My “secret” to shedding my weight hasn’t been in any one particular eating philosophy (I don’t do diets), workout regimen, and certainly not some “magic pill” (because let’s face it those don’t exist!). I’ve been asked many times, especially over the course of the last year, what the “secret to my success” has been. And truth be told, the root of my success lies in my will. Not my will to say no to certain foods or bad habits, but my will to change and for the better. When I started I needed to change a lot; that included my mentality, financial state, emotional well-being, habits (eating and activity), and willingness to accept/deal with change. Life is change and instead of embracing it, I wanted to fight it!
I’ve written about my turning point many times before, but if you are a first time reader (welcome!) I’ll briefly reiterate it again. My “aha moment” came at a point where I thought I had hit rock bottom–well I HAD hit rock bottom (at least at that point in time). In a month’s time I had lost my job, my mom, and my grandmother–there’s a life eye opener for you, talk about the “perfect storm”. But in looking back, what surprised me most was my will. I emerged from all that with a new will to live my life to the fullest. It’s almost like I myself had died and come back with a new lease on life. I realized that I wasn’t really living life much at all prior to and wasn’t going to waste any more of however long I had left by packing on the pounds (345 lbs at that point) and working in a job that I had no passion for.
I can remember seeing people I used to work with after shedding 50 lbs (which made a difference but not quite the visual difference you can see now) and they’d ask what I did. Jokingly, I used to say that it was because I wasn’t working there anymore! But there’s some truth in that. I was unhappy working there but didn’t realize it until I got out. Life is meant to be lived and there I was dying. My character, personality, uniqueness ..all were fading away a little each day. I was becoming what I saw in many of them who worked there for so long–jaded. There outlook on life and others in this world were often negative and their own individuality was dimmed–it was sad. But because I was on the inside, I didn’t realize that I too was turning that way. By getting out, my spark was rekindled and I’ve found what my vocation truly is!
I still remember someone asking me when I was young what I liked to do and wanted to become when I was older–“I like helping people, I want to help people.” Sounds good at 9 but there’s no specific degree or career that fills that description so when it came to picking a major I was torn. I had always had a creative and artistic side from the start but I didn’t want to become the stereotypical “starving artist”. I also had business passion, just not in the traditional form. What am I getting at here, you may ask? Well, just because something doesn’t already exist doesn’t mean it’s not possible!
A healthier and happier version of myself didn’t exist until now. During the process to get here, I was able to discover what my vocation is and how I could live it! The secret to my shedding success didn’t lie solely in how/what I ate and my activity, but it was about my WILL to live and live my life to it’s fullest. Sometimes that’s hard to see when we are at our low points or in the thick of it. But if we have a will to want to change and embrace that change–come what may–then the change will happen. Keep in mind that we didn’t end up in our circumstance over night and the change won’t occur overnight (or even close to it), so it’s true–patience is a virtue. Also, I took on this new way of life not knowing what would be in store for me, so you have to be brave! Initially, that took a little bit of “faking it to make it” but eventually I didn’t have to fake my bravery anymore. All this came from someone who never really embraced or welcomed change in my life–even though change was inevitable.
If you didn’t get what the secret is after all that, I’ll simply state that the secret to shedding is internal not external. What we turn to externally are simply tools to aid in the process. We can have the tools (brand shinny new or older and well loved–both work the same) but without the will, there’s no sustainable way to achieve a healthier you. Our health is all encompassing–mind, body and spirit. So to achieve the success we see in others, we much find it in ourselves!