Integrity: Lining Up Thoughts, Words and Actions

February 23, 2023
Chris Engen

Excerpt from Newsletter:

Well, January came and went at lightning speed! I’ll say that was a record (for me, at least!)


You didn’t hear anything from me last month! What happened? I realized late last year that I am constantly teaching and coaching others: my 3 teenagers, my clients, and my audience in my newsletter and Facebook Group, but I was NOT consistently practicing what I preached. I was so busy teaching other people what to do for a healthy lifestyle that I didn’t have any time for myself to do the same.


I found that I was explaining to you how to meal-prep, yet buying pre-made meals from Costco for my own family. Now, there’s nothing wrong with pre-made if you’re in a time crunch except … in some meals, Costco includes a LOT of preservatives and unhealthy ingredients. Not to mention, it’s not portion controlled and often heavy on cheese and dairy, and gluten, which are ingredients that I really try to avoid. The pre-shredded rotisserie chicken LOOKS like a great deal until you start reading the ingredients …. Ewww. There should only be 1 ingredient: chicken. Tip: Buy a whole chicken, roast it, and shred it yourself. 


I also found that I was dipping into sugar WAY more than I was willing to admit to myself. The holidays usually are a time that we loosen up a bit with regard to sweets, but December 25 was over 45 days ago, yet there are still many sweet treats in my kitchen.


True confession. I hadn’t even really thought of MY “Theme” for 2023 before suggesting you all determine your “Theme”.  


Last month, I really had to back up and evaluate my day-to-day life and figure out what needed to change for me to be able to live in integrity while remembering that perfection as a noun does not really exist. It’s the steps we take that can be perfect. Since perfectionism is one thing that I struggle with, I have to make sure I pay attention to how I am talking to myself. 


So, in January, I took a recess of sorts. But now I’m BACK and here to share what I have learned!


My THEME for 2023 is INTEGRITY. That means that I won't preach one thing and do another. I will always be kind to myself and give myself grace, however, I will strive to the best of my ability to stay true to the “me” I present to the world and the “me” that lives in my brain and my body. I’m speaking of much more than what I’m eating or whether or not I am taking my supplements. Integrity means full alignment and standing in your truth. It’s RADICAL HONESTY, which is actually more difficult than you’d think. I challenge you to pay attention over the course of the day to any little untruths or withholdings as you converse with people. Are these little dishonesties a big deal? Probably not. Are they chipping away at your soul? Maybe. When you have a choice, tell the truth. It will ALWAYS be the easier route in the long run and won’t sacrifice your self-knowledge. You will be FOR yourself, always. The key to self-love is integrity. Integrity will make you NOT want to do the things that aren’t good for you. You’ll love yourself too much to be against yourself. Imagine holding yourself up and supporting yourself, no matter what. 


Practicing radical honesty is the closest to perfect you’ll ever get. Being honest about who you are, what you’re thinking, and what you need aligns you in your thoughts and actions. Being against yourself, fighting yourself, not speaking your truth .. that keeps you stuck. In telling the truth first to yourself, you are giving yourself everything that was elusive when living in denial. Self-confidence, self-trust, and integrity result as you practice this over and over. Pretty soon it seems strange to have lived any other way. 

Always remember, it’s OK to slip back to old patterns, as long as you quickly recognize it and use it to move forward. That applies to alcohol/drugs, nutrition, habits, thoughts, words, and actions. Stay in integrity, and the truth will always move you to the next step.

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