesity and addiction, Adam had to undergo a lifestyle change from the inside out. But there wasn't just that one magical thing that "worked" for him. It required a whole slew of modalities to get him on the healing path. Making it through this STUCK transformation has motivated Adam to help others to see that health and wellbeing journeys aren't a "one size fits all" solution.

If you are like a LOT of people wanting to make healthier choices but not sure where or how to start, this episode will inspire you to shift your thinking about changing your lifestyle as being a "drudge" or "inconvenience" to seeing it as something you might want to embark on because you're worth it and deserve to be healthy!

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