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Courtney Townley 0:00
Welcome to the Grace and Grit Podcast made for women who want their healthiest years to be ahead of them, not behind them. Join your host Courtney Townley right now. As she breaks down the fairy tale health story, you have been chasing all of your life, indispensable action steps and lasting change.
Courtney Townley 0:28
Hello, my friends, and welcome to the Grace & Grit Podcast. This is your host, Courtney Townley. As always, I’m so grateful you’re here, I hope you had a wonderful holiday. If you do celebrate the Christmas holiday, and we’re rolling into a new year, and with the dawning of a new year comes the temptation to improve the health of the body. In fact, health related resolutions make up the majority of resolutions that people tend to set this time of year. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, that can be a really beautiful thing. But some of the strategies that people are using in an attempt to improve their health can be problematic. And one of those flawed strategies might come as a surprise to you. It’s the strategy of focusing exclusively on diet and exercise to improve your health. And that might sound outlandish for me to say, but hear me out. Because I think by the end of this episode, you’ll understand exactly what that means.
Courtney Townley 1:25
But before we go there, I want us all to acknowledge that there is right now an onslaught of marketing of new diets and new exercise programs and our social media feeds, in magazines, everywhere you go. These are the things that we are seeing. So marketing of diet and exercise programs right now is especially thick. And the marketing of these things is always intense. But right now it’s over the top. And thanks to the onslaught of this type of marketing that happens year after year and throughout every year.
Courtney Townley 1:59
We are conditioned to believe that the gateways to improved health, really our diet and exercise with maybe a splash of mindset work. But that’s not what my career has actually shown me. What my career has shown me is that there are endless gateways for improving health. And there is no right gateway to enter in order to improve your health. And this should come as really welcomed news if you are someone who finds yourself at the dawning of a new year, every year making commitments to uplevel the way you eat and how much you move, but then consistently fail to do so year after year.
Courtney Townley 2:48
Here’s what I really want you to know, if I could boil down the most crucial thing to understand about elevating wellbeing, that I have learned in my 25 year career in the health and wellness industry, it would be this you cannot build a healthy body without cultivating a healthy life. I don’t care how clean your diet is or how much protein you eat or how much exercise you do. If the amount of stress that you are carrying in the other areas of your life is Mammoth, you will struggle immensely to improve your health. If your relationships are a train wreck, if you’re miserable at your job, if you consistently focus on everyone else’s happiness, to the extent of never feeling happy yourself. You will never activate a state of deep health.
Courtney Townley 3:47
And, you know, I always talk about these two different states of health we have superficial health and we have deep health, superficial health is sort of doing the motions of what our culture at large promotes as healthy behavior. So we eat healthy food, or we go to the gym, or we go to bed at a certain time. Or we shape our body to look a particular way. This is superficial health because really, it doesn’t tell you anything about the energy that was driving those behaviors. I’m not saying those behaviors can’t be healthy they can be but a lot of people are going through the motions of doing those things, and not really addressing the major stressors in other areas of their life. So deep health is really taking radical responsibility for embodying health in every way. So you develop a healthy mindset.
Courtney Townley 4:50
You parent your brain in ways that help you to alleviate stress. You process a motion in healthy way Ace. So rather than eating your emotions, or drinking your emotions or Netflix in your emotions, you learn how to be with emotion. And listen to emotion. Embodying health means that we align our actions with things that nurture our well being, rather than depleting our well being not just in one facet of our life, but across the board of our life. And I’m not saying that every area of your life will be healthy all the time. But we tend to look through the window only of diet and exercise. And that’s a massive mistake. food and exercise are not the only things that affect the health of a human.
Courtney Townley 5:50
You know this, but I’m gonna say it anyway. Humans are very complex organisms, we are made up of trillions of cells. Human beings are literally walking masses of cells. And our trillions of cells have an awful lot of jobs to perform. They produce energy, they remove toxins, they transport nutrients, they relay messages, they build and repair tissues, and so many other things. And if your cellular health is suffering, while these processes are going to suffer, and you ultimately are going to experience all kinds of disease physically, mentally, emotionally. And while genetics, of course can play a role in our cellular health, there is so much that we have control over in terms of promoting the health and well being of ourselves. And it really boils down to one phrase, which is managing stress. Cells are really sensitive to stress. And when we are marinating ourselves in stress, because we are not managing the things in our life that act as stressors on our life, and we’re not taking into consideration the total stress load of our life. Well, things start to break down.
Courtney Townley 7:20
I always think of our stress load, our total stress load of our life as like a bucket. And your bucket only has so much capacity. Your bucket can only carry so much stress. And when that bucket starts to overflow, it becomes a real problem. Namely, because chronic stress, chronic unmanaged stress, jacks up your nervous system, which jacks up your chemistry. And both your nervous system and your chemistry are pretty much the government of your body, they integrate and influence every system in the human body.
Courtney Townley 8:07
And yet, again, we are conditioned to believe that diet and exercise are the solutions. They are the most important gateways to improve health. But I am here to tell you that the larger truth is that starting to unpack stress from any area of your life can go a really long way in helping to restore the integrity of your cellular health, ultimately making you a happier and healthier human. So here is my New Year’s wish for you. I wish you deep health may you extend yourself the grace of focusing on the health of your life this year. Not merely the health of your body. Because again, you can’t create a healthy body without cultivating a healthy life. And I want to offer you that there are like I said so many gateways to improve health. But one of the gateways that I believe is strongly overlooked and underappreciated is the gateway of self respect.
Courtney Townley 9:44
A lot of people talk about self love as being a really powerful gateway and improving your your health and well being. But I have always argued that I think self love. While it may be an ultimate goal, something to strive toward So it’s a really big ask if you have spent years, not really liking yourself. I recently hosted a group coaching call for my Rumble & Rise community, where a participant was sharing all the ways that she had been working on elevating and practicing self respect throughout the year.
Courtney Townley 10:30
And some of the things that she was practicing throughout the year were things like asking for what she needed, setting boundaries, taking risks, letting go of some things that no longer served her, allowing herself more joy in her life. And the unexpected gift in all of these self respect practices was that she shared with us she said, Courtney, it’s amazing, how much easier eating well, and exercising has become. Because I was pursuing these other things. self respect, begets more self respect. So while she was practicing self respect, in areas like relationships, and work, and other passions and pursuits, the byproduct of that was that she ultimately started to extend herself more self respect, in the way that she was caring for herself. And yet, this is not largely talked about in the wellness industry. Again, it’s like we’re just being shoved through this one gateway where we always need to be hyper focusing on diet and exercise.
Courtney Townley 12:05
And I just want to offer here today that what if rolling into this new year, you really looked at health, more as an exercise in elevating self respect. Then simply focusing on diet and exercise, I think what would happen is you would experience a lot of what this client shared with us that by allowing yourself to practice respect in other areas of your life, you will at some point find that you also want to extend that level of respect to the way that you eat, and how much you move your body.
Courtney Townley 13:02
So let’s just be really clear on what self respect is. At the most basic level, it is the way that you think about yourself, the way you talk to yourself, the way you act towards yourself. Neglect is not self respect. Judgment is not self respect. breaking promises to yourself is not self respect. Showing up for yourself to do the work you’ve called yourself to do. That’s respect. Thinking about yourself, like you think about your friends and your family in kind and compassionate and forgiving ways that self respect.
Courtney Townley 14:02
Interestingly, my son signed up for the snowboard camp over Christmas break. And my brother knew that this camp was coming. So he bought him these really beautiful goggles for the camp, and I’m watching my son kind of manhandle these goggles, and not treat them with a lot of respect. And I told him, Hey, babe, if you don’t take care of those, they’re not going to last. And then you’re not gonna have any goggles. And then you’re gonna be really disappointed.
Courtney Townley 14:38
And the reason I’m telling you this, and I have shared this on the Podcast, in other episodes, is really just to relay the message that we show up. For the things that we care about. And caring is a practice self respect is a practice And those may not be practices that you are deeply engaged with right now. So they feel like they just aren’t a part of who you are. But the truth is, you can make them a part of who you are at any time. By practicing the thing, you practice caring about yourself, you practice showing up for yourself, you practice self respect. But when it comes to ourselves, we often don’t practice self respect, right. I mean, that’s, that’s what a large majority of my clients are rumbling with, when they first come to work with me. They might be respecting themselves in one arena of their life, but completely dismissing themselves and another arena of their life.
Courtney Townley 15:49
So, again, I just want to offer you that self respect can be an incredibly powerful gateway, I have seen it be a powerful gateway in the lives of so many of my clients over the years. And so I want to give you just kind of some things to work with, like some tangible takeaways here on how you might apply this to your life rolling into the new year. First of all, entering the year, remembering that it is an impossibility to create a healthy body without cultivating a healthy life.
Courtney Townley 16:25
So the first thing you want to do is really take stock of the health of your life. You have a lot of dimensions to your life. You have a physical dimension, right your physical body, you have a mental dimension, your mindset, your psychological amount of stress that you carry, that would be another dimension. There is an emotional component to you, you have relationships, you have a work life, you have environments that you spend time in. You have spiritual health. And I always think of spiritual health as kind of our sense of purpose, and of service. And you don’t have to necessarily list the dimensions that I just mentioned, those are kind of a lot of categories that I think a lot of people can relate to in terms of the different parts of their life. But just write out flush out for yourself.
Courtney Townley 17:27
Where do you spend the majority of your time? What are the different components of your life. And I think a really fun way to do this is to draw a circle. And then for each component of your life that you come up with, just make that a wedge of the circle. So you would have like one big circle with multiple different wedges inside of it. And then you can take a different colors. And you can color that wedge as far or as full, as you feel that you are healthy in that area. So let’s just say one of the wedges is relationship health? Would you color in the entire wedge? Or would you only color in a little bit of it? When it comes to the spaces you spend time in, how would you rate the health of those areas. If they’re super healthy, then fill it in with lots of color. But it’s not don’t add a lot of cuddles color. And what’s great about this is at the end of the exercise, you have this very strong visual for the areas of your life that are depleting you that aren’t so healthy. And you also have kind of a picture of the healthier areas of your life. And then what you can do is you just get to decide where you might want to start practicing elevating your self respect in the areas where you are rumbling the most.
Courtney Townley 19:05
And again, I just want to point out here that if you are someone who consistently struggles with diet and exercise, I don’t recommend that you start there. Start with something else. Start with something that feels easier. Maybe that’s asking for what you need in a relationship. Maybe it’s speaking up in a meeting at work, maybe it’s taking some kind of risk in another area of your life, right going on a trip somewhere or signing up to do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Courtney Townley 19:34
Maybe it’s something as simple as dressing in a way that feels really respectful to you. I’m not talking about dressing in a way to get the respect of other people. I’m talking about dressing in a way that makes you feel like you’re respecting yourself. And I bring this up because an awful lot of women I have worked with over the years are waiting to dress the way they’ve always wanted to dress until they lose the weight or until they accomplish whatever they’re trying to accomplish. And why weight dressing that way now is going to make you feel good. And it is going to help you to elevate your self respect which will ooze over into other areas of your life.
Courtney Townley 20:17
So don’t wait to do it. Now. Once you decide on where you are going to start leaning in to elevating your self respect, that’s the next step you literally lean in. And I’m going to tell you here and now it will be uncomfortable, it will be awkward. Because it’s not your normal mode of operation. To do these things that you are committing to, of course, it’s gonna feel uncomfortable speaking up at work when you normally don’t, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. But I challenge you to get uncomfortable, get uncomfortable on purpose, get uncomfortable in dedication to elevating your self respect.
Courtney Townley 21:02
Then watch your self respect start to expand, because it will once you start doing these things that you have highlighted for yourself, you will start to feel better, you will start to reap benefit in other areas of your life. And that is just going to help you to start practicing self respect in other areas of your life. That may feel a lot harder. We built confidence by doing this. And then of course the work is that we rinse and repeat this work is never done. It’s a forever process. It’s something we are consistently engaging with taking stock of the health of our life, taking stock of the total stress load we are carrying, deciding hard, where we are going to start unpacking stress.
Courtney Townley 22:07
Self respect helps us to do that work. We lean into the discomfort of doing those things. We grow our self respect, we grow our confidence and life continues to get bigger, more evolved and more healthy. Which of course makes your body healthier. A healthier life creates healthier physiology. So Rumble & Rise. You all know this if you listen to the Podcast before because I do talk about it on just about every episode I run. And the reason I talk about it is because I don’t have paid ads. We pay for all of our podcasting production by ourselves as a company of grace and grit. And the way that I pay for the Podcast production is by running my business, which is not the Podcast, it’s actually coaching clients and running a community called Rumble & Rise.
Courtney Townley 23:04
Rumble & Rise is a container dedicated to exactly what we talked about on the show today. It is dedicated to helping women focus on improving the health of their lives, not just the health of their bodies. And we do that work. By developing a lot of skill sets that extend far beyond diet and exercise. We talked about diet and exercise, we talked about what you eat, what nourishes the human body, things of that nature. But that is a part of the conversation. It is not the conversation.
Courtney Townley 23:36
If you’re looking for an incubator, to help you cultivate that healthy life, that I am so hoping for you in this next year. And so you too can experience a state of deep health. Come join us. You can always go to Grace & grit.com forward slash ready to rumble to sign up. In the month of January we are diving into our theme is power vision, having really strong clarity about what we want to pursue this year, why we’re pursuing those things, the energy behind it, the types of things that we need to do to show up for that work. Lots of really good stuff. So that masterclass is already waiting in the vault. By the time this episode drops Actually, that might not be true. This episode drops on December 31. And the masterclass drops on January 2, so a couple of days after, but a lot of you probably won’t listen to this episode until long after January 2.
Courtney Townley 24:38
If you decide to join us once again, it’s graceandgrit.com/readytorumble
Courtney Townley 24:44
Thank you for listening to the Grace and Grit Podcast. It is time to mend the fabric of the female health story, and it starts with you taking radical responsibility for your own self care. You are worth the effort and with a little grace and grit, anything is possible.