Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Francis of Assisi
I am not an after, I never consider myself an after. I am a work in progress, successful at what I am doing but I am on a journey and far from my destination. People write me and tell me that I look like I have already arrived. I am half way and proud at how far I have come. I have done things that have completely surprised myself, so to me that quote by Saint Francis of Assisi hits home.
My journey has become more than numbers on the scale, it is about being fit and strong as well as reducing my weight. I have many fitness goals I wish to accomplish and many milestones I have already met. I am only 5’3 in height and I believe a goal of about 135 lbs is completely realistic. I also have many more charities I wish to help. So here I am at my lowest weight of in 20 years, working on my fitness and last 30 lb weight loss, and planning my next charity event; all less than four months before I turn the big 50. Always moving forward, even when life’s struggles trip me up; I catch my step and continue on my merry way. I may sometimes stumble, but I always rise.
When I began I had a set of ideas I followed. I like to call them ideas instead of rules. These ideas became part of how I stayed on course with my goals. If you are beginning a weight loss and or fitness journey these little bits of wisdom may be invaluable to you as you set out on your quest to be the best you inside and out.
- Be impeccable with your word.
When I started I discovered a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first agreement is this. “Be impeccable with your word.” If you say you are going to do something, than make it happen. The first week of my blog I was cast in a Richard Simmons video. I almost backed out because of embarrassment about how heavy I was, but I decided to be impeccable with my word and follow through with my commitment. No excuses anymore, no procrastination. Same with your workouts, that always say nobody ever regretted a workout after it was done. Whatever it is you plan to do, be true to your word and make it happen. The time is now, start strong.
2. Find your Dream Team
I am quite blessed. My dream team is always growing and is always evolving. But there was a time when I did not have a dream team. Back in 2002 I met my now best friend Melissa and my life changed forever. I will write about this subject and her influence on me in a future post.
At this moment you may be asking what is a dream team?
A dream team is your tribe, your friends old and new who inspire you with their own accomplishments and greatness, yet they also find time to cheer you on and believe in you and your dreams with all of their hearts. They are your best friends,occasional acquaintances that fulfill a mission, your mentors, your inspirations in life. You must have an open mind to find your dream team. They come on unassuming sometimes, in unlikely friends of all ages and sexes. I urge you, open your mind and heart, and look around for your dream team. When you do find them, remember to give as much as you get and pay it forward; and the dream team will continue to grow and grow. Trust me on this.
No man’s a failure who has friends.
3. Find the food lifestyle and fitness plan that works for you.
When I began I had no idea what I would do, I had just a simple plan. My plan was to begin Weight Watchers, do some speed walking and work out with my new friend and trainer Mike. (see dream team last pic with his dog Apollo)
I ended up a yogi, a runner who completed a few races, and I beat my trainer Mike at a planking contest. I am now much more confident at fitness than I was when I began, and in the future I may become a trainer myself. I have a lot of fitness goals that I would have never dreamed of making when I began in 2013. I continue to challenge myself.
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Weight Watchers is a great way to begin if you feel lost about food and you are not sure how to eat. I did it for the first six months and it really helped me begin. As my journey continued I found what works for me, clean eating and lower carbohydrate and low gluten. That does not mean the way I eat will work for you. It is trial and error. Same with fitness, walking is a great way to begin, and working out with a trainer is a safe way to learn about fitness. As you evolve you may find your new brave self craving new ways to work out and new classes to take. You may even find yourself running in races. It is amazing what fitness does for your confidence and your energy levels. Start at the beginning, and do not be afraid to experiment. Learn what works for you and stick to it. Trust me, you will not miss that pizza when you are trying on bathing suits in July or when you are running circles around people who are falling down because they lack energy.
4. If you get a flat tire, will you slash the other three?
That is a quote from my dear friend Dawn and a member of my dream team. It is so true. You may falter, you may stumble. You may find yourself after a bad day diving into a vat of cake batter head first. If you do stumble, forgive yourself and begin again. Do not let one cheat meal or cheat day become a cheat week. Get back on that horse and keep galloping towards your goals. Forgive yourself, and forge forward.
5. Love your body and be grateful
We all body bash, hell I think I may be the queen of body bashing. I have learned to look at my body as a temple and not a trash can. This body has surprised and astonished me in ways I never thought it would, especially as I am on the verge of turning 50. I am grateful to this body, and I bow down in reverence for the gift of living and the chance to make my body stronger so I can continue to grow gracefully. So begin anew, and remember you are not growing old you are just growing and graceful as you embark on your journey to be the best you.
6. Do not look through other peoples windows.
There is no competition, except with yourself. If you wish to compete, make it with the you from yesterday. Do not body compare, or body shame yourself or others. Be a person who walks in kindness. Cheer on other people’s accomplishments but keep resentment and jealousy at bay. Those human emotions will sideline you. We are all one, and in this together. No matter how long it takes, or how slow you run, you are faster than you were when you were sitting on the couch. Soon enough people will be congratulating you on your accomplishments. You are beautiful the way you are, you are just going to become stronger and healthier and inspire others to do so.
Walk in light