How To Lead By Example In Health and Fitness

Why is it that I can control what my dog eats really well? I can put my dog on a diet with no problem. I can buy my dog different food and make sure they’re at a healthy weight. Why is it so hard for me to do the same thing for myself? Isn’t there some hypocrisy in the fact that I can control my dog’s weight? Yet, here I would be binge eating and overweight. My dog, you could argue, would control my diet better than I would. It was a life of do as I say and not as I do. I kept thinking more about that question: why is it that I can control how much my dog weighs but I seem to have no control over how much I weigh? That’s because I was living a life where I was not leading by example.

That’s because I was living a life where I was telling other people what to do and I didn’t know what to do myself. That was because I was living a life where I did not know myself. That I could know my dog and how my dog ate better than I could know how I ate. If you want to be able to control your weight and what you eat, you must be aware of every single thing you eat the same as you are aware of what your dog eats.

If you try and control your dog’s weight, you do it by noticing what they eat and controlling the amount of it. The principle is the exact same for yourself. I know that a lot of my life, eating was a struggle, I felt like I really didn’t have a lot of control over it. At least when I looked at it honestly. When I honestly looked down at the dog bowl and wondered why it was so easy for me to do this with them and so  hard for me to do it myself. Now, I do have control over what I eat because now I  use a calorie app on my iPhone and I eat more slowly and I think about what I’m actually eating, I pay attention to everything that I’m eating.

It’s very rare that I just blindly stuff something down my face now. I think about it, do I want to make this a part of my body? Is this good for me? How am I going to feel after I eat this? I think about it what I eat before I eat it and then I slow down while I’m eating it. My uncle, he’s a doctor, and a little over 70 years old. He’s in good shape still and do you know what I noticed? He was eating slow the other night. I never noticed that until I started doing it myself. It’s called mindful eating.

I looked over and I noticed he was doing the same thing. He was eating ice cream, having a little desert and he was taking every single bite very slowly and very intentionally. The idea is you really taste the ice cream then, you don’t need to eat a whole quart to get a good taste of the ice cream, you can get a few scoops and taste it much more than eating a whole quart.

I hope this is useful for you because I know I struggled with this a lot in my life and that question nagged me to the core because I wasn’t honest enough and I wasn’t willing to work on my eating. I was willing to work on my dog’s eating because that was easy.

How many times do we do this in our own life? How many times are we willing to work on someone else’s problem, a family member or a friend’s problem and tell them exactly what to do and then we’re not willing to look at our own problems and actually do something about it? It’s really safe to just give your dog some food and then let them deal with the consequences, let them be hungry, and let them go on a diet and then let them deal with it.

The same what I did my friends. I would tell them I know exactly what would fix your problem and I would sit there from a safe distance and tell them what I ought to do even though I don’t have  any data. Even though I don’t know what they should do based on anything more than a few bits and pieces of knowledge about their life. I would sit there and tell them exactly what they should do.

I often I was worse with my family. I thought I knew what every member of my family needed to do for their life. The fact is the only person I can actually control and do anything about is me so all of my energy must be spent on me. You might think that’s selfish, you have to help your friends and family members.

I just talked to my mom last night, do you know what she said she wanted? I’m grateful she said it in the context of this is what I’ve been doing. She said she wanted someone to be there and listen and care about her. That’s what she wants.

She doesn’t want me sitting there telling her how to feed her dog, which would be ridiculous because she’s a veterinarian anyway. She doesn’t want me telling her what she ought to do in her life. What she wants is me to just love her and share honestly with her and care about her. What I’ve noticed is the more I’ve stopped trying to tell her how she should live and the more I’ve started taking care of myself and getting to know myself. She started to analyze what I’m doing on her own and she started to try some of the things I’m  doing or think about the things I’m doing in her life.

If you want to really be helpful for anyone in your life, leading by example, that is powerful. The only place in time you can really be successful with doing as I say and not as I do is with feeding your dog. your dog loves you enough that it will just eat the food you give it  and it will obey do as I say. The rest of life will not obey ‘do as I say’ and the more you do ‘do as I say’ the less time you will have for ‘do as I do’ to actually take care of yourself.

Today I pray that if the question bother’s you about why can’t you feed your dog as easily as you feed yourself? If the question bothers you why can’t I control my weight as easily as I control my dog’s weight? If any of these things are things you’re working with, I pray that this is useful for you because all I can do is share honestly about my life and  share what works for me and lead by example.

I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last year by paying better attention to what I eat and I’m still consistently changing my body a little it every day by paying attention to what eat. My personal trainer said that about 80% of your body is diet and so that while I worked on the 20% with her with exercise, the real work is diet and that’s done on my own every day, every time I eat. The workouts are very helpful for having energy, but you can’t spend a bunch of time working out to try and change how you look, because diet is the biggest part of that.

I pray today that I’m grateful for everything I eat and that I notice everything I eat, that I don’t mindlessly stuff anything down and that even if I make what you can say is a bad decision like eating a bag of candy or something, that I realize I am doing that at the time, that I don’t have to look back on it in regret and ask myself how could I eat that, that I can look and say I am going to put all this food in myself unnecessarily and it’s bad for me. Then, that at least gives me the chance to say no, I don’t want to do that also. I pray today that in thinking about and sharing this question that it’s useful for me, in every aspect of my life to continue leading by example and never tell anyone to do something that I’m not already doing myself. Thank you for experiencing this with me today and I’m honored you’re here and I hope you have a great day.