“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”
― Jack Canfield
“What's the world's greatest lie? It's that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate."
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
This is a topic that is close to my heart, (in theory, I suppose that could be said about the majority of what I write, but trust me, this one is special). You see there have been many times in my life where I felt powerless, stuck, and that joke of a light was so far down the end of the tunnel I'd have to hitchhike to get there. Somehow or another I made it through all of those low moments and I have become a better, stronger person because of them. You wanna know the secret of how I did it? I took the first step.
I suppose that's not a very big secret is it? Yet, at the same time that first step can seem like such giant leap. I always picture that scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indy is standing on the edge of nothingness looking at an impossible gap between where he is and where he needs to get. "Only in the leap from the lion's head will he prove his worth....Impossible," he says, "No one can jump this." He pauses, "It's a leap of faith." Then he sticks his leg out in dramatic fashion and lets go and allows himself to fall forward. Thankfully there is that convenient invisible path that leads across to the other side, but the point is, he didn't know that.
It is absolutely impossible for us to know the outcome before we take that leap of faith, but it is a certainty that we can't reach the outcome if we never take the first step. You know how much I like talking about myself so I figured I'd expand on a subject I briefly touched on in a previous blog(This one) to explain my process of taking a desire, and deciding to make it a reality.
Back story- my family on my dad's side is of the athletic build and my father and grandfather both played in the NFL. My mom was a beautiful, super thin cheerleader. I was built like my dad, minus the height, so I'm 5'6" with large hands, feet, and muscular thighs. I remember my first thoughts of thinking I was fat happened in elementary school when I noticed my legs were much thicker than most of the other girls. Thus began my insecure feelings, and an overactive "I'm fat and that's that" mentality. High school was the worst, I was on the tennis team, which meant short skirts and those ridiculous bundies that covered your underwear while cutting off your circulation. From my recollection, I didn't have a speck of cellulite, but I knew I would've traded my larger smooth legs for any of the girls with the thin ones despite any imperfections. Next came graduation and my first job, I like to think of it as an upscale burger joint. Thanks to two years of free burgers every time I worked, and being in a relationship with a partner who was obese, the pounds slowly piled on. I did more diets than I care to count, took every new quick fix pill there was, had gym memberships that went unused, and never lost more than 5-10 pounds at a time, which always came right back in half the time it took to get them off. You see, I had the desire to be thin, but I didn't decide to be thin. To give you an idea, I was probably about 150-155 in high school, and easily acquired an extra 30 pounds before I met the man that gave me my children. When I got pregnant with my first child I was 187 at my first Dr visit. Two weeks after the birth of my second child I was pushing 230. I was miserable, no beyond miserable. I was a stay at home mom at the time and would always see the nutrisystem infomercials. Finally I convinced my ex-husband to let me try it. I owe the first 30 pounds to their plan and system, after that I got burned out and lacked motivation. I could fit into many of my pre-pregnancy clothes and I lingered in that zone for over a year. My marriage had been falling apart before the birth of my second child and my depression wasn't helping. I knew some of it could be attributed to my weight, so I started buying some books. Many different kinds, everything by Jillian Michaels, different diet books, and even some magazines. I started forming ideas of which parts of what diets might be do-able for me. One of the books I read was all about veganism, now it was asking too much for me to give up cheese and chocolate, but I thought if I could really boost my weight loss by cutting out meat for awhile I could live with that. I remember the night I decided as if it was yesterday. My ex-husband and I had our neighbors over for pizza, as I was eating the giant slice of pepperoni I mentioned at the table that I was considering giving up meat. My neighbor gave me 3 weeks, his wife gave me a month and then my ex-husband said, "Joc, you won't make it through the first week." BAM! I have this saying I came up with years ago and it goes like this, "Tell me I can't and you'll be the first person I tell when I do." Right then I decided. I decided to prove them wrong, I decided to follow through, I decided I was ready to be thin and healthy, and I decided to begin immediately.
I'm not going to walk you through the entire process, neither of us have that kind of time, but I'm going to give you a highlight reel of sorts. I was too fat to go to the gym, (how's that for logic eh?) so I knew I had to do the first few phases on my own. I counted and tracked everything that went into my mouth. (Get your mind out of the gutter). I bought workout clothes and running shoes. Now, I should tell you, I didn't run. I hated it, in fact I was the girl in high school that flirted with the PE teacher to get out of running the mile. However, Jillian Michaels said run, I said how far. I remember my first run, I had my headphones in, I was super pumped, stretched out and made it around the corner before I wanted to die. I made it down the street and my sides felt like someone was trying to tear me in half. I called my dad almost in tears, surely he would know what to do, "Dad, I have a side ache in both sides, I want to die, I'm trying so hard, what can I do to get rid of these side aches?!"
"Joc, here's what you do, you scream, shout and holler, and keep going." So I did. I threw up twice in one mile, sweat like a pig, cried like a baby, and kept going. I made it home and collapsed, but guess what....I went back out two days later, and a few days after that. Before I knew it I was jogging 3-4 miles like I had been running forever. I also invested in some Jillian DVD's, (30-day Shred for starters) and that really helped keep my enthusiasm up. Here's the best part, I didn't quit. I kept running like Forrest Gump until I reached my goal of 150, and then something strange happened, I realized I wasn't done yet. I had a system and it was working, and what if this time I could be in the best shape of my life? What if I could look better at 26 than I did at 16? I decided to find out. Today I am sitting here at a comfortable 137, and have been a bit lazy lately. But I have stayed pretty much within 10 pounds of my best weight since I lost it.
Here's the risky thing about choosing to decide....once you make that decision and attain your goal you have to maintain it. I'd be lying if I said staying at this weight has been a piece of cake for the past 4 years. (Mmmmm cake) However, I've been through a divorce, two break-ups, one heart break, and have been in a non-stop financial struggle with cars that are out to get me, and although I have my weak moments where I want to stuff my face, I can assure you I won't ever be the old me again. Why? Because I fought too hard to get here, and now, I've decided to stay here. I often joke and tell people that I have getting-fat-again-phobia, and truthfully, I do. However, fear isn't enough to prevent me from doing something, but deciding not to is.
So what is it you desire? Do you want it enough to decide to take that leap of faith and make it happen? You are the only person that can take the necessary actions to achieve your goals. No one is going to hold your hand. Jillian Michaels wasn't running next to me yelling at me to keep going, I was talking myself through it. I truly believe if you want something enough and decide to make it happen, you will get there. Do you remember where you were sitting when you decided? Where are you sitting now.....