I’ve been on this weight-loss-get-fit journey for longer than I’d like. I’m both proud of myself for hanging in there, and disappointed in myself that I’ve not been consistent so I could put this journey behind me already. (Yes, maintenance will be another trip, but one journey at a time, please!) But even though I could have done better, with time and effort (and failure) comes wisdom. So here are eight things I’ve learned so far.
1. Self promises matter. I never let a co-worker down, or a friend, or a family member. Why would I treat myself any different? Keeping promises to myself builds character, self-esteem, and the strength to power through the next uphill climb.
2. Every time I let myself down, I tear myself down. I deplete my reserves, I embrace self-doubt, I let failure win.
3. Every success leads to more success. I want to give myself the gift of success, over and over. I saw a quote today: “Start the week strong. Finish the week stronger.” I know if I start my week strong, then build on that strength every day through consistently doing what I intend, I can’t help but finish the week stronger. No matter what the scale says.
4. Every decision I make is a step on this journey. When I want to eat off program, or slack on my planned exercise, or have a glass of wine or a Mai tai when I’m already at my calorie limit, I ask myself, “Will this take me where I want to go?” If the answer is no, then it’s taking me in the wrong direction.
5. I’m the one behind the wheel. This journey has a worthwhile destination or I wouldn’t be on it. I constantly ask myself, “How long do I want to be on this journey? Everything I do answers that question. I know I’ll get there, but how quickly I get there depends on how many detours I allow myself to take.
6. It’s never going to get any easier than it is right now. I don’t love where I am, and right now is damned hard, but if I careen off the path, it’s going to be that much harder to fight my way back to where I am right now. In fact, right now would be looking pretty good by comparison.
7. I’m stronger than I know. I’ve had natural childbirth twice. I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane seven times. Last weekend I battled Mother Nature herself when I was out paddle boarding and the winds picked up unexpectedly, throwing me from my board. I managed to untangle my oar, which was wrapped around my ankle strap, hoist myself back onto my board, and paddle like the dickens to make it back to shore. On my knees.
8. No one else is going to do this for me. There’s no magic pill, no exercise machine, no crash diet solution, no short-cuts, and no motorized rescue boat. There’s only me.
And she’s going to kick ass.