My heart was racing.
I felt nervous.
Sweat dripped from my brow.
It was a sunny evening, my friend Stephanie and I were sitting on the patio at a local restaurant for dinner. The waitress had just walked over to the table to take our orders. When it was my turn, her eyes met mine.
And that’s when I realized how I was feeling. Anxious, self conscious, and unsure of myself.
Struggling to get the words out I placed my order, healthy modifications and all.
On that sunny evening, I was reminded, that even after years of practice, ordering what you want can be a challenging task.
In the moment, the best of intentions are simply not enough. I had to have courage. I had to put myself out there.
This is why it is so universally hard.
Recently this topic has come up with my clients.
One client mentioned, she ate 3 pieces of fried chicken, a large helping of mashed potatoes with gravy, and two pieces of chocolate pie because “it would be rude not to finish everything I was given on my plate at my sister-n-laws house.”
Another client told me she was worried about going to dinner at a local restaurant because, “she didn’t want to make her friends feel uncomfortable or bring attention to herself by ordering a salad”.
Both clients said they had intentions of wanting to eat healthy and mindfully, but in the moment couldn’t overcome their obstacles and execute.
Why is asking for what we want so difficult?
Asking for what we want is difficult because it takes frickin’ guts. It takes courage. You have to be willing to put yourself out there in a way where you don’t know what’s going to happen. Is the waitress going to think I’m high maintenance? Will my sister-n-law think I’m rude? Will my friends feel uncomfortable?
Is this easy, no. But necessary, yes.
How do we even know how someone is going to react with out giving them the chance? Maybe their reaction will surprise us. Don’t we owe our friends and family at least, the benefit of the doubt? And what about ourselves and what we want, shouldn’t we give ourselves a chance?
We always have two choices.
We could say nothing, shirking our responsibility to ourselves and avoiding the uncomfortable situations. But we all know that is not helping us achieve our healthy lifestyle.
The truth of the matter is, we’ve got to
JUST DO IT.
Meaning, do the work of facing our uncomfortable feelings and voicing what it is we REALLY want.
Why? Because ultimately, you and you alone are responsible for your health. If not YOU then who, I say.
It is not up to anyone else to take care of us. It’s not our family’s responsibility or our friends, and definitely not the waitress who took my order.
Again, I know, this is the hard part. This is where the work has to be done. It is sooooo much easier to blame a situation, person, or event then take responsibility and deal with our uncomfortable feelings and situations that arise. It’s easier to just sweep them under the rug and go with the flow instead.
But is this what we really want?
We all want to feel free to be who we are in any given situation. Not only for our health and bodies, but also because we crave connection and authenticity. We can’t get either of those when we’re not being honest with others and ourselves.
To get what you really want you have to own up to who you are.
Owning up to who you are requires honesty and trust. It requires you to put yourself out there and possibly rock the boat. It also requires you to trust in the people around you to be supportive when they may not be. It’s essentially vulnerability.
Scary, maybe, but what is the alternative?
Continuing to not step up and own our power. Letting our health and fitness goals slip away. Feeling like so much of our life is out of our own control and dictated by circumstance.
“When you free yourself, you inspire and empower others to do the same”.
We have to stand up and be vulnerable to create the life, health, and body we want. And who knows, the people around you may surprise you. You might inspire them to eat healthy, or even give them permission to be who they are too.
When I told the waitress my order modifications she confided in me that she makes those same modifications to her order too. She also shared she gets nervous making these same requests.
So next time you’re in a situation, where you really want to order the healthy fish plate where you sub the rice and potatoes for veggies and you hold the tarter sauce, or eat a chicken salad when everyone else is eating burgers and fries – JUST DO IT.
You owe it to yourself. And we all owe it to each other to be who we really are.