Those of you who know me or have been reading my blog for a while might know that I love Jillian Michaels. When I was most discouraged with my weight loss journey, I found great inspiration in The Biggest Loser and the inspirational words Jillian shared in both this show and in her books. Now I know that people either love her or hate her, but she really does have some good advice to share with people that are working to change their lives for the better. I recently came across Jillian's most recent adventure, her podcast The Jillian Michaels Show, and I wanted to share a little about what she has to say about change in a show I was listening to this week.
Oddly enough, this show is entitled "Jillian Deals With Public Nudity", and while a move to nudity is not the change I am speaking about, the first segment of this show actually made me laugh out loud because it reveals a very different side to Jillian. Those that know the tough trainer might be surprised to find out that she is actually a very modest person. In the first segment of this podcast she shares how a friend of the family sent her to a spa where she was forced to bare it all, and the discomfort this situation caused her was hilarious. I never pictured Jillian as a modest person, but it made me wonder if maybe she would be less so if she hadn't lived part of her life as a chunky child. She mentioned people at the spa seeing her stretch marks, and I was surprised to realize that despite the amazing shape she is in, she might still be embarrassed about her flabby parts like I am. So despite her great change from overweight teenager to very fit adult, she might still have some of those feelings of inadequacy.
Her second segment was the one that inspired me this week. It is honestly one of the best perspectives on change I have heard in a long time. The last few years have been rough for teachers in California. We have larger class sizes, very little money to buy even the most basic supplies for our students, and I cannot tell you how hard it is to hear from some in the mainstream media how lazy and overpaid we are, with the long hours we all put in every week. In addition to all this change, we are also tasked with implementing the new Common Core Standards, which are really amazing for student learning, but another huge change for teachers. As I was listening to Jillian's podcast, I was wishing I could share her wisdom with all the teachers I work with. And I am hoping you, too, can find some inspiration in her perspective on change.
Jillian starts by sharing that change is inevitable, and that it is important that we learn to shift our perspective and look at this change as the opportunity for something good to come our way. She shared this perfect analogy of change being like a river with a strong current pulling us downstream. It does no good to turn around and try to swim against the current. What we do have control over is where we land. So if we embrace the changes in our lives instead of fighting against change, we can grow and be in a better place than we were before the change occurred.
I also received a new perspective on change in a meeting I attended last month. The presenter shared that when we say that people do not like change, that is not technically true. What we don't like is the way that change makes us feel. Change can make us feel uncomfortable. We may not feel as skilled at the new tasks the change brings about and feelings of inadequacy may arise. For example, when I decided to change my exercise routine by adding triathlons, the fact that I couldn't swim made me feel very frustrated. Change may also bring about loss. When Sean and I moved away from Pasadena to Temecula, we left a lot of friends behind. While I miss my friends from back home, I have made some amazing life-long friends here as well. Finally they shared that change can make people feel disloyal. I know one thing that my new exercise routine has changed is the amount of time I have for my friends that don't train with me. I feel so bad that my time is limited with them, but I also know that in order to stay healthy I need to continue with the routine I have set. After all, I welcome my friends to join me any day of the week in a little quality time together as we run, bike, swim, or even walk.
So in this great time of change, try to adjust your perspective, because change is inevitable. Embrace change as the opportunity it is meant to be. Change helps us grow and become even better versions of ourselves. And as you change, become comfortable with the new version you have become. Don't let your old feelings of inadequacy ruin all the hard work you put in to move through that change.
"If you are feeling like a ship lost at sea, if you pick a destination it helps you guide yourself out of stormy waters."