From Treat to Defeat

We’ve all been there, right? We’ve all be faced with a meal or a food – something indulgent, something we know isn’t in-line with the dietary and fitness goals we’ve set for ourselves – and we’ve had to decide. To partake or not. Maybe it was a birthday party with a decadent chocolate cake smothered in sugary buttercream. Perhaps was a steak dinner with the boss, a holiday meal with the family, a romantic dinner-for-two with your main squeeze. Most of us actually face these decisions on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Donuts in the break room, cookies in the cookie jar. Did you indulge or did you resist? I’ve done both and I’m proud to say that I resist about 90% of the temptations that come my way. But that other 10%… well, that’s a story unto itself. In fact, this blog is that story.

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Every week I have an opportunity to overeat when my sweetheart and I have “Date Night.” Those nights I have a chance to make choices that help me achieve my goals or choices that hinder me.  So why would I do the former? After doing exactly that for a few consecutive weeks and suffering the consequences (missed weight loss goals, nausea, lethargy, feelings of shame, guilt and despondence) I started asking myself a lot of questions, diving deep to discover my motivations and understand how I can be stronger and make more productive decisions in the future.

What I do can be tiresome. Pre-planning meals, counting calories and macronutrients, logging every ounce of water and every gram of food to pass my lips can be tedious. I start working on next week’s meal plan when I’m halfway through the week at-hand. I spend more time thinking about food now that I ever did when I was 290 pounds (and I thought about food a lot back then). Meanwhile, the people around me aren’t thinking about what they’ll have for lunch until a half hour before they eat. Because of that, this lifestyle doesn’t just feel demanding – it feels abnormal.

“Normal” is tricky. Participating in behavior viewed as normal can give a sense of inclusion, of belonging. Refusal to partake can trigger feelings of exclusion and deprivation. But “normal” is subjective and, furthermore, normal isn’t necessarily healthy. In short, “normal” is bullshit. In decades past, smoking was “normal.” Look where that got us.

For the last few weeks, I have sacrificed my goals and my healthy emotional state for the sake of feeling “normal” in a restaurant full of people mindlessly shoving forkfuls of food into their mouths. Sure, it felt good to not be thinking about calories or carbs or protein. But was it worth it? When I was sprawled on the couch with my jeans unbuttoned, complaining about my bellyache and internally lamenting my decision, was it worth it? When I think back and see, in my mind’s eye, myself mindlessly shoveling forkfuls of food into my mouth, is it worth it? That would be a hard “no.”

After a week of reflection, of asking myself questions and answering them, of owning my thoughts and emotions, I feel like I am understanding myself better. What’s more, I feel like I am discovering ways to deal with temptation in the future in healthful and productive ways. Here are my rules for coping with temptation, indulgence and over-indulgence:

Be Accountable. Come clean to someone, anyone. Talk to a trusted friend or loved one. Blog it. Write it in a diary or journal. Share it on social media. You have nothing to hide. Everyone indulges from time to time but hiding it away like a dirty secret, lying to yourself or anyone else about it has the potential of becoming more than a small treat and growing into a bad habit. Being accountable will purge yourself of the shameful feelings that come with keeping a secret. And you might be surprised and comforted to learn how many others share your thoughts and feelings.

Empower Yourself. Reframe your feelings of being deprived to feelings of being strong, determined and vigilant. Embrace this lifestyle, however different it may seem. Maybe this isn’t what other people consider “normal” but it’s awesome and commendable. Normal is often gluttonous and detrimental to good health. When someone offers you a treat, don’t think “oh poor me, I can’t have a treat.” Think, “oh poor you, you can’t resist temptation.” Own the lifestyle and let it lift you up.

MYOB.Seriously, MYOB! Normality is subjective, defying definition, so quit worrying about how other people eat, cook, shop, exercise or live. It is none of your business. Whether your slim coworker can wash down a double cheeseburger with a caramel frapp and stay slim has no bearing on your or your body. She isn’t better, luckier, or any more blessed than you. Mind your own business and mind it well.

Understand Moderation. Moderation isn’t once-per-day. Moderation isn’t even once-per-week. Moderation is once in a while. Moderation is a serving of something, not an multiple servings or an entire container. Moderation doesn’t leave you feeling overly full and miserable. Yes, you can lose weight and enjoy treats in moderation. For that to work; however, you have to get real about the definition of moderation and you have to get real about things you might not be able eat in moderation (i.e., me and roasted, salted peanuts – those little devils). If you can’t eat something without overeating it, stop eating it.

My Indulging Moment

Ice cream and burgers and chips… oh, my! When we are faced with unhealthy foods we can’t help but be tempted.

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These are two stories – one from my friend Karol and one from myself. We’ve been dealing with occasions to indulge transforming into overindulgence and struggling to get back on track and it presented an opportunity for us to talk about our personal stories as well as examine the tricky path of navigating sticking to a meal plan in a world that invites us to veer from it daily.


Karol’s Indulging Moment

I had a moment – no it was not a snackccident – during which I ate an entire bag of Recess. It was a moment of shoveling and total chaos in my mind and self control. Yes, it still happens. Yes, it does still happen to ME, very frequently but, sometimes I do indulge. Its human right, it’s normal – right? I was not feeling deprived, as I say nothing taste better than being fit and healthy and confident feels. Then why did I indulge?

I meal prep, I prepare every week, count my calories, macros, carbs, you name it. I am aware of all calories that go in, and out, of my body.

But, on this occasion, I threw discipline to the wind. I was invited to a sit-down dinner – a five-course meal, beginning with a cheeseboard to die for. Then we were on to courses two, three and four. The meal ended with a delicious chocolate desert. I felt had to eat it or someone might ask, “why are you not eating? Go ahead you been working so hard on you.”

The internal struggle is so hard for me. I did not not eat all of every meal – I wasn’t about shoveling it all down – but I felt unstoppable in the moment, all the while knowing this is not healthy for me physically or mentally.

It is true, we condition ourselves to feel this way, and when that moment comes when we feel we have been “deprived” we dig in. I finished it off with a praline later on that night, why not right? Yeah, NOOOOO!

I did not count my calories, did not log into to my Fitness pal. I almost blocked it out of my mind but, my body knows better. I took the next day off the gym, I needed to rest but I felt so bloated and yucky from my meal that I did get up and go to the gym, even if for a few minutes.

I picked myelf up and realized this is not ME and for me, I cannot indulge this way. I have to be accountable for me and it is so easy to turn and slip to a fall and to stay down and grovel and eat and not exercise, but, for me, I can’t do that.

I went grocery shopping the next night and it felt good to prepare myself for the week, now onto mentally preparing and being more mindful of the slip and to be selective when I indulge and yes, account for it in every way.

That is how I move on. Thinking back to the night, I realize had not done this in a long time and, as a result, I felt entitled. I wanted to be a part of the celebration, I did indulge but now back to ME – to my lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise and water and positive self talk, my winning combination.


Jody’s Indulging Moment

Every Saturday night is Date Night Dinner. Each week my boyfriend treats me to a delicious restaurant dinner, and an equally delicious reprieve from cooking. On some occasions I have checked menus online before we went to the restaurant, pre-selected what I would order based on my meal plan so that I can keep to my goals even on weekends or I made sure to eat light throughout the day to accommodate a larger meal and dinnertime. Other occasions… not so much. The last few Saturdays I have treated it simply as an indulgence – what many call a “cheat meal” (although am not a fan of that term). I have stuffed myself with scallion pancakes, fried pot stickers, buffalo “chicken” sandwiches with fries and all manner of yummy high-calorie foods with reckless abandon. Oh, and let’s not forget the desserts. I have paid the price for my carelessness. Immediately after the meals, I have felt lethargic and nauseated, overly stuffed and uncomfortable. I have also felt the pangs of guilt and shame, which are far longer lasting and more damaging to my progress. These meals have cost me my weight loss goals for weeks but, worse, they have chipped away at my discipline and left me on the brink of depression. The latter can and has led to going off my meal plan midweek and skipping workouts at the gym. After these past few weeks, I have felt like a failure, felt weak and frustrated with myself.

In the throes of the aftermath of these indulgence meals, sad and bloated, I promise myself I won’t do it again. I tell myself I never want to feel this way again. And, yet, I do it over and over. Why? Why sabotage myself? Why succumb to something I know is bad for me both physically and mentally? I grapple with this a lot and I always come back to the same thing… because it feels “normal.” It is what normal people do on date night. It is how normal people eat, how normal people relax at the end of a week. Normal people doing normal things in a normal world from which I feel very cut off at times. Participating in the rituals, however damaging, give me a sense of participating in everyday life, a life to which I sometimes feel entitled – and feel cheated out of.

As I have sorted through these feelings, I resolved to write this blog. It is a catharsis; a purging of the thoughts and feelings I have held in and no longer want to carry because they weigh down my spirit. I am fighting every day to stick to my meal plan (admittedly with varying degrees of success); I am working out daily. I am focusing on being disciplined even when my hurting heart may not entirely be in it. This is it – this is me in the wake of indulgence becoming overindulgence, overindulgence becoming habit. This is me fighting to get back on track and asking myself how I can break this cycle.

Throwback Thursday

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I found this picture this morning in the annals of my Facebook photos. It was an outtake from a photo shoot I art directed for the gal in the photo with me. We’d been photographing the DJs she managed in one of the many oh-so-photogenic alleyways in New Orleans on a hot September day. At the end of the shoot we were all having fun and goofing off and the photographer decided to get this shot of the two behind-the-scenes ladies. The photo was taken on September 19, 2010.

I had lost 93 pounds by this time and dropped from a size 24 to a 14 but I didn’t really see it. I knew I was smaller because I had to buy new clothes, because people kept telling me I was smaller, but I didn’t see it in myself the way others saw it. I didn’t own a full-length mirror (or a mirror any larger than the small medicine cabinet mirror mounted over my bathroom sink, for that matter) and the absence of mirrors was deliberate.  Seeing this photo was one of the first times I truly saw myself at this size, truly realized how much I had changed. I couldn’t stop marveling at my legs – they were so much longer and thinner looking than I had ever seen them. I shared the photo online and reading people’s reactions to the photo on Facebook, too, helped me to see myself through their eyes.

It is impossible to genuinely fathom the happiness I was feeling at this time in my life, at this point in my journey. Those feelings faded and passed entirely as I fought the battle of regaining then losing weight over and over again. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would only lose another 8-10 pounds after this photo was taken before my struggle to reach my goal and maintain weight loss would begin, before I would begin the cycle of self-sabotage that would ultimately result in my regaining 46 of the 111 pounds I had, at one point, lost. For the past eight years the feelings I most experience with my weight loss journey are frustration, disappointment and pain. It doesn’t feel rewarding anymore, it feels empty, it feels punitive for having regained the weight and failed to reach my goal.

This week, I am (again) at the point of being close to 93 pounds lighter than I was at my highest weight and I have been trying to reconnect with the feelings of happiness I experienced the first time I’d lost the weight, to recapture the excitement and satisfaction of seeing all my hard work pay off. I want to feel pride in my accomplishment, an accomplishment that I genuinely felt was impossible and often, still, feel is impossible. I may never shake the feeling that my success is a fluke, that it is fleeting but I didn’t feel that on September 19, 2010. So, I write this blog today and I share this picture because I feel it is such an important reminder of what truly is possible, of how profoundly one can change, of how much you can impress yourself when you finally see yourself for the amazing person you are.

Motivation vs. Discipline

It was a pretty typical Friday at the gym. The place was fairly quiet – common later in the week as all the members who were so enthusiastic on Monday have tuckered out and become scarce by Thursday. I didn’t want to be at the gym, either. I was tuckered out, dragging my feet begrudgingly from one machine to the next thinking about everything I’d rather be doing and lamenting my absentee motivation. Motivation is a slippery bugger. I have tried so many things to get it back. The motivation that initially got me so excited to hit the gym has remained elusive. It flickers in and out, sputtering like the flame of a candle.

Friday; however, as I caught myself  half-assing my workout, the truth struck me. I’ve read the quotes, saved them to my pin boards, but I hadn’t really internalized the idea until now. Motivation gets you started but, eventually, you are going to have to rely on discipline. Motivation is fleeting; discipline is enduring. Motivation may flare up from time to time, fanned by some momentary inspiration like a good weigh-in or a smaller pair of jeans, but when it is gone (and it will go away) you still need to show up and you still need to work every bit as hard as you did when its fire burned in your belly.

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I have spent so much of my weight loss life (the years during which I have worked and fought to lose weight has truly taken on a life of its own, in so many ways separate from the rest of my existence) obsessed with motivation. Getting my “mojo” back, recapturing or replicating the moments of motivation that propelled my first steps on this journey. Recapturing that “lightning in a bottle.” It is as if I had come to believe that motivation was the key to success, was the element I had been missing all the years I tried and failed to lose weight. This time around, for reasons I may never be able to understand or explain, I am finding I am finally learning lessons in discipline. That, in fact, discipline may be that key I was searching for.

It is easy to work out, to make the healthiest food choices, to be focused and dedicated when you are motivated. At the end of your motivation is where the real work begins, where your true character is revealed, where your desire to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself are forged into habit. That is where a diet becomes a lifestyle, where a plan becomes a routine.

Yesterday evening, as I headed toward the gym, I felt the spark of motivation – the same spark so many people seem to feel at the beginning of a new week. Then I hit the weight machines and the reality of how hard this was going to be, how much I would sweat, how sore and exhausted I would feel hit me and my motivation was snuffed out. It was just the two of us: me and my discipline. And we, the two of us, killed that workout. We sweat, we ached, we pushed through the desire to ease up and the urge to quit.

I’m a work in progress, of course. I know there will be days I struggle to remain disciplined, when my character fails, when I don’t muster the strength to keep going without the unreliable external force of motivation. I am understanding, though, the role discipline is going to make in my success and it is exciting to feel I have turned that corner. Perhaps this will be the difference between achieving my ultimate goals and petering out before I get there.

Someday Section

You have it, too, right? That area of your closet, all the way in the back, where those few precious clothing items hang? I call it the “Someday Section.” I don’t have a lot of space to store clothing so I don’t hang on to much if I can’t wear it. However, some items are just too nice to let go as I hold out hope of squeezing back into them someday. Some of the items fit at the time I bought them only to get progressively snug as I regained weight. Some were a smidgen too tight to begin with but I brought them home anyway believing the desire to wear them would motivate me. Regardless, they were spared from the thrift store fate to which many of my clothes are destined and they hang on a few hangers in the back corner of my closet, behind the winter coats and scarves and camping clothes.

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My old pants plus two pair from the “Someday Section” – they all fit!

As I have dropped weight – just over 23 pounds since March – I have started thinking about some of those clothes. A few weeks ago, I brought out one of my favorites: a pair of black and white pinstriped Banana Republic dress slacks. I was delighted they fit again and, as the last few weeks have gone by and I have put them into regular work wardrobe rotation, they’ve gotten a bit roomier in the thighs. This morning, as I dressed for work (much to the detriment of my morning schedule) I brought out a hanger draped with a few pairs of smaller dress slacks. One-by-one, I tried them on and, one-by-one, I discovered they fit.

It is easy, when focusing on losing weight, to lose sight of the progress which may not reveal itself on the scale. We get stronger, we get fitter from the inside out.  We get more confident and more determined. Our clothes fit better. Sometimes our clothes stop fitting at all and we find ourselves with the joyous chore of buying smaller ones. We crave physical activity when once we would have craved a soft spot on the couch. Our workouts get easier, we can push ourselves harder and longer at the gym. We see muscles and clavicles and cheekbones emerging. We tighten our watchbands and bra straps. We catch glimpses of ourselves in mirrors and have to stop to do a double-take. Our feet and our knees stop hurting after a day of standing or walking. Our skin glows, our smiles become brighter and wider (that last one might be in our heads but who cares?). Our friends and coworkers start commenting on the changes they are seeing.

I can never stress enough how important it is to recognize these changes in ourselves. I, myself, become obsessed with the scale and can blatantly disregard any and all real progress I’ve made in lieu of agonizing about the earth’s gravitational pull on my body. That may be the single most unhealthy thing I do in terms of weight loss. This morning, however, as I delved into my “Someday Section” and paraded back and forth down the hallway, prancing around in my smaller pants and showing them off to my boyfriend, I forgot all about the scale. I forgot I was nervous to weigh in this coming Saturday. I forgot I was heartbroken after my weigh-in on September 1. I forgot I’d convinced myself that I’d stopped making progress and become an overnight failure. I remembered that weight is just one marker, one of many ways to see and feel progress, and often it isn’t the most reliable or profound.

Pity Party

Last week I was 1.6 pounds away from Onderland. After three consecutive weeks of losing 2.2 pounds per week, I felt Onderland was a shoe-in but I still wasn’t taking any chances. I worked my ass off at the gym adding extra cardio to many workouts, I shaved calories from each day’s meal plan to ensure then previous weekend’s indulgences didn’t derail my progress. I woke up Saturday feeling the giddy nervousness of a child waking up on Christmas morning. I headed to the bathroom scale (cell phone in-hand to photograph the momentous occasion of being back under 200 pounds for the first time in more than three years) stripped down and stepped on.

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2/10ths of a pound lost. That’s it. No Onderland. After all those long workouts, after all those missed morsels my hopes are dashed, my excitement squashed. I must have gotten off and back on that stupid scale four times before I accepted the results, slunk off to the sofa and had myself a good, long cry. I told myself I would take the day to emotionally recover from the setback then carry on but here we are, Thursday, and I am messaging Karol about my struggle to get motivated this week, my conviction that (somehow) my pants are getting tighter and how I have been sleep-walking through my workouts all week. And then she gives me exactly what I need – not the gentle coddling my drama-queen self is looking for but, instead, the swift kick to the ass I deserve.

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She informs me she is not pulling out the balloons and the confetti to throw me a pity party. We are on a mission and one disappointing weigh-in not a setback, not a failure. Good weeks are good weeks despite the scale and any week on-plan is a good week. She’s right, of course. She’s right to not let me wallow and she’s right about everything else. I am sick of my own drama, sick of the yo-yo mood, sick of hearing myself complain every time a weigh in doesn’t go the way I want, sick of comparing my results to those of other people. I’ve been doing this too long, I have too much experience on this journey to continue to let this bring me down.

There is a mental toughness aspect to losing weight. It’s a toughness forged from bad weeks, from setbacks, from injuries and disappointing weigh-ins. It is an ability to quickly recover emotionally, an ability to harden your heart in the face of failure, to steel your mind against self-doubt. It is skill in getting and staying motivated without any external influence, without results to push you. It is a toughness you build like any other muscle and, like any other muscle, it will atrophy without use. The fortitude we hone through weight loss can be applied to every other aspect of our life just as the strength and endurance we build in the gym can be applied to our daily lives. This week, as I work in the gym to get my body strong I realize I’ll be working everywhere else to my mind right again.

Today, I am deciding the pity party is over. Today I am moving forward, reminding myself exactly how strong, how resilient I can be. Today I am done feeling sorry for myself, done believing that losing 2/10ths of a pound is a failure, done worrying about Onderland or any other milestone. I’ll get there. Maybe this week, maybe next week, maybe three weeks from now – I’ll get there. What I won’t get is a second chance to make the most of this week, of today. It’s time to quit my crying and toughen up.

Beast Mode

You might jump the starting line. You might be out in front of me. But I will come around you, I will beat you in the end. Why?

Because I will out work you, I will out sacrifice you. I will have more heart, more discipline, more courage. I am not like you. I am an animal, a beast. I am fierce, I am unrelenting.

beastmode

When you go for take-out, eat fast food, drink alcohol and soda, buy packaged and processed foods, I will eat and drink clean. I will weigh and portion everything, I will meal prep, I will track every bite of food and every ounce of water.

When you give in to the temptations of unhealthy foods, calling it a treat and telling yourself you are living a balanced life and you deserve it, I will still eat clean. I know that what you call “balance” is just a way to rationalize your weakness in the face of tempting treats. I know true balance isn’t poisoning my body and sabotaging my success.

When you are out with your friends, I will be at the gym working. When you lift light, I will add five pounds, ten pound and lift heavier. When you walk, I will run. When you quit at ten, I won’t quit until fifteen. When you show up three days, I will show up five.

You wanted the easy way. You always looked for the path of least resistance, the quick fix, the magic pill.

I know there is no easy way. This path goes through hell and it leads someplace you’ll never see because you don’t have the strength, the courage, the discipline to walk this path.

You want to blame someone, something. You blame the past, blame hurt, blame trauma, blame your body, blame the world. Maybe those things got you to where you are now, but those things have nothing to do with where you go next. They can’t stop you from changing. Only you hold yourself back.

I don’t hold myself back. I acknowledge my past, learn from it and release it. I accept responsibility for my life, for my choices, my mistakes, my weaknesses. I don’t look to anyone else to right these wrongs for me. I face the consequences of my choices. I stand up to the challenges I’ll face; I stand up to them in the kitchen, at the gym, every day and in everything I do, I make my future, I make my body, I make my success.

Sometimes I slip, sometimes I stumble. But I get up over and over and over again because that is what this takes. I do not give up, I do not give in.

So go ahead and jump that starting line, get a few laps ahead of me, but know that you will not beat me. You cannot beat me because I know you. I know your weaknesses, I know your habits, I know your excuses. I know the work you are willing to put in. I know the results you are expecting to get out. I know the disappointment you’ll feel when you can’t reach your goals, when it all starts slipping through your fingers. I was you. I could still be you now had I stayed that course, had I tried taking the easy way again. But I left you behind. I took the path of most resistance. I took the path of work, of fight, of character, self-mastery, determination and tenacity. I took the path of blood, sweat, tears, blisters, muscle aches and exhaustion. You will not beat me. You cannot beat me.

Weak in the Knee

Early last week, during an intense cardio workout on the treadmill, my left knee twisted and popped. I kept going. I had been diagnosed with Patellofemoral pain syndrome more than a year ago and the treatment was exercise so I rationalized continuing. After getting home, my knee still tender, I thought to myself, “I should take it easy so this doesn’t get worse.”

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But the next day I thought to myself, “this knee injury was no big deal a year ago and the prescribed treatment was exercise – I’m going to keep going. I’m going to stay disciplined. I’m going to push through the pain. Don’t wimp out now, Jody!” After all, I have been losing an average of two pounds per week. I’ve moving the needle. I’m dedicated, I’m on a roll. I can’t risk losing that momentum. I pushed through the pain and kept going.

Over the course of the week, I’ve had to shave five minutes here, ten minutes there off of my cardio due to knee pain. I’ve had to lower the leg press machine with one leg, not wanting to bend my left knee to an extreme degree. I’ve sort of nursed the knee, but I pushed through my workouts. Now, more than a week later, the knee is swollen and throbbing. I didn’t sleep last night, unable to get or stay in a comfortable position. Even now, sitting at a desk, I feel the pulsating pain in that knee. I think I screwed up. I am in a situation where I can’t do much of anything in the gym. Even low-impact cardio forces painful bends in the knee.

I find myself saddened. Last night, as I sat on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my elevated knee, the tears started welling up in my eyes. Who knew I could come to a point of being emotionally devastated by having to stop working out? I used to actively seek out lame excuses to skip the gym (i.e., I forgot my hair tie, I can’t find a decent parking spot.) I have to stay mentally strong now and look for answers and alternatives. I am stocking up on athletic tape. I have ordered a compression knee brace online and paid for expedited shipping. I’m using someone’s ice pack from the office freezer (sorry, coworker). I made the heartbreaking decision to dial back my workouts until this knee recovers, putting all my goals and milestones on hold. I know it’s what I have to do. I know it’s what I should have done in the first place. Swimming. Arm bike. Supersets of upper body and core exercises to get my heart rate up. I have to find alternatives to using my knee that allows me to rest and recover without sacrificing my progress or dedication. I have to adjust my expectations during this time.

These are the challenges we face when we step foot onto this path. That is one of the reasons I wanted to write a blog as I lost weight and transformed, not just after I’d already taken the journey and reflected back. I believe these are important lessons and trials that most people face. This injury may have left me weak in the knee, but it will also make me strong in the spirit – in the heart, the mind. I limp along on my journey, exercising and strengthening my spirit as my body rests. I try to stay positive, I try to find the lesson I must learn from this injury. 

Your Results Are A Mirror

Sometimes you hear the exact words you need to hear at the exact time you need to hear them.

Sometimes someone finds the words you’ve been wanting to say.

A friend recently shared with me some motivational videos and, while many have been moving and impactful, one stands out as particularly profound to me. The first few times I listened, this motivational speech lifted me up and pushed me forward. It drove me to work harder and to understand what has been going on within me these past few months. Suddenly, the video transformed from an external motivational voice into my own voice, urging me forward and fanning the fire within me. I had been searching for a way too say all of these things, to speak all of the truths within.

I have wanted to write about the discipline I’ve developed, the sacrifices I make, the determination I feel to push myself harder, to do better, to be the person I want to be. Something in me has changed – a switch has been hit and I have become devoted to this journey again in a way I may have never been devoted to it before. I am dedicated, disciplined and fearless. I get it… get what it is going to take to achieve the results I want and I’m willing to do the work, to make the sacrifices. I know there is no fast way, no easy way and, if there were, the results wouldn’t be worth having. I know I want to earn this, I want to fight for it, I want to look at myself and look at how far I’ve come and be proud of everything I did to get there. I want my results to be a mirror of my efforts.

I realized I didn’t need to put this into my own words. I could simply share this video and its transcript with you. I listen to this video EVERY NIGHT before I workout, in the car on my way to the gym or while I warm up on the treadmill. I hope that it inspires you the way it inspires me.

Your Results Are A Mirror (Motivational Speech) | Fearless Motivation

Your results are a mirror of your effort, your DISCIPLINE and sacrifice.
In life, In the gym,
your body, your health…



EFFORT.

You can talk all you want… Results don’t lie. EFFORT doesn’t lie.

When it’s game day…
when it’s SHOWTIME… Those who talk but haven’t worked…
The work they’ve put in will be seen by everyone.

Those who kept their mouth shut and WORKED when no one was watching, Their work will be seen by everyone too, but in a much different way.

 Which one do you want to be?

SACRIFICE

If you don’t sacrifice for what you want,
WHAT YOU WANT will become the sacrifice.

 And you will have to SETTLE for a life you DO NOT want.

If you aren’t willing to SACRIFICE now, for what you want,
then you can guarantee that LATER you will be making sacrifices for many things you don’t want.

If you don’t work for it NOW, you will be working for someone who DID work for it, later. 

If you don’t put in the blood, sweat and tears NOW.
 Sacrifice your time, sacrifice your nights out, give up your treats… 

If you don’t give up everything that is holding you back, that will be reflecting back to you in your FUTURE.

That’s life.

Success will never come easy. GREAT results will NEVER come easy.

You might get lucky. You might get OK results. But long term, success requires SACRIFICE. EFFORT and DISCIPLINE.

The good news is, you rarely have to sacrifice anything that will give you long term pleasure.

Almost always, all you really have to give up are things that are dragging you down. The things that do nothing for your future.

DISCIPLINE.

Your body is a mirror reflection of the sacrifice you make in the kitchen and in the gym.

 The DISCIPLINE to say no to short term temptation over long term pride.
 The DISCIPLINE to get up, to drag yourself through a workout. Consistently. Not just one day. EVERY DAY.

Do you want the quick fix now, that leads to a bigger problem later?
Or discipline now that leads to pride later?
STRENGTH LATER.
STRONG HABITS LATER.
CLEAR MIND LATER.
POSITIVE INFLUENCE OVER OTHERS LATER?

Without EFFORT you will NEVER get it
Without SACRIFICE you will NEVER get it
WITHOUT DISCIPLINE you will NEVER KEEP IT

So I’m asking you… Have you got what it takes to be great?

Tell yourself:
 It may take time… 
It may take HUGE EFFORT… 

I may have to dig deep and go to places I’ve never been before…
 BUT I WILL MAKE IT! 
I WILL DO IT!

I WILL STAND AT THE END WITH PRIDE KNOWING I STOOD FIRM.
KNOWING I LET NOTHING AND NO ONE STOP ME.

THIS GOAL I HAVE… THIS DREAM I HAVE…
It is more important THAN ANYTHING.

You can throw whatever you like my way.
 I WILL DEFEAT IT.
 I WILL DEFEAT IT WITH MY WILL! 
I WILL GET THERE!
 I WILL!

CREDITS
Your Results Are A Mirror Of Your Effort Sacrifice & Discipline – Motivational Speech Download or stream the motivational speech here:
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A Good Place

goodplace

I feel amazing. Seriously, I feel absolutely fantastic. I feel unstoppable – motivated, dedicated and determined. I have not missed a gym day in six weeks. We’re not talking about relaxed gym days, either. I haven’t been sitting on a recumbent bike, lazily pedaling while updating my Facebook status and sipping a sports drink. No, these have been punishing, all-out, balls-to-the-wall workouts including intense cardiovascular workouts and weight training. I am at the gym for an hour or more per day, five days per week. My devotion in the kitchen has been almost as resolute. I have been meal planning and sticking to my nutritional goals (except weekends – I am still striving to get my weekends locked in). I have lost more than 13 pounds. I have been so excited, so elated at finally feeling like I am back on track I want to shout from the rooftops. Yet, I have been – and continue to be – reticent to write this blog. Why?

I have tried and failed many times. Well, that’s not true because I feel you don’t truly fail until you quit so allow me to rephrase. I have tried and suffered setbacks more times that I care to count. I have gained some momentum and had some success only to encounter some obstacle or interference which I allowed to send me careening wildly off track. My entire weight loss journey has been a journey of starts and stops. Does something feel different this time? Yes, absolutely. I feel much like I felt back in 2010 when I transformed my life and truly began this endeavor. Have I felt this way before only to drop off? Yep. It has become embarrassing to look back at previous blog entries, boasting about my success, only to have egg on my face later when I fall down the rabbit hole of apathy and vanish from my blog with nothing to say. Furthermore, the superstitious part of me doesn’t want to jinx it. I have to get over that, I need talk about where I am now.

Where I am now is someplace good. I am in a place where I no longer ask myself if I’m going to the gym that day. I am going. I am going if I am tired, I am going if I am sore, I am going if I’d rather just go home and relax. I am going to push myself until I my eyes are stinging with sweat, until feel I can’t pick up my feet, until I am breathing through my mouth and looking around for the nearest trash can just in case I need to vomit (no, I haven’t actually thrown up at the gym.) I am going to push myself no matter how bored I am of my playlist, no matter how bored I am of the treadmill, no matter how much I have to do when I get home. I am in a place where I no longer wing it on my meal plans. I am meal planning every week, I am meal prepping every Sunday. I am not feeling deprived by my meal plan, I am not tempted by an extra cup of coffee, by the peanut butter filled pretzels and Biscoff someone keeps bringing into the office. Ok, maybe I’m a little tempted by those peanut butter filled pretzels but I look at them with the awareness of, ultimately, what they will cost me. I am in a place where I feel supported. I check in with Karol nearly every day to give and receive encouragement, to talk about temptations and frustrations as well as accomplishments. I am supported at home by a loving partner who eats all my meal prepped healthy food without complaint and encourages me to try new foods and test new recipes. I am in a place where I feel empowered by my dedication and determination. I am in a place where, when I do slip up or have a bad day (or a bad weekend), I don’t just throw in the towel – I am strong and resilient enough to get right back on track. I am in a place where I feel hopeful – hopeful that I have rounded a corner, hopeful that all those stops and starts are behind me, hopeful that I have made this lifestyle change for good and everything I want is right there for me to take it.

Yes, I am in a good place.