Not too long ago I decided to go on a diet. I’ve always been mindful of what I eat and the exercise I get in, but I’ve never really been on a “diet” per se. So I got on the Whole 30 train along with a few other members of my team.
A month later, I’ve lost weight. I feel good. I feel healthier – and I’ve also seen other benefits not related to my physical health. I’m smarter. More creative, and I’ve got a business edge over my slightly younger self.
I took some notes when I did Whole 30, and below you’ll see some of the lessons I learned along the way that I thought I would share with you.
Lesson #1 – You have to be ready to give things a chance.
Like I said, I had never gone on a diet before. And the thought of not being able to eat grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar or drink alcohol of any sort wasn’t exactly something I was looking forward to. But I also understood that in order to start something, we have to be ready to challenge ourselves.
Sure it won’t come easily at first. You will feel a bit of discomfort and discontent, but when you know something needs to be changed, you then look for that spark. Anything to get the ball rolling.
For me personally, I experienced a level of discontent but I was also ready to do something. To put something into action. To see what I could gain and achieve by not giving up. This is also where that spark can get you going.
Lesson #2 – Accountability to others makes it so much easier.
If I’m honest, there were many times I could have cheated while on this diet. I wanted to enjoy a bit of color in my drink, but soda water is all I got. I had made a commitment, a commitment that others knew about, and I wasn’t willing to let myself or them down.
Could I have succeeded completing the Whole 30 diet on my own? Perhaps. But having the support and encouragement of others took it to another level. Peer pressure, the good kind, can light a fire under you. When it comes to business, nobody likes risk. We do everything we can to mitigate it in order to make our future more certain. So if making a public commitment to others can dramatically increase our chances of success, why don’t we make them more often? We should.
Lessons #3 – You’re more creative than you realize.
While some people are great chefs in the kitchen, I’m quite lazy in that department. For me cooking has to be easy. Easy pasta. Easy veggies. Easy grilling. But taking on Whole 30 I realized that easy wasn’t going to cut it.
Since I couldn’t have anything with added sugar, grains, legumes or dairy, it was time I got creative. (My daughter and wife certainly helped me a lot with this.) Pasta became creative vegetable combos made from squash and yams. Diet cola became soda water. Hamburger buns became lettuce wraps.
And the list goes on.
By trying out different recipes, the unexpected happened: We loved it! Testing our imagination and creative skills allowed us to expand our horizons in the food department.
Sometimes it can be to our benefit to force ourselves to be creative, and this applies to business ventures as well. Sometimes we shouldn’t just settle with what we know but look at what else is possible.
Think about it: If challenged to be more creative about our solutions, what could we come up with that will help our clients?
In a nutshell, taking on the Whole 30 diet wasn’t a nightmare. It opened my eyes, made me look at things from a different perspective, and it left my mind and body in a better place. And it’s all because I decided to give something a chance. So can you.
We’ll wrap up our reflection series next week. Check back in then for our final personal reflection for PTs.