I’ve gone through so many ups and downs when it comes to diet, fitness and weight loss. It seems like the most important challenge that I face every single day is not giving in to my doubts. Even after weeks, months, or years it can be easy to start sliding backwards and within a few months of losing your ground, it can feel like you are starting back at the beginning.
Right now I am working on combatting this. I have been pushing myself every single day to dosomething and when I’ve proven to myself that I can do it, then it’s easier to push even harder. My workouts for the past week have been very consistent and very intense and my diet is much cleaner than it has been over the past several months, or perhaps even this past year. I can already see and feel the changes in my body, but most importantly, I can feel it in my mind.
I want to talk about one experience that I had when I was seventeen and I had spent 5 weeks in the woods. I was overweight, out of shape, but I was there for a challenge. I was curious about finding my limits, but unfortunately I was not determined. I was with a group of people who were athletes of all different types and their fitness intimidated me, because I really believed that some people were just made that way and some people weren’t– they were athletes and I wasn’t, and I couldn’t be.
It was the last day of the trip and we had a long hike ahead of us, 5.5 miles where we would ascend nearly 2,500 feet– so it was constantly uphill, and then 5.5 miles downhill. The challenge, like the mountain, loomed over me and threatened my courage. I convinced myself that I couldn’t do it. I was crying, pleading with the crew leaders and on the verge of a panic attack.
But I did it. When I realized I had no choice, and that they would not leave me behind, I was able to turn off the doubt and I did it. We hiked quickly, too. My heart was racing and my breath was fast, but I kept climbing and climbing until we reached the summit of the mountain and I was standing on the deck of an old fire tower looking out at the sweeping landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains.
It’s easy to forget great accomplishments if you let yourself. It’s easy to forget that your doubts are just your imagination, and it’s really easy to forget, or to not even know or appreciate, all that your body can do. Our bodies are made to work. Our bodies are made to carry us through this life and they are made to overcome the challenges imagined by a weak mind.
I am about to start Day 8 of really challenging myself and changing my life. This past week has been the most fulfilling week I’ve had in a long time. I started this in some ways to battle the chronic and lingering depression that I was feeling, and I have to say that it really seems to be working.
When you wake up in the morning, and you see mountains on the horizon– ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE. You will make it.