Updated: Aug 25, 2020
I like to conquer new things. I want to learn and grow, then once I've figured it out, I like to move on to something new. It's a great way for an entrepreneur to be, but not so great when the newness of a project starts to wear off. That's when I start looking around for something new to figure out and conquer. This mindset runs me into problems fairly often, feeling overwhelmed and wondering why I thought it would be a good idea to take on a new challenge. Or ten. At the same time.
As I entered my 9th week of fitness training with Fusion Fitness, I noticed that I was starting to lose momentum. I was scheduled to be there three mornings a week, but for a few weeks in a row something had come up that had knocked me down to once or twice a week. They were legitimate things - an injured back, scheduling conflicts, a family vacation, but they were keeping me from meeting my goals too. My weight loss had stalled, as had some of my discipline in nutrition.
What's going on? I had to take a hard look at myself and find the answers.
Sticking with something can be a real challenge for me. Sticking with a fitness and nutrition plan has been especially challenging. But I promised myself that this time, this time, I would NOT give up. So why was I struggling? For years I built walls around my sensitive heart, trying to protect it any way I could, trying to protect others by a twisted sense of misplaced responsibility. I subconsciously chose excess weight as a barrier to a certain type of pain. My barrier caused lots of other pain though - in my own heart and in my relationships with others. As I've been working to disassemble those walls that have kept me back from fully living my life, I began to feel especially vulnerable.
I've had to remind myself that the physical muscles I'm building are a reflection of the mental, emotional, and spiritual muscles that have come through years of hard work. I'm safe now because I've learned how to protect my heart in a healthy way. My body deserves to be physically strong and capable. I am worthy of love and acceptance from others, and also from myself.
So, this week I made a new commitment to my physical health - to do intense exercise five days a week and to return to my disciplined nutritional choices. But I don't know how to do anything the easy way, and I forgot to take into account that this week was the first week of school after five months off. I didn't think about how having a brand new puppy would affect my ability to sleep. I got a great offer on the house I'm flipping and spent several days focusing on the details of putting together that deal (which fell apart a few days later. Boo!), and I tried to start doing a podcast and YouTube video for every blog post I write. Oh, and I tried to make the beginning of the week extra-fun for the kids before they went back to school. Gah!
Wednesday was cardio and my schedule didn't allow me to make it to the fitness center, so I thought I'd just take the kids and the puppy for a walk with me. My simple walk turned into a full body workout as I pushed my 30-pound son in a stroller over uneven ground covered and carried a wiggly puppy who'd run out of steam. I was so tired by Thursday morning that I could barely crawl out of bed. I got the kids ready for school and just wanted to take a nap! Instead, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "If I can make it through this week, every other week will be easy. It's time to dig in!" And I went anyway. It was a great workout and I was so glad I did it. It was really hard to go this morning too, but I did it and again felt so accomplished and good!
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There's such a mental health part that goes along with physical health. When I'm exercising like that, I can feel my body meeting new milestones, lifting heavier weights, doing things I couldn't do before -and it changes my attitude for the rest of the day. Even if the scale isn't showing great results, I feel so much better. If I can focus on how I feel each day, push through the tired and grumpy thoughts that I just want to go back to bed, and focus on the goal of becoming fit and healthy in every way so that I can accomplish all the things I feel called to do - then I can consistently push forward and set new goals for myself. It's one of the greatest gifts I can give myself (and my family).