Three baby steps to optimal performance (part 2)

Florian Meheux in rehearsal, one of my favorite high performing artists I had the privilege of working with

I define optimal performance as simply having the vital energy you need to be who you choose to be. Ultimately living your purpose in life in a way that will make you have no regrets when your life ends. The second part can be tricky and not easy to implement… I get it.

For several years now, I’ve been just a little bit overweight. Constantly fighting these last 2-3 kg I have to lose. At the age of 54, a woman struggles with losing weight, and definitely so, if you also want to keep your strength…Which I do.

Having started climbing outdoors with the energy required and wanting to continue, my physical shape has been a constant source of frustration throughout that time. 

I did manage for a few months to lose these 3 kgs with the help of the WildFit challenge, which I highly recommend, although more so for general health purposes than for losing weight. But then they returned after several months, my extra 3 kgs, and stayed for quite a while.

Walk your talk

 

I have always felt that I cannot do my work if I don’t walk my talk. That’s important because it has me persist in finding the solutions to the struggles I have, that some of my clients have too.

All this to say that my optimal performance was compromised for a very long time, by the way I felt struggling with these 3 extra kgs I wanted to shed. 

My mental game was compromised because I thought I was not in integrity, I felt terrible about the way I looked when I saw myself in the mirror, and worst of all, I couldn’t summon the energy required to pull through a day and do everything I planned to. 

My sleep was compromised, my mindset was off-focus, and my physical condition did not improve. 

I was as far from optimal performance as I could get, frustrated and unmotivated.

Top that with some emotional and mental stress I was going through, unrelated to the condition mentioned above, and there you have it – A frustrated middle-aged woman struggling to lose weight and fulfill her dreams. Euch, not the best image of myself, to say the least.

A few things got me slowly out of that slump. They all belong to the physical realm, mostly nutrition, but other things I insisted on too, became non-negotiables. 

This reminds me of Etienne Decroux, who introduced me to the idea that faith in your heart and mind can come from a physical gesture. “Kneel and faith will come” was, I believe in some form or another, the quote of those days. It stuck with me. 

Movement has become my faith, and with it, my mind soared.

Understanding the body-mind relationship

 

Our thoughts and how we think influence our stress levels, how and what we eat, how much energy we have, and our sleep.

Let’s break this down into three baby steps:

1. Sleep is essential for our well-being and energy levels during the day. I think you’ll agree that managing your sleep well is foundational for optimal performance. A good night’s sleep is a core need. It keeps our physical and mental fitness at an optimal level. 

2. Then there’s the famous adage, “You are what you eat.” I find it tremendously helpful to figure out what to eat in this publicity and promotion-overflowing world when junk processed foods are all around us, tempting us to drown our frustrations, anxieties, and depressions in unhealthy food. A kind of short-fix drug (full of addictive sugars) with devastating side effects on our health and well-being.

3. Stress management is the third step. As you can see, these three all relate to each other. Our sleep influences our physical performance and what we eat, what we eat is influenced by how we feel, and what we eat also affects how we feel and think. Our mood and energy levels swing according to what we put in our mouths. 

So, I started eliminating sugar from my diet. That was a quantum leap forward. Try this for more information on quitting sugar.

If you decide to give this a try, your blood sugar levels will stabilize and assist in maintaining emotional resilience and calm, which will, in turn, and with time, assist in eliminating emotional eating and controlling cravings. We all have them, constantly and daily. But you should know that sugar begets Sugar, or otherwise said, when you eat sugar, you crave more sugar, you get hungry and moody when you can’t get your fix, and on and on it goes.

This is not the whole doctrine of course, but understanding the dynamics of exercise, nutrition, and stress management, is the foundation on which you could build the systems to assist in your journey to optimal performance. 

Optimal performance is a journey


Optimal performance is not a goal you reach. It’s a journey towards many goal destinations along the way. When you reach one and sustain it for a while, the next goal comes to view, and then you change or tweak the systems you may need to get to the next one. It’s a journey towards a constantly moving forward goal. 

If you show up every morning for the next day of your journey, it ultimately will give you the energy you need to live your life purpose and have no regrets when you get to the end of the journey. 

If you wish to explore the possibility of taking that journey with my help, you can contact me here.

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