Your Big Why is what I call the real reason and driving force behind the goals we set for ourselves, and when we get clear on what our values are, it helps us to make sure that we're setting goals that are aligned with where we are, what matters to us, and what we want to do with our lives. In today’s “I Did It” Series episode, I wanted to share Beth’s story because, through some deep digging, she was able to land on a much more motivating “Big Why” than what she initially thought, and I think many of you will find value in this process. So let's jump in!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/203
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- You don’t have to know your big why to get started, just take action and it will come to you (7:12, 7:41)
- Realize that it is okay to have struggles and acknowledge them (11:35, 14:36)
- Start reaching out and coaching (14:36)
- When we really get clear on what our values are, it helps us to make sure that we're setting goals that are aligned with where we are, what matters to us, and what we want to do with our lives. (16:46)
- Perfectionistic tendencies may keep you from setting the goals you want (19:18)
- Let go of things (20:42, 22:38)
- Replace negative thoughts with affirmations and empowering thoughts (23:53)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 203.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:45
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And this is a special Friday edition, where we share stories of people in our community, women in our community who have had success with the hope that you will learn from their success, you will learn from you know, the mistakes that they've made, or the lessons that they've learned, you can learn a little bit quicker through vicariously that you don't have to do necessarily do everything. I realized, you know, we've been doing the podcast now we're in, you know, our 200s episodes. And I realized that, you know, I have a lot to say, and I have a lot of wisdom and perspective, and I don't know everything. Shocker. And I haven't had every experience. And so, you know, one of the reasons we have been doing the idea that series is to allow you to hear stories of other women and, you know, start to realize, hey, that woman is a lot like me, and she did it so I can do it too. So there's absolutely this element of, you know, seeing other women be successful helps you to believe that it's possible for you. And then the second reason that we do these episodes is because I believe that other people have a lot of wisdom that I don't have. And specifically when we talk about different situations or unique scenarios, the other people can speak to these things better than I can, especially if it's their life experience. You know, I've never been 50 years old. I've never had hypothyroidism. And so I love bringing women on to be able to give a perspective from that, you know, that area.
Amber B 2:18
So today on the podcast, we have Beth Cruttenden. And she is going to talk about her experience of realizing and really digging deep on her why. So in MACROS 101, one of the first things that we do is help you to discover what's the why, like, what's the why behind why. I said why a lot of times, what is the why behind the reason that you are doing this? Why do you want to reach this goal, what's driving you, what's motivating you? And we do some work to dig deep and really find the root of what's driving you. And that can be a challenging process for some, some people don't struggle with it, some people struggle a little bit more. But when you find out why it becomes like this beacon, it becomes this driving force. And it's like throwing gas on a fire. It just kind of accelerates everything. And it's one of the reasons it's so important. And one of the reasons I spend time with clients helping them to do it. So I wanted to share Beth’s story because she has a really awesome experience of what she came into the program thinking what's her why, when upon further investigation actually wasn't. And she landed on a much deeper and more motivating why. And so I want you to hear her experience of going through that realization and what actually is driving her and driving the goals that she has set for herself. So let's jump into the interview with Beth.
Amber B 3:42
I'm so excited to have Beth on the podcast. Beth, welcome to the podcast.
I am glad to be here.
Amber B 3:49
I'm excited to have you share your story. We're going to talk about some things that come up for a lot of people as they're going through their journey. And I think hearing from someone who's been there and done that can be really powerful. So before we dive into some of those things, can you just tell us just a little bit about you? And maybe a little bit about what you have struggled with in the past, you know, before you came into MACROS 101?
Yeah, so I am 39. I'm a mom of three girls, twin seven-year-olds, and a 10-year-old. I've been married for 15 years and I work part-time as a nurse practitioner at a pediatric office.
Amber B 4:29
Oh, I love it. I love the medical field.
Amber B 4:35
And then what felt hard for you? What were you really feeling like you were struggling with coming into the program?
Yeah, so I had had, like prior to coming into MACROS 101, I in 2020 during the pandemic did some online nutrition classes that kind of started touching on some mental aspects. And that was kind of a turning point, but barely scratched the service at that time in 2021. Last year, at the very beginning of the year, I, with my gym, joined a challenge and had my macros set for me. And I was mostly focused on calories and protein. And I kept with that and saw some progress and then saw a plateau and was like, I don't know what to do now.
Amber B 5:24
Yeah, what do I do now? And I had just come into Instagram and found you on Instagram, and heard some of your podcasts too, and started thinking about the MACROS 101 program you were talking about. And I was like, Oh, she's talking about how I can become my own macro scientist, and I can adjust my macros, learning my bodies on feedback. And I was very intrigued and interested. So I joined macros fall, last year 2021 after joining the Five-Day Challenge, and that's kind of where I started. I didn't realize that wasn't my biggest struggle until I got into the program.
Amber B 6:14
Okay, so let's talk a little bit about that. That is a somewhat common experience of what you think that you're coming to learn isn't always what you actually need to learn. And it can be, you know, a powerful experience. So share a little bit about that. What was that you know, realization that you had, that maybe there's something else here that you needed to work on?
Yeah, so I'm just getting into the program, I realized that some of my biggest struggles were that I was really good at picking the weeds. I can take action, I can pick the weeds, I can do all the things, I can make the list. But it was realizing that I had a lot of mental blocks that were the roots that you talked about. And that kind of led me to how I struggled with figuring out my Big Why. And being the person that I am I wanted to follow all the-
Amber B 7:11
You want to do it right.
I wanted to do it right. And I was like, Oh, my goodness, I can't even get started with this program. Because I can't even figure out my Big Why. And then I don't know if it was a module or a coaching call. But you said, you don't have to know your Big Why to get started, just take action, and it will come to you. And that is exactly what happened. I just started taking action and it came to me.
Amber B 7:41
So just to give a little context, for people who are listening who aren’t in MACROS 101, one of the very first things that we have you do as you come into the program is a lot of foundational work, because what I found is, is when I start to teach you about the nutrition and about macros, and about all the sciency stuff, that that stuff isn't going to stick unless we do this like pre-work. It's kind of like you can't go on to calculus until you first do algebra, you’ve got to do algebra first. And so in the very beginning, we do a lot of that work of figuring out why are you doing this? What's the goal? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your non-negotiables? Filling out your miracle scale. Some of these like foundational things, that when you do those first when you get to the other content, it starts to stick a little bit better. And one of those things that we do is what we call the Big Why‘s. It's figuring out why you are doing this and usually why you're doing it is not what the reason you think is why you're doing it and so we do a little bit of work like actually digging deep to figure that out. And, you know, you're like many people who when you first start that discovery process, it doesn't quite come initially like it's like I'm digging, I'm digging but I'm not figuring out what is the actually that deep-rooted stuff and it sometimes takes time and so yeah, I do I'm like get started. A lot of people discover their Big Why through the process, not necessarily right at the beginning of the process. So can you talk to us a little bit about maybe what you thought, maybe your Big Why was before and then what came up for you during the program and what was that experience like of having that aha moment of like, Oh, this is what's important to me.
So I really, you know, attributed my Big Why to I want to be healthy. I want to set a good example for my family. I've always enjoyed and had a passion for health and fitness and I just feel better when I exercise and eat right and those were just a lot of my you know why's and they were all the feel-good why's and kind of the easy why's. And I didn't have to dig deep for those. I didn't have to acknowledge any of the roots and it was my Big Why really came to me after I was– We were several weeks into the program and I was going for a run and I had all these thoughts like swirling in my brain, I think I just listened to some of the self-sabotaging information. And I just found myself running faster like I was trying to, I was like I kept running faster, like I was just trying to run away from the thoughts that were swirling around in my brain, the thoughts of like, negative body image and disordered eating and restrictions and feeling guilty. And just all these things I've placed on myself and allowed on myself for so long, just feeling like I was never doing enough or that I needed to do more and try harder, and then it just hit me the word “free” just kept coming up. And I was just like, I just want to be free, I want to be free from all of these. I don't, this has consumed so much of my life, I just want to be done with these feelings, I want to be free to be fully present with my family. And I want to enjoy life and health and fitness from a healthy mindset. You know, I want to be a positive example for my girls. And so that was my Big Why, to be set free from negative body image thoughts and disordered eating, in order to be free to be fully present with my family and enjoy life in abundance.
And then occurred to me I think, I think one of the reasons I knew some of this all along. But I think one of the reasons I had a really hard time acknowledging it, my Big Why, or speaking about or admitting that I even have struggled with body image was because like, on some level, I believe that it wasn't aligned with my values. Which, you know, I value my faith in God and my family and so somehow I believe that admitting that I'd struggled with body image and disordered eating that was somehow I was just being selfish and being with those thoughts. However, after really digging even deeper, I recognize that those struggles that I've had for so long, you know, even since childhood have actually been a way that I've allowed, you know, Satan to continue to keep me down and keep me discouraged and feeling defeated. And so, when I recognized that, I saw how actually me overcoming this was very much in line with my values, my value of faith and how I value my family, and I don't want my girls to experience any of these thoughts. When this mental battle, once I became aware of and acknowledged all of those thoughts and feelings, everything started to come together, and I was able to start moving forward to making progress.
Amber B 13:12
Yeah, so I love this idea of being free and how that idea of being free with like, in many areas of your life, you know, being free from a lot of different things. When you had this, I have had people ask this question where they're like, you know, I've done some of the work I've thought about my Why, I've brainstormed some stuff, but I don't really know when how I will know like, how will I know when I've like landed on the Big Why? So what was that experience for you and how was when you had this realization different than maybe when you started being like, I want to be healthy and I want to like all the other like, superficial, not superficial in a bad way. But just like the surface-level stuff that you initially thought was the reason why you were doing it. When you discover this deeper Why, what was the difference and how did you know that it was it?
I really did, it stopped me mid-run and I honestly started sobbing like right in the middle of the Greenway. And I was like, Okay, it's time to get busy on working on this and stop running from it. You know–
Amber B 14:24
So like literally, metaphorically.
Amber B 14:29
So once you've had this realization, what changed? Like how did that change things for you?
Realizing that it was okay to have these struggles and that it was okay to acknowledge them. And that really that was the only way I was going to move past them was to acknowledge them and start asking for help around it. I think that was some of the hard things to, you know, start reaching out and coaching. And that was hard to talk about. Because, you know, it doesn't. I haven't struck. I know many people struggle with body image and those kinds of things. And I never thought of myself as like, well, it's not too bad, you know, and I just kind of glass over it. But realizing how much I didn't realize how much it affected me and how I interact with my family until, you know, until I basically called it out on myself, you know, going back and realizing, I mean, simple stuff, like we would be going out to, you know, last summer, maybe the summer before we were going out to a friend's wedding. And I was telling my girls, you know, supper is going to be at the reception that will be your supper tonight. So don't worry, you know about that, you know, kind of preparing them. And one of my twins, who was probably like five at the time, looked at me and they're like, “Well, what are you going to eat mom?” Because they knew I didn't bring my food like I normally do, you know, and stuff like that. And I was just like, oh, well, I guess they're paying attention, you know that Mommy doesn't typically do things the way everybody else does them more, I do differently, you know. So is that. Yeah.
Amber B 16:46
You said something interesting before and I kind of want to call it out a little bit. You said he talked about how you had before it, it almost felt like some of your goals had conflicted with your values. But on closer examination, you realize that this value of being free actually did fit with the things that mattered most to you and your family and your faith and these other things, that the goals that you had set in this realm actually aligned with those greater values for you. And so how did that shape things for you once you had that understanding? And one reason I asked the question, I'm gonna say this, because someone listening may have this, this may not be your best. So you can kind of tell me if it resonates with you. But one of the things that I hear a lot from people is they struggle with health and fitness goals because on some level, they feel like it's very superficial, or it's very vain, or like, it doesn't have a bigger purpose. It's like I want to lose 10 pounds. And it feels like it's vain to even say that, and sometimes we like to judge our goals for these reasons. And I think one of the things that I love that you kind of brought up is sometimes these, the deeper why behind it is not always just, “I want to lose 10 pounds”, but what that represents to you and what it means and who you have to become in the process of reaching for that goal and the work that you have to do and uncover in yourself as you go for it. And so figuring out, is there actually an alignment? Is it actually superficial? Or is there actually an alignment between what I want to create and what my values are? Because I don't know if that resonates with you, Beth, but I know that that will resonate with somebody, because I have people all the time tell me, they like to judge their goals for being very superficial or very vain. And I think what I'm hearing from you is like, there may have been what somebody else may have termed as a vain desire for you. But when you got down deeper into it, it really was a deeper longing, a deeper meaning and a deeper thing that fit with your values. So I don't know if that resonates at all with you. But I love that you brought up values because I think when we can get really clear on what our values are, it helps us to make sure that we're setting goals that are aligned with where we are, what matters to us, and what we want to do with our lives. Was there anything else that you know, you talked about this powerful moment that you had with figuring out your Big Why, were there any other aha moments or things that were created a shift for you where it's like, oh, like I remember this moment, or I finally understood this and it changed things for me?
Yeah, I had a couple of those. And one of them was realizing how I might have some perfectionistic tendencies and several areas that played into this cycle of fear of failure and fear of success in how I set my goals. Like if I set this I want to set this goal and felt like I had to be perfect and not necessarily meeting the goal but in the ways I wanted to meet the goal and didn't really realize that I was that the perfectionistic part was keeping me from setting those goals. And so I did, you know, I had this aha moment, when I realized that, I was like, No, I don't have to, I can go ahead and set a goal of doing a pull-up. Because if I don't, the worst thing that could happen is I don't do it. But then I put all this work into it, and it just gets me closer to the goal, it might take me longer to get there. So I did let go of a lot of fear of failure.
And then with the fear of success, it was like, once I do succeed in the pull up the fear of like, “Oh, no, what if I can't continue to do it or do it again?” And so let that go, I was able to let go of all of that throughout the macros, this macros journey. And kind of backtracking a little bit to before that was because I kept on saying the word letting go. But part of the, my Big Why I had to let go of a lot of things. And for me, that was letting go of the idea that if I let go of my fears, or my struggles with body image and disordered eating, it would lead me down a path of unhealthy choices. So it was finding that shift, because I also had a fear that if I say, I'm going to let go, and I'm going to accept my body, I'm going to accept everything for what it is right now, that does not mean that I'm going to go on the other extreme of, you know, not making healthy choices, because I'm realizing that I can do both, I can both accept my body and accept that I want to reach you know, this goal of my Big Why, and also treat my body healthily and still challenged myself to become the, you know, healthiest, strongest version of me that I can be.
Amber B 22:38
Yeah, I think that's so powerful, I love that you call that out, because that is a very, is a reason that a lot of times we hold on to, to these things is because, on some level, we think that if we let go, we're gonna swing to the other side, and we're gonna be, you know, never go to the gym, and we're gonna eat all the unhealthy things, and we're gonna blow up like a balloon. And, you know, and so there's this, it's like trying to hold sand and just holding it tighter and tighter and tighter. But what we don't realize is like, when you try to hold sand, and you try to hold it tighter and tighter, it just leaks out the sides of your fingers, right? It's like, the tighter you try to hold on to something, the more you aren't able to hold on to it. And so how do you actually hold sand in your hand, you kind of open it and you like, cup it and you don't hold it tightly to it. And that doesn't swing you to that other side, it just allows you to let go of that grip that you had that you thought was what was protecting you and realize that you don't need a grip to protect you. So I love that you pointed that out. Is there anything else that you want to make sure someone who's listening, maybe who is in, you know, was you last year, who's in the situation that you felt like you were in that you would like to say to her as words of advice, after what you've you know, learned?
Yeah, I think one of the biggest things that helped me get to the place of being intentional and being present with my family was replacing the thoughts I was having then, the negative thoughts, with affirmations and empowering thoughts. And initially, I struggled with that. So I would say, you know, if that's something that, you know, you struggle with, you know, negative thoughts. What helped me was I just started to identify and call out specifically the thoughts that were coming up in my brain, those thoughts that I just needed to speak back to, and then I was able to replace those thoughts, giving me more intention and focus with those affirmations and making them applicable to my journey so that I could tell myself that I am a wife and mom that is fully present and I do make intentional choices and that I can feel my best when I feel for success. And those are some of my top affirmations that I would say and started replacing those negative thoughts with.
Amber B 25:16
I love it. Thanks for sharing those examples. So you guys can take those affirmations you can use them yourself. They are beautiful. Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story. Thanks for sharing what you've learned. And hopefully, people are listening and you know, can take it and help them to be able to reach their goals and to move forward. I love this concept of learning from other people, especially the people who have gone before us. So thanks so much for sharing.
Amber B 25:16
I hope that you enjoyed that interview with Beth and that you took something away that you can apply to your own journey. We all know that learning is great, but it is in the application that things really start to change. So thanks for being here on Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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