Happy Independence Day, America – now be Independent!

(4 min read)

Perhaps you have heard your parents’ screech, “If I don’t tough love you, you will never be independent.”

Perhaps you have heard me say as your coach, “I can’t do the work for you – I am here to teach and motivate you to be independence, not dependent.”

Perhaps you have never thought about the word “independence” and how it affects your life every single day, from when you decide to get up, what you want to eat, who you want to hang with, your choice of employment, and so many more life decisions you get to decide due to your independence.

Perhaps you forget all about your independence until you start prepping for the annual Red, White, and Blue celebration every 4th of July. If you ask many people, they cannot even recall the true meaning of Independence Day. To many, it is a day off, an awesome BBQ, and a tail-gate party enjoying the big bang, fire-work display at City Park.

I am wrapping this into your wellness journey – you will see…just stay tuned…

Here is a quick history reminder…On July 2, 1776, 13 North American colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain voted to declare themselves independent from the crown, forming the United States of America. Two days after the historic vote, on July 4th, the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the celebration has occurred ever since.

Coming from a family with generations of U.S. military service and also serving as a civilian for the government myself overseas in Germany, I recognize and thank every service member I encounter, for if they did not protect our homeland, we would not have the independence we experience and frankly take the independence we take advantage of most every day. Freedom is not free, and there are sacrifices made daily by not just those serving but the families who must hold down the home front while our protectors put their lives at stake by the minute.

So let’s flip it to you…as yourself are you independent in your wellness? You might think, what do you mean, Coach??? I am curious, do you take ownership and fight for your right to be healthy, happy, and prosperous. I wonder if you realize being unhealthy doesn’t happen to you – it most often happens because of you. ME, TOO. I get it. I am responsible for my daily movement, thoughts, who I hang with, or even if I choose to eat a huge kale salad. All independent decisions we can make daily – but do you?

We make decisions that may or may not lend themselves to our living a long, quality life. Most of my clients come to me because they have put others first. They have not declared their independence – fought for their rights to put themselves first. YES YES YES just like flying – you put on your oxygen mask before you try to help others.

I hear over and over excuses – the kids need me, I work too much, I cannot eat differently than the family…Excuse proofing yourself – standing tall and being independent is the best and only strategy you can keep in place to ensure your health!

Being independent can feel really, really selfish. Again, I get it. After all, you are fighting for time to put yourself first and often fighting for money to spend towards doing so. You might need some new tennis shoes, perhaps a trainer, or self-care like ensuring your sleep with an eye mask…. I bet most of you fight your teenagers every other day to eat at Mcdonald’s.

I want to take wellness independence a bit further. Jump forward 20-30 years. Your older self is now looking back. Did you put forth the effort, time, and even money to be the healthiest you could have been? If the answer is yes, then you have most likely reaped the results by making several independent decisions. This doesn’t mean you did everything independently – you simply recognized only you can do you and only you can stand up for yourself. And, in doing so, you are most likely still independent. If your answer was, no, I was not as healthy as I could have been, well, perhaps you are more dependent on others now than you would have been.

Being independent sooner than later will amp up your odds of being independent later in life. If not, you are most likely to need help – be dependent – on those that you love – the exact loved ones you cannot imagine burdening in your life RIGHT NOW. So, I ask, “Is taking care of yourself NOW ‘selfish’?””

If you do not want your 30-year-old children to move back in with you RIGHT NOW and be dependent on you – then bounce ahead and recognize an unhealthy YOU at 70 may have to move in with them! UGH!!!

Take baby steps and utilize the independence given to you by our forefathers and stop being dependent on excuses. There are so many countries that do not have 10% of the freedom we have. Seriously, you can choose how and where you work out, what you eat (brownies DO NOT jump into your mouth – you put them there), and who to hang with. It is time to set off your own fireworks.

We have to protect our “homeland” (ourselves) and put our wellness first. We need to stop whining – and stop giving up because it gets hard or we think there is an end in sight. It is time to stop waving your white surrender flag…REALLY?! Is giving up an option for you? Hell no! BE INDEPENDENT.

Join me on Monday, July 8, 2019, at 6 PM Eastern on Coach, Couch, and Coffee Radio for “Coffee Time with Coach Peggy.” Coffee Time is about answering questions I have received, sharing a thought I have or a concept, and maybe even a challenge for the week.