During the week, I have been seeing different clips of the TV show Cobra Kai, a spin-off or continuation of the Karate Kid movies if you haven't seen it. As a child who had watched the Karate kid movies, I became intrigued and started watching the clips on Youtube just to get a feel for the show. As I watched the clips, one of my thoughts was how these mentors or familial figures profoundly impact their current problems in their specific karate style. In particular, Daniel LaRusso who thinks his mentor would object to Cobra Kai being opened. Whether this character’s mentor would agree or try to see if the other character Johnny Lawrence was taking a new strategy for the karate school seems immaterial. Daniel LaRusso is convinced that all bad things within their town come from that particular dojo. Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t just affect these two characters from one generation on this tv show, but the younger students as well. They are just learning the teachings of these two different philosophies. So rather than discovering their perspective of the two different karate philosophies or even learning about each other as people, it often reflects that they are made to feel that they will be disloyal to their mentors just interacting with one another.
Now, if you are still reading this blog (and I hope that you are still), you may be wondering what this has to do with weight loss? Our perceptions about food, exercise, and physical/mental health are formed and confirmed by people in our daily lives, particularly our family members and our mentors. Now, suppose these mentors or family members want the best for you, offer their advice, and encourage you to make your own decisions. In that case, you likely feel the right level of autonomy to make your own choices regarding exercise and eating healthy, and you have simply not found the right balance to create a better version of yourself (good for you, by the way!). However, what about the mentors and family members who have differing perspectives than what you consider? They may dissuade you from doing this new thing that maybe actually excellent or fun to try. Or you may go for it but still because of the relationship involved with the mentor or family member; you will have their voice in your head (Examples of this could range from “This will never work for you,” to “I have known you your whole life, you'll never be able to do this long term,” to “This goes against everything we have taught you,” to “How are you going to come over the house and eat so weirdly!” and “It’s unhealthy!”), more likely, you will give up rather than continue on a journey that could potentially lead to a better you.
So what should a person do if they find themselves in this situation? Well, there are a couple of things: First, you could do it anyway regardless of your mentor or family member. When those thoughts of doubt enter your head, you can firmly remind yourself why you are doing this and that it is your life. Also, you can remind yourself that your mentor or family figure means well, but they have never tried this new exercise program or food lifestyle, like keto, for example. So, in other words, they don’t know whether this new exercise and food lifestyle could work for you in the long term. Or option number two, you could include them! This person cares about you enough to voice their concern and has the best intentions toward your well-being. Their reaction to this new food lifestyle or exercise regimen may stem from a lack of knowledge about this new plan that you will want to try. (By the way, Keto Superheroes have some excellent webinars coming up and videos on Youtube to help with this if you are interested). Therefore, if you provide information about this new health regimen of fun physical activities and losing weight, they may become less concerned. At this point, you could illustrate how you will implement this new health regimen into your current lifestyle. This would indicate to your mentor or family member that you have seriously thought about it, at least enough to research it, and it is not a whim. The next part might be to state, “I trust your guidance and support, but I feel this might be a way to becoming a healthier version of myself. I think it might be fun for us to try together; what do you say?” If the mentor or family member agrees to this, it works out for everyone: Your relationship with your mentor or family member remains intact. You get a partner as you continue this journey (which one can add is essential when trying something new), but your mentor/family member will see there is nothing to fear and that exercise and eating healthy can be fun no matter the age. Now, this mentor or family member may refuse to do it, and in that case, of which I say…Do it anyway! Do it, and maybe if you are successful, your mentor or family member, perhaps inspired by your weight loss, will try to do it and ask you for advice and help. Imagine that the mentee teaching the mentor?
Regardless of whether your mentor, parental figure, or other family member approves of this new step toward improving your physical health is not the point. If you are still reading this blog, you have made a goal of being healthier this year. So why not try this new exercise program or food lifestyle that you believe could lead you to the body that you have always wanted but never thought possible? This is your time, and although your mentor/family or parental figure may have the best of intentions, this individual will not have to live with the consequences of it; you will! Listen, this is the beginning of a whole new year. Shouldn’t you take actions that will allow you to move toward a healthier, happier version of yourself?