The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pivotal Choices

Small choices makes BIG impacts!
Have you ever noticed that sometimes it's the "small" choices that we make which don't seem that drastic at the time that end up having a tremendous impact down the road?  These are pivotal moments that set us in motion down a path which holds the potential to change our entire lives!

I think every single one of us encounters several "pivotal moments" where we have to make a choice that literally molds a part of who we are (whether for the good or bad).

This past weekend I had an epiphany that really had me digging deep. It's funny how something simple can usher you into a thought process that blows your mind. So let me set the stage that led to this "epiphany" if you will.  I was cleaning out some old papers in my car on Sunday morning when I came across a referral note from my doctor dated 12/16/08.  It had a business card attached to it for a local weight loss surgeon.  The referal note read, "Pt has BMI 58 will be unable to reach healthy BMI in next year."

Finding this note in my car was like striking gold!  I remember when this note was written. This note was written after one of the FEW times I ever reached out and openly sought counsel on the condition of my weight and I really felt like change was impossible.  This note was written at a point in my life where I didn't believe in my own ability to lose weight so for good reason, my doctor didn't either. This note was written after years of office visits where my weight steadily increased with each check-up, but all my vitals returned "normal" so I'd convince myself that I was "OK" and would just continue on with life as I knew it: Overweight, UNhealthy, insecure and UNhappy.

The more I looked at that note, the more my heart was filled with joy as I was reminded of "who" I was and where I am today.  As you can imagine, it was hard to wipe the smile off of my face on Sunday morning.  Furthermore, I began to ponder the date: mid-December 2008. In mid-December 2008 there was nothing in me that believed in myself. Now fast-forward (but not too far).  The end of January 2009 is when I stumbled across my first episode of The Biggest Loser and got inspired! February 2, 2009, I gave God my inability and started seeking Him for His ability to help me gain my life back.  In 1 1/2 months I went from a mental state of hopelessness and disbelief to FULL of hope that I could change!  This was still only a hope for change though, not a full assurance and KNOWING that it would happen...Now, back to present tense and onto my epiphany.  Later in the day of re-disovering that doctor's note, I also found myself in the drive-thru of Taco John's for a poorly planned fast-food dinner (not thinking much about the note anymore).  As I pulled through the drive-thru, there was a severly obese man working the window.  IMMEDIATELY, I was taken back to that note and really felt a deep sense of compassion for that man.  A flood of emotions rushed over me as I realized that "he" is who I was.  The only difference between me and him is one small, uneasy and personally pivotal choice that set me in motion down a path with the potential to change my entire life...AND IT HAS!

My weight had robbed me for countless years of JOY, peace, confidence, boldness and even my identity in Christ.  That day I made a seemingly small choice that was VERY pivotal.  That day I chose a path that would take some work, but I also believed it'd lead to a better life.  I really didn't have much insight or vision of what the future would be like that day, it was really a moment of living in the "here and now" because everything else was still so unimaginable.  I had no clue where it'd take me, what it'd be like and honestly didn't even have the full-confidence that I'd really succeed, but I still took those exciting first steps.

There are so many people out there who don't even realize that it's just one, small, pivotal choice that will change the rest of their lives.  Ones who, like me, can't even imagine what their life will look like down the road, but are willing to take those exciting first steps to discovery.  WOW...

1st photo was in January 2009, less than a month before making a PIVOTAL CHOICE that is changing my life!

ICING ON THE CAKE: When I found that doctor's note on Sunday, it was right after reaching yet another "milestone" on my journey. Not even 30 minutes prior, I had just finished a 6.5 mile training run (non-stop) in preparation for my first offical 10K race!  I'M DAILY AMAZED!


Check out my FIRST blog entry on this journey here:

Check out my 411 page for my weight loss story:

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Robotic Weight Loss

Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)

"Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct."

~ ********** ~

It's been awhile since I've written a real "post," but after reading some verses the other day, I had to share. :)

I called this post "Robotic Weight Loss" because it seems that in the community of weight loss there is a lot of comparisons made and hurt feelings when we aren't able to do the same thing someone else did:

  • "Well, she lost 8 pounds in one week, why couldn't I?"
  • "How is it that she lost 100 pounds in 8 months and it's taken me over a year now?"
  • "Those people on the TV show burned 6000 calories in one day, what am I doing wrong?"
  • "When you ran that 5k you did so well, I dont know if I can ever be a runner."
It's almost like we expect to be these little programmed robots that perform the same tasks with the same precision and speed.  If we don't, there is surely a short-circuit and we're broke - right?

It's not wrong to set goals or be inspired by the accomplishments of others, but I see a lot of negative tension that develops when people are motivated by trying to meet or beat someone ELSE'S personal record.  If we do meet/beat their record, we miss a very special part of personal accomplishment for the simple fact that at the core of our excitement - it's about what someone else did!  Are you following me?  Yes, you were able to do it too - but the unit of measurement was "Billy Jo Bob."  On the flip, when we are unable to meet or exceed that goal, oftentimes we feel as though we have failed.  "Why is it that they were able to do this and I was not?"  Discouragement sets in and people begin to dishonor themselves and discredit their OWN accomplishments. There is a good reason they call them "PR's" in the athletic world - it's because they are supposed to be PERSONAL records.

If you've read much of anything on my blog, you've probably noticed that I try to glean from scripture and revelation from God as it applies to my life as a whole - including weight loss.  For awhile I'd somewhat lost perspective, it's easy to look at the world around you and quickly paint a picture based of what "seems" most desirable and commonly accepted. "I'd love to be her size, lose x amount of weight quicker than she did, abs like hers, run faster than that chick, get a HUNK of a man at my right side by looking like her..." and the list goes on.  All of these with the common denominator of "How I compare to the next person."  Can "I" do more than they can?  What do "I" look like next to those girls? Am "I" more successful???

We've all probably heard someone say, "You shouldn't compare yourself to others," but have we really taken that statement to heart and thought about WHY comparing ourselves isn't beneficial and oftentimes tears us down more than builds us up?  One of two things often happens by comparing ourselves to others:

1.  We are discouraged because we don't "add up" to the life or accomplishment of the person we are comparing ourselves to.

2.  We boast that we are somehow "greater" than the next guy and exalt ourselves higher than we should.

When we compare ourselves to others, we subconsciously try to duplicate or improve what others have already done or have.  As long as I'm looking around to everyone else, I will NEVER be satisfied with my own work and will rob myself of certain elements of joy that come from being original. Our reflection becomes dependent on someone else. What would be the point of looking in a mirror and seeing my neighbors reflection?  I wouldn't even know what "I" look like.

Think about an original piece of art, whether it be a painting, song or creative writing. There is something special about sharing this original piece of artwork. That is a reflection of the talent God has placed in you and it's not in light of anyone else's prior work or achievements. AWESOME! Now think about someone who paints a duplicate or remixes a classic song. They may very much so still have creative talents and abilities within themselves, however, there name will always come after the original artist is recognized. This wasn't inspired in and of themselves, it isn't the "work of their hands," it's a copy of someone elses.

Now back to the verse this is all inspired from:

Galatians 6:4-5 (NLT)

"Pay careful attention to your own work, for THEN you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct."

Instead of always looking over at our neighbors results, we need to focus on what "I" am doing?  Am "I" working hard? Am "I" being the best "me" that I can be?  Like I said, this is more than just weight loss.  I'm talking in our jobs, in our relationships, in our finances in everything that God has given us to be a good steward over, are we paying careful attention to our own work and finding satisfication when it's well done?

If we don't get past this damaging mindset, there will always be "someone" else out there to compare ourselves to and we'll always be striving, yet never finding, that place of satisfaction.  If we just look at our own work, satisfaction truly DOES come from knowing what YOU have accomplished and what YOU worked hard to do. You can take pride (not sinfully) in what you've worked hard at doing and see the end result of it paying off.  AMAZING!