Inner fitness, in some regard, is more challenging and rewarding than outer fitness will ever be. Yet, in many ways, it’s very similar. Going for a walk or run and making the right choices with your diet will eventually pay off. Even if it’s only in your blood pressure numbers, A1C readings, or the way you feel in your skin. I realized many years ago that fitness is more than a physique. It’s more than a dress size or an inseam. It’s how you feel, think, choose and move in the world.
A recent guest of the Build On Beauty podcast, author of the Little Book of Big Lies, and star of OWN’s hit drama series, Queen Sugar, Hollywood veteran Ms. Tina Lifford, talked about just that on our episode Inner Fitness Fundamentals.
Following all of my interviews, I like to sit back and process what it is I’ve just heard—the energy and experience I just had. And from my assessment, Ms. Tina Lifford embodies inner fitness. Her perspective on life is riveting, and how she shows up in the world, admirable. After listening to our conversation, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
So, what did I learn from my conversation with Ms. Tina Lifford? Well, I learned so much, not only about life but about myself. But I’ll sum it up in these three topics. I learned first that we have more power than we give ourselves credit for after hearing how Ms. Lifford endured her brother’s death following years of drug abuse. And the burden of responsibility she carried. How the trauma her father carried for decades showed up later in life when he began abusing her mother. And how at that moment, she was able to be compassionate toward him and love him through that pain. Hearing how Ms. Lifford was able to process those misfortunes, move past them, and turn them into moments of empowerment. Lessons that will stay with her forever. It made me further understand that we have much more power than we think. Power to shift our circumstances and make detrimental, hurtful experiences work for us and not against us.
Secondly, I learned inner fitness, like physical fitness, is a process. We can’t eat junk food for forty years and expect to lose their results with four days of salads and protein shakes. It’s not going to happen! We’re going to need more days of discipline in our eating and, in many cases, especially mine, some consistent physical activity. Weight loss, good health, and physical well-being is a process. A process of being honest with yourself about your experience, your emotions surrounding the experience, and your participation in the experience. And for some of us, that’s some heavy lifting because we want to blame everybody else instead of seeing our position in the matter and taking responsibility. And like meal planning and physical training when trying to lose weight, it’s a process: a process that requires dedication, discipline, and a decision.
This brings me to my third point; inner fitness is a decision. Every area of our life depends on a decision, what we will eat, where we will spend our time, which person we will marry. Even simple things like how we take our morning coffee all starts with a decision. We must decide how we’re going to show up in the world and decide on the steps we will take to do so.
Decide today to be fit on the inside. And I’m not speaking of your internal organs, although it’s necessary to keep them healthy and fit as well. But I’m speaking about your mental, emotional, and spiritual being. Whether you believe it or not, this process of inner fitness will aid you in your effort for physical fitness and overall good health. Because how we feel, think, and chose ultimately determines our overall health and wellness.
Please don’t believe me; take it from Neuroscientist, Researcher, and Mental Health expert Dr. Caroline Leaf. She talks about it in our Mind Matters conversation.
Our body, soul, and spirit work in concert to bring out of us the beauty we so deeply possess. Make the decision today to begin the process of taking your power back and living a life of inner fitness. Listen to Inner Fitness Fundamentals with Tina Lifford. Or watch the video. You’ll be glad you did. – CJ