I know a thing or two about self-improvement. Hell, I would even call myself an expert on the matter. As it says below in my bio: He has made self evolution through nutrition, lifestyle, and mental and physical wellness his life’s work”. Trust me, I don’t just throw that word out there lightly as I know very well that there are thousands of “experts” out there on the internet. I wholeheartedly walk it, talk it, breathe it, coach it, live it and LOVE it.
Truth be told, as much as I have turned everything around, there are always reminders. I was recently tagged in a “memories” photo on Facebook. It was from a NYE party at my sisters taken 6 years ago. I sincerely had to ask myself who that bloated, angry, disheveled, unhappy, drunk-as-a-skunk guy was! That guy was me. That guy was the father of my 3-year-old daughter. That guy was my parents’ son. That guy could very well be a challenging client of mine today.
It’s always a bit shocking to revisit my “old self” in all his rotting glory. Can you relate? I talk about him as if he’s a different person. I talk about him that way because he is a different person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of where I used to be because remembering is my pilot light; always ready to fire up some inspiration. Always ready to ignite greater change. It also reminds me of how awful that time in my life really was. It reminds me of how I never, ever want to live that way again. I saved that picture on my phone for quick reference.
I lived in my “bottom” for many years and it’s a miracle that I climbed out of that fathomless hole. If you read “bottom” and can only relate it to drugs and alcohol, slow down. My “bottom” while involving booze and other unsavory party favors also had everything to do with unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, a devastatingly sh*tty attitude, lack of gratitude, judgement, heroic selfishness, lack of hope, lack of respect for myself and others, low self-esteem, confusion about what it even meant to be healthy, lack of honesty, lack of hope. It’s all connected. The fact that I stopped the booze, etc. was the hardest thing that I’ve ever dealt (dealing) with in my life. Keep in mind that that’s coming from a guy who got shot in the spine at the age of five and was left handicapped. The thing is, I didn’t stop EVERYTHING to stay average. I want to live the optimal experience, doesn’t everyone? Don’t you?
He still resurfaces from time to time in my attitude and outlook, just ask my better, beautiful half. But I’m now stronger than he ever thought he could be. He is now an incorporeal part of me which survives only with my permission. By getting over the fear and conquering tasks that he never thought possible, I fill those dark, empty spots with vibrant and unapologetic hope for a better tomorrow. Focusing on self-care has allowed for a new clarity that I had only read about in science fiction novels. Before, I was part of the machine; a small mechanism (probably a loose rotary screw) that was not cared for, mangled by the air and fuel that kept everything running. Now? Now, I am the machine.
Here’s the deal: when it’s time to change your life, you will know. The key is to ACT on it. We are all blessed to live in a time where everything we need to know about becoming the best version of ourselves is literally a click away. The thing is, only a very small percentage of us will actually take the time, spend the money, put in the work and be what we’ve always dreamed of. We are too scared to admit that anything is possible. We will keep thinking that “those people” are just blessed with good genetics or come from money or have more time in the day or had an easier life or… or… or. We might even trick ourselves into thinking that we are happy where we are. That it’s just the way things are and life’s just fine. We will once again make resolutions to be better and not carry through with plans. We will try for a quick fix instead of something sustainable. We will risk disease and early death all because we never strived for better. We will just remain the he or she that we don’t want to be. Try.
Christopher Hostetler is the founder of Do Not Die Young – Integrative Health & Nutrition Coaching. He’s a proud father, gunshot survivor, musician, writer and Muay Thai enthusiast residing in Los Angeles. He has made self evolution through nutrition, lifestyle, and mental and physical wellness his life’s work.
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