Commiting to Health: notes from my interview with Becca Brill
I’ve known Becca Brill for a few years now and have been amazed by her commitment to health. I just assumed she was one of those people who has always loved kale and sit-ups; but when I learned more about her story, I was intrigued by the fact that this healthy lifestyle has only been her reality for the last three and half years. I wanted to find out more about how she has been able to actually commit and change her life from one that included lots of sugar and Netflix to one of green smoothies and strength.
I asked her to share some of her strategies for committing to a healthy lifestyle, and here they are!
Use the buddy system.
Becca was a first-year teacher in an exercise rut. She would wake up, grab a sugary Starbucks latte on her way to school, work all day, then come home and “crash:” eating what was ‘easy’ and watching 3-4 hours of TV.
When Becca’s sister Hope asked her to join a small Crossfit gym, she initially agreed mainly to support her sister. She worked out regularly because if she didn’t, she would be letting Hope down. But as time went by, she found herself going to the gym consistently not just out of a sense of obligation to her sister, but because she actually enjoyed it and had formed friendships with the other members of her gym; so much so that even when Hope returned to school in the fall, Becca stuck with it.
Knowing that someone else was supporting her and holding her accountable was crucial in the beginning phases of Becca’s changing her habits and making exercise a regular part of her week.
Even now that working out is an established part of her life, she still will text a friend at her gym from time to time when she just isn’t feeling it to get a push of motivation to persevere and make it happen.
Find something you enjoy.
If the type of exercise you are trying to integrate into your life always fills you with dread, maybe it’s not for you. For Becca, cross-training was fun and challenging, but it might not be a good fit for everyone. Studies show that we are much more likely to work-out again if we actually enjoy some aspect of it. Not everyone has to be a runner or a weightlifter; maybe cycling or yoga is more your jam, and that’s okay!
Do your research.
As far as food is concerned, Becca is kind of a nutrition nerd. Reading about the effects of different foods on our bodies has been critical in helping her change her eating habits. Learning more about the “why?” behind what she is or isn’t eating has made it easier for her to choose nutrient-dense foods that foster strength rather than just obsess about calories and weight-loss. One specifically influential book she mentioned is It Starts with Food.
Commit for the long haul.
Getting fit takes time. Becca says she sees so many people get excited and start coming to her gym, then get discouraged after a month or two when they don’t see results and quit. She encourages people keep going and not to expect to see instant change (get off the scale!). Give it time and give yourself grace along the way.