4 lessons from a 17 year old (that we all wish we hadn’t waited until our 30s+ to learn)

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We have a fantastic client who is a senior in high school. We just love her, she’s going to do great things. She’s been using this time to work on herself and get her health in order before her 18th birthday. It’s been fun to be a part of her journey.

Every session (weekly) she has a new revelation that she’s learned and we thought-man, what if we had learned these things at 17? You know, rather than in our 30s and 40s? Here are four lessons she’s learned that we think might help you.

1. Food isn’t complicated.

Listen, if a 17 year old can meal prep, we all can, right? Our client started off slowly, just packing “lunchables” to take to school so that she didn’t eat the extremely unhealthy options there. She made them in the morning while she was getting ready. How did she have enough time in that rushed time of day?

Because she didn’t make it complicated! It took less than five minutes to put together her lunch (deli slices, peppers, hummus, grapes & Boom Chica Pop). She ate that same lunch for weeks before deciding to change it up to sweet potato wraps. She loves her lunches, they are yummy. Then, when they aren’t anymore, she can change it up. She doesn’t have to eat something different everyday. It doesn’t have to take hours to prepare. It can be easy and uncomplicated.

She followed this same route with the other meals of the day, eventually having to bring lunch & dinner to school so she could eat @ work. Again, if a 17 year old can do this, we probably all can.

One way we made dinner meal prep uncomplicated is the sheet pan. Our 14-Day Sheet Pan Cookbook has several examples, but truly it’s so easy to make your own based on your tests. Just pick a protein, a vegetable and some sort of spice that you love (one simple one is lemon pepper, paprika & garlic powder). Add some avocado oil and you have dinner!

2. Gluten is rude.

She had a lot of motivation and discipline so she was able to install some pretty big changes rather quickly. She followed our exactly meal plan suggestions. We made sure it included her favorite healthy things so that she didn’t feel deprived.

That meant she was eating primarily gluten-free & dairy-free most of the time. (Sorry not sorry!)

That meant when she did go off plan (which, btw, is okay!) she noticed her body reacted very poorly to the food-like substances she was eating. she felt “gross and bloated.” She did this a few times here and there before she finally realized that she just doesn’t want it, she doesn’t like it and she’s not enticed by it.

3. I need better friends.

You can imagine how many seniors in high school want to talk about working out, meal prepping, eating healthy and hitting your target heart rate.

No, not many.

Instead, they want to “party,” eat out, play video games and…well, whatever else they want to do.

But she’s just in love with the process she’s going through adn everything she’s learning. It’s exciting and fun. Having friends that share those feelings is possible.

Having friends that encourage, rather than DIScourage, your goals and habits is possible and should be the standard for all of us.

That doesn’t mean that every friend will love everything that you love. But it does mean that you can put yourself in a community that helps. James Clear wrote about this in his book Atomic Habits.

For example, one study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if your friend becomes obese, then you have a 57% chance of increasing obesity yourself — even if your friend lives hundreds of miles away!

It sounds simple, but if you have close connections with unhealthy people, then it’s more likely that you’ll be unhealthy yourself.

James Clear

The opposite is true as well. Friends with positive habits and lifestyles can affect yours too.

Friends help. The lesson here was big an one that all of us can consider. Are my friends helping me be the kind of person I want to be?

4. I can do a sit up.

This may sound silly, but sit-ups are hard! The real lesson here, for her, was that when she applied herself, her body was capable of hard things. Moreover, she’s not resigned to this identity of someone who can’t do a sit up or a push up just because she never has before. Her body, just like everyone else’s, responds when challenged and she’s totally capable of continuing that journey ending up with a very strong, very capable body.


Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre, Florida that focuses on Fitness, Family & Finance. We help women get unstuck and level up their lives. We know you don’t need more information. You just need to take action. So, we make doing uncomplicated and doable. We also know that none of us have brain calories to spare for the little things in life that make the biggest difference. That’s why we help women install systems that make things like healthy eating, home organization and budgeting easy and automatic. Click below to schedule a free & quick call to chat if you’re interested in coaching.

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