Half way through all of the wisdom.  A lot of these thoughts are the building blocks of our approaches to behavior change in the gym, and further come from a lot of experience, mind changing, and mistakes.

17.  The initial behavior change plan will be energizing but difficult to maintain unless you identify all of the reasons you are doing it and overprioritize the need.  If you live in a yo-yo world by the week, you won't find a good stride in nutrition.  If you get in your workouts on a good day, that is insufficient.  The bad day is the one you want to get the workout in.  You have got to break the mindset cycle.  Change your goals and understanding of wellness.

18.  Have a really good coach in your life that knows you well.  A good coach will understand your needs outside of just fitness and food and try to meet them to keep your happiness high.  They also will dish out tough love when it is needed especially if you have big goals.  This goes for athletes and their stakeholders as well.

19. Read and think daily.  The most motivated will spend time on personal development daily.  For some it is first thing in the morning, for others throughout the day.  Choose time to recommit yourself to improvement in whatever is important to you.  This isn't a once a month thing, but a daily reminder of your opportunity.

20.  Always keep workout clothes and nuts with you.  (Nuts are not your family or friends, the actual food).  Hard to make excuses when you are always prepared.

21.  Your family will catch on.  Yes, it might take years, but if you are passionate, those closest to you will see your needs and respect them.  They also will probably partake if you are vocal enough.  This is the most empowering part of a healthy lifestyle.  Influence over those you love because your example is so strong.  BE THAT.  If you are not consistent in front of them, they will not be consistent either and will probably give you shit for it.

22.  When you have set backs, do not look at any numbers.  Not the scale, not the weights on the bar, not how many days you missed, NONE OF THAT.  Nothing will harm your sense of self more than deeply critiquing yourself when you are in control of the moment.  Yes, you might have fallen off your wagon, but wallowing will only continue the pain.  You know what to do.  Get consistent and don't allow circumstance to harm your only body and mind. 

23.  And more--Being called out on imperfection is not a character demonization.  No one is perfect.    However, that is not an excuse for denying healthy criticism.  In fact, the excuse of not being perfect is enabling.  Get better next time and don't wallow.  Find a solution and move forward.  I think this is one of the biggest miscommunications we have currently.  Yes, self narrative on strife is heartwarming or empowering, but not a static moment.  Tomorrow is always different. Imperfection is the only constant, so don't use that as your crutch.  Be vulnerable, but be aggressive.

24.  Lunch for the first person to email back with their best advice on fitness, nutrition, and stress management.

In wellness,

Erin and Rod