The new year is often accompanied by self-judgment and ‘shoulds’ that make us feel horrible about ourselves. Instead of giving in to this global collective of exhaustion around wellness and the next diet trend, I invite you to embrace the new decade without the shame, blame and guilt cycle of societal standards.
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Pushing Yourself To Wellness Harder Isn’t Moving You Ahead
You don’t have to get sucked into the crappy new year marketing of becoming a better you while making yourself miserable. Its time to stop feeling overwhelmed, confused or fed up with this pattern of expectations and energy focused around how you look instead of the intention you put into things.
Pushing yourself to wellness harder is not actually moving your health ahead if it is causing stress, anxiety, and shame. It all comes down to autonomy and listening to your internal voice of motivation, and this episode is all about providing you with the skills and mindset to do that.
Are you ready to stop putting pressure on Jan 1 and do things your own way? Share your mindset going into the new year with us in the comments below.
On Today’s Episode
- Addressing the overwhelm surrounding wellness and high sensitivity (10:30)
- How to make decisions and show up for yourself anywhere on the spectrum (13:40)
- Why stressing out over healthy choices or wellness is making you less healthy (17:50)
- Strategies for dealing with society’s ‘should’s’ and other things to watch out for (18:30)
- Things that you can do if you are feeling the pressure of wellness’ing harder (20:14)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“We get into these comparisons where we see other people doing things or we get that Jan 1 or whatever the significant date in the year is and we think ‘okay I am going to get my ass into gear’, which again is fine if it doesn’t cause you to lose your fucking mind over it, and that’s what I see happening very often” (9:52)
“I sense very strongly this collective overwhelm and stress and exhaustion about wellness and its a double-edged sword.” (12:34)
“Please stop running your life and putting that pressure on yourself. If it brings you joy and you absolutely love, that’s great.” (15:18)
“Food is not just macronutrients or calories to optimize. And I get that that can be helpful for some people at some times in their lives, however… stressing out about healthy changes or stressing out about wellness is doing the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve, it is making you less well.” (18:07)
“Its autonomy, choice, freedom to make decisions, that’s what it really comes down to. So are you freely choosing this or are you doing it because somebody told you its the right way to do things?” (21:30)
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Wellness’ing So Hard FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is episode two 64 of harder to kill radio today on the show, I’m diving into the topic of wellness thing so hard and why it might not actually be moving your health ahead. I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth, and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.
What’s going on? Thanks so much for coming back to harder to kill radio. If you’re new, welcome. If you have been a longtime listener, thanks so much for being here again. It is new year’s Eve, new year’s Eve. It’s the end of 2019 which a lot of people seriously are not sad to see this year ago. Time is all an illusion, but that’s another story for another day. Nevertheless, 2019 was really hard for a lot of people, myself included. Even though I’m extremely fortunate and have a really great life, I found 2019 to be a bit of a challenge in a lot of ways and so we are on the cusp of a new year. We are on the cusp of a new decade and we are on the cusp of diet culture fuckery times a bazillion trillion gazillion because it’s new year’s Eve. Tomorrow’s the new year. The new year new you though, you know it’s time to finally get back in shape.
It’s time to finally do all the things, the constant comparison about why you’re not good enough. And suffice to say, we’re going to dive into that on today’s episode specifically thinking about wellness thing. Super, super hard and you’re not getting anywhere because of it. I first thought about this term, um, I remember, I remember mentioning it on my very good friend Amy Sons podcast called small steps. You can go check out a link to her show and I talked about helping so hard and why this, there’s this, this feeling right now in the world of, Oh, okay. Health, health, wellness, like this, this whole paradigm. While there are many benefits, yes, and taking care of ourselves, in body, mind, and spirit, certainly beneficial. However, just like anything else, you can take it to the extreme and I’m sensing so hard right now that there’s this sort of collective exhaustion and stress around wellness and am I doing it right and am I doing enough and should I be doing more and all these things.
So we’re going to dissect that in today’s episode. But before we do a couple of sponsors, first, of course, my book called the core four, embrace your body, own your power. You’ve heard me mention it so many times. If you own the book already, thank you so much for doing that and for making that commitment to yourself that you’re ready to introduce some of these sustainable habits into your life so you can get off of this roller coaster of you know, fitness or movement as punishment, exercise as punishment, restricting your food, going on that diet. Again, when you know it’s not going to turn out very well for you. And again, no, no blame or shame here cause when that’s all you know or that’s the least scary thing to do, that’s just normal. But nevertheless, this book has coverage of the four pillars of health, which if you can even do a little bit, take some baby steps in one of these areas.
Particularly I see people focusing super hard on the food and then not branching out to see where there are easy wins in these other three pillar areas. I know this book will help you, so go ahead and pick up a copy wherever books are sold online or in book stores or you can just go to Steph gaudreau.com that’s my website. We have a whole, I just got four cases of books in my house a few weeks ago and they’re ready for me to sign them personally and send them to you so you can do that email@example.com and before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food, properly prepared nutrient dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body.
They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in-depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing, environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress. And you know, we love all those topics here and how they affect the body. As a student, you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills, and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professionals in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and of course, remember to mention my name on your application.
All righty, good golly, miss Molly, new year’s Eve. Here’s the thing. Force, just like so many of the other topics that I talk about, there are always two sides to these coins. There are always, there is a spectrum of experience here. So I’m going to be talking a lot about why the new year is often is accompanied by this. We’re going to judge ourselves super hard because we should’ve been doing better. We should’ve been doing more. We should’ve been acting like we had it all together and we, you know, all this should all this shooting all over the place. And, and so I’m going to talk about this in a way that’s very, you know, critical of hinges, everything on this magical day of January one or the first couple of weeks of January or whatever it is. Look, there are going to be folks out there listening to this who that date on the calendar, that new slate, that significance of starting again, what have is like the best thing that could’ve happened to them.
So if that’s you or that describes you or you think that might be the case, that’s great, that’s fantastic. But what I see often in my community with the people that I work with, who I’ve been working with now for years, years and years and years, I mean I’ve been blogging about food since 2010 so do the math there. This is the same thing that happens over and over again. It’s like, Oh, okay, here we go. The new year’s here. These are all the things I should be doing. And that is a checkpoint for folks to say, I’ve been fucking it up. I haven’t been doing enough. I haven’t been doing it perfectly enough. I, you know, I had, the pace has been too slow. If I only did more, and I definitely am of the opinion that when we’re adding things to our lives in terms of lifestyle habits, in terms of nutrition and movement and all this stuff, adding can be so much easier than taking away, right?
Adding something, giving yourself something new to try is psychologically, consciously and subconsciously and unconsciously, so much better. So much easier for people to deal with rather than just saying, well, I’m going to take away this, this, this, that, that, that now, Oh, I hate this now I keep thinking about the thing that I took away. So I acknowledge that, but at the same time, there is also this place of wanting to add things in that’s not fucking sustainable. It’s unrealistic. It’s unrealistic. And so we get caught in this back and forth between, I should be doing more. It’s January one look at, you know, Bob down this down the hall from me and accounting. Bob’s the made-up person in your office. If you’ve listened to this up, this show before, Bob is the made-up person. In your office who, who is doing whatever is the newest and best and you’re like, Oh well Bob’s doing it then like I should be doing it.
Bob went, you know, on the keto diet, therefore I should do the keto diet, whatever. So suffice to say, we get into these comparisons where we see other people doing things or we get that, you know, January one or whatever the significant date in the year is. And we think, okay, I’m going to get my ass in gear. Which again is fine if it doesn’t cause you to lose your fucking mind over it. And that’s what I see happening very often, right, is the overcompensation. And I talked about this in another episode, the overcompensation, the trying to do it all, be it all and feel like you have to fucking do it perfectly. This is going to be a sweary show, apparently you to do it perfectly. And then it’s the judgment that comes along with that, the judgment, the shame, the blame, the guilt that then B gets the cycle over and over and over again.
And you know, we’ve talked about this many times on this podcast. So I wanted to just bring this up here and talk about this overwhelm that I’m sensing. I’ve talked about this on the show and previous episodes being a highly sensitive person that was episode one 56 called sensitive to which, uh, uh, trollied dude bro, with no followers and no posts and following zero people with a locked account today, obviously a troll was something like, Oh, what’s this? What’s this made up? Sensitive person stuff. It just, you know, and so I just deleted it, but it took a screenshot and posted it. Cause yeah, I always thought I was crazy for, Oh, these sensitivities that I had have. And when I finally found out about that, there was this thing called a highly sensitive person. I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m not broken. This is amazing.
In any case, I talked about this in the sensitivity episode and I also talked about it in episode two Oh six energy tips for empaths. So you can go into the show notes and find those or just scroll back in your podcast app. But here’s, here’s the thing. I’ve learned how to work with these traits. I’ve learned how to not be completely decimated by them. And I’ve also learned how to use, use these gifts. Stay tuned more on this in the future. However, the thing that I, so I am able to sense, I’m able to sense people’s emotions and feelings across the computer screen in the digital, online space. And I also can sense the collective sense and feel the collective of all like what’s the community doing? What’s, uh, what are the groups doing? You know, what are, these collections of people experiencing?
And the predominant feeling that I have right now, and I talked about this a couple of weeks ago, is confusion, right? Confusion about am I doing it right? Is, you know, like what should I be doing right now? And then also I sent very strongly this collective overwhelm and stress and exhaustion about wellness. And it’s, it’s a double-edged sword, right? We have the internet, it’s fucking amazing. It’s also fucking horrible. And we have now more information than ever with which has created a shorter attention span to try to process all the information our poor brains are doing in an insane, you can’t even comprehend the amount of processing your brain is doing on a daily basis passively, even when you’re just going through life, not even sitting down specifically to learn something or do your job and so we have all of this information now coming out about wellness.
Again, some of it’s absolutely fantastic, but it’s easy unless you are, you are vigilant with yourself and you are kind of being very mindful. It’s easy to get into this space of overwhelm about doing all of these things and the thing that I’m sensing right now is that you collect, you the Royal you, the, you know, you collectively are making decisions to show up for yourself. You’re like, you know what? I have put my health on the back burner for XYZ reason. Now I want to devote a little bit more time and attention and energy into that. Great, fantastic
The flip side to that is the heaviness that I see people struggling under, which is am I doing this wellness thing right? Not just am I doing it or am I doing a little bit, which the other, the other piece to this is somebody I’m on social recently said something like, well as long as I’m getting a little bit better every day at whatever they were talking about. And I just thought, well what if you don’t? And I can see the, you know, striving for perhaps doing a little bit better, but I also think we have to expect and acknowledge that there are going to be times when things are not getting better or we are in a state of, of being static or plateau. We’re not, nothing’s changing or we are going backward a couple of steps and that, that fluidity and that, that undulation is part of the process.
So yes, holding that out. So that little carrot outside of yourself and saying, okay, like I want to reach for a little bit better. Great. And I’ve talked about goals ad nauseum on this podcast, but if the expectation that you have for yourself is you’re always going to keep adding like you always have to wellness harder, you have to health harder, like there has to be the newest best. I’ve talked recently about why you’re not a fucking biohacker probably. So please stop running your life and putting that pressure on yourself if it brings you joy and you absolutely love it. Great. This show is full of paradoxes. If you love doing that stuff and you love getting into the nitty-gritty and the nerdy and you’re following all of the nerdiest podcast podcasts and the nerdiest blogs and you’re deep-diving into biochemistry, that’s wonderful.
But that is generally in my experience and I have talked to a lot of people over the last decade, this is not the majority of people. The majority of people realistically want to feel better in their bodies so that they can do the things that they like. Am I right? I mean it, we’re not like the majority of people are not biohackers who really get into that stuff. Yet. At the same time, they’re just like, Oh my gosh, how do I do this stuff and do it perfectly? Am I doing it right? Am I hurting myself in some way because of how I’m doing these things? Is there a better way to do it?
Okay. I had to, I had to break my train of thought and go stop the cat from eating some of the ribbon. She’s obsessed with string and ribbon and I cannot trust her at all. So I saw her starting to get into my, my yarn supply and I had to run and stop her. So again, turning an eye to improving your health and wellness and how you feel in your body. Wonderful. The expectations and the energy that you put around it is where we need to look. Because if you’re like, I co I totally love this. This is fantastic. It’s benefiting my life. That’s not the same as, and I’ve heard this so many times like I’m obsessed with this and I can’t stop like I or I have to do this. Um, you know, the thing that, the example that comes to mind is with, with exercise, it’s like, oh, I can’t take a day off.
If you believe that you cannot take a day off from exercise or something bad is going to happen, we need to have a conversation because you know, that’s different than saying I really love this and it’s benefiting my life and I’m going to go and move my body today. So it’s the intention behind it. It’s the energy that comes with it because you and I could be doing the same exact thing and it could be crushing me and it could be the best thing that you’ve ever done for yourself. So obviously just like everything else we talk about here, bio-individuality is super important. So some of the things that I hear people stressing about like optimizing their diet, and I’ve talked about this before, but you know, food is not just macronutrients or calories to optimize. And I get that that can be helpful for some people at some times in their lives. However, living like stressing out about this is not your, what the point here is going to be is that stressing out about healthy changes or stressing out about wellness is doing the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve. It’s making you less well,
it’s stressing you out. Stress has a huge effect on your body and of course on your mind. So by stressing how to, how wellness changes, we are completely or like negating or perhaps even making things worse for ourselves. So how do you know to optimize our diet? Like I’m so fucking tired but I should do a workout right now. You need to watch out for these words and I’m going to give you a few things to watch out for or like strategies for dealing with this stuff. You know, stressing out that everything on your plate isn’t organic. Look, not everyone can afford that. If you can and it’s a priority or priority for you. Sure, awesome. But not everybody can. And access is a whole other topic that goes along with that. You know, I ate a cookie today, everything’s gone to shit. That’s very rigid.
Thinking. And that’s that kind of catastrophic like I ruined everything. You didn’t ruin everything cause you made a cookie. Like I don’t know where this has come from, but it’s, this is scary. This is creating fear and it’s scaring people and it’s creating lots of stress for you. Like, Oh, I have to eat, I have to eat perfectly. You know, how am I going to fit in all these things, all these wellness things I should be doing on top of things like caring for my family and work again. Yes, we need to take time for ourselves. We need to put back into your own, your own energy, your own wellbeing. Yes. If you’re stressing out about all the things, all the optional nice to have that you should be doing on top of all the things you need to have to do. Like where’s the, where’s the relative balance? And I’m not saying it’s going to be a one for one, but where is the like why is that ratio so skewed? So these are just some of the things that I’m seeing and feeling this collective discomfort
and what I wanted to end this episode with today and keep it, you know, relatively brief for me. If we do under 30 minutes, we’re doing good, but here are some things that you can do if you’re feeling this precious pressure of wellness thing, harder. Three things. Number one, start by noticing your own thoughts and the words that you use. Constantly feeling like, or saying you should do something. Should is like the, the queen word of you know, this is not actually what I’m choosing for myself and I’m talking about these are optional, sort of like wellness E things. These aren’t, you know, I, I have to, I have to or I should take care of my kids right now because that quite honestly might not be something you can delegate to somebody else. So feeling or saying you should, you have to, especially with these optional wellness things, these are dead giveaways that you are not really operating from a place of choosing freely and a place of autonomy.
And we know there’s lots of research that shows that it’s not actually positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement, right? Punishment or reward that drives people’s behavior in the longterm or makes things very sustainable in the long term. It’s autonomy, choice, right? Freedom to make decisions. That’s what it really comes down to. So are you freely choosing this or are you doing it because somebody told you it’s the right way to do things? Number two, notice how these things feel in your body. So if this feels heavy, if this feels like there’s a lot of internal resistance, like you’re being pulled or dragged, if it feels very, it feels like you’re trudging through mud to try to make this happen. And we’ve talked about on this show why motivation is fleeting and we can actually generate that cycle of motivation and action by taking the action first.
But just notice how it feels in your body. If what you’re doing to try to get healthier is leaving you feeling more drained instead of more energized. Take note of that. That’s huge because yes, a workout may leave you feeling tired in the short term, but if every single day you wake up in your fucking exhausted cause you’ve been killing yourself with your workouts, that’s a huge red flag. Take note. And then lastly, the third thing, pay attention to your internal voice and your internal knowing. Everybody is intuitive. Everybody has that internal sense. Yes. In our modern world and with your personal experience and past history, you may distrust, stop listening to the voice, that voice, it’s always there. It’s always transmitting. And I talk about this in the core for the analogy of the radio, the radio dial, right? Your favorite radio station always transmitting. You may not be local enough to hear it or you’re tuned to the wrong station, but it’s always there. So if you can’t seem to trust into what this internal voice is internal, knowing, this intuition is telling you, especially with wellness stuff, begin to at least take notice of what it’s saying. Take notice, observe, become a more aware
And through that process, you will begin to see how you can take action on it. I’d talk about this with my clients and my intuitive eating group coaching. This is one of the biggest things that we do. So we’re tuning in to all the time, the sensations in our body physically, and then we’re it to things like feelings, emotions and so on. Where is it in our bodies? How does it feel? This is something we’ve been building since the very beginning. Side note, if you want to join that coaching waitlist, we’ll throw the link in the show notes. So the bottom line is perspective, right? If your path toward wellness is creating isolation, worry, fear, pressure, stress overdoing it right as you’re, the way you are, most of the time, this is something to take note of and reassess on and you do not have to just go along with what the rest of society is going to do tomorrow.
Um, I, although I guess sometimes it’s kind of the Monday after whenever new years is because new year’s day, a lot of people are like, oh, I’m hungover. Whatever, sit up late. Don’t really feel like starting today. I’ll start when I start work, but it just takes your stand. You’re not the only one. You don’t have to get sucked into all of this like crappy marketing that like, Oh now is the time to, you know, completely change everything in your life because you’ve been sitting around and not doing it. I mean to be mindful of that stuff and yes it’s okay to want to make a change, but if you’re feeling stressed out cause you’re not doing these things that are in the health and wellness realm, that’s something to really, you know, that’s okay. Be firm in that stand in that it’s fine. There are lots of people who are also not going to jump on the latest quick-fix diet in January 1st we’re out here, I promise you’re not alone.
Come join the core four club. We’re all in there so I hope that this has been helpful for you. As you get ready to jump into a new decade and a new year tomorrow, let me know what you think. You can again, join the core four club. Share your thoughts there. If you want to send me a direct message on Instagram, you can do that too. We’d love to know your thoughts on this episode. Make sure that before you turn this off, you hit subscribe on your podcast app that way and new episodes will automatically come into your device whenever they’re released every Tuesday. All right. That’s it. That does it for this decade. That does it for this year of 2019 by INR 2019 looking forward to 2020 thanks so much for listening today, and until next time, be well