It’s been much more difficult than I ever thought it would be to sit down and come up with a way to explain the last fourteen months. I wish I could tell you a quick fix or a way to meet your goals by tomorrow morning, but that’s just not gonna happen. There will be some days where going to the gym makes you feel like a superstar, unstoppable, or like the fittest person in the room. Other days you go and do the exact same workout and the whole thing makes you feel sweaty, weak, and jiggly. There are days I wake up and cannot wait to have yogurt and fruit. There are also many days where I pray that yogurt somehow turn into biscuits and gravy from Hardee’s. Sue me.
We have cruised into week three of The 4 F’s of Gettin’ Fit and I’ve previously shared with you all about how I started out with Fitness and Food. Even if you are working really hard physically, there is a huge mental component involved with a lifestyle change. It’s like a big mental road block that is just right in your way. You could be an Olympic athlete, but if you’re thoughts are toxic you’ll never be as successful as you could be. A psychological shift or a mentality change is more difficult (and more important) than I ever considered. That’s where the third F comes in… you’ve got to have Faith.
Have Faith in the Process
I think having faith in the process is one of the hardest things for people to grasp. I felt it myself and I have heard people say time and time again, “But, what if I don’t lose any weight and I’m doing this all for nothing? What if the diet doesn’t work?” And I completely understand that fear. I was almost crippled by that at the beginning. I feel like I told myself over and over you might as well do what you want because it’s just too far gone at this point. I also had times of doubt because the amount of work that had to be done just seemed too big to ever reach. I just felt hopeless. And eventually I had to succumb to the process and just trust that it was going to happen. Right about the time that I surrendered and just had faith, I started to see amazing results.
You may be curious what I mean by having faith in the process. What I mean by that is you have to believe that what you are doing is going to work. Whether you believe it or not, you’ve got to keep telling yourself that. You can’t eat one salad for lunch and look down at yourself and say, “Am I skinny yet?” and get mad when you don’t look any different. You have to be willing to work towards your goal. If it was all easy and a skip down the yellow brick road, don’t you think everyone would be living their healthiest and happiest life?
You know how on social media people always post those generic quotes about weight loss… it’s something along the lines of, “It takes you 30 days to see progress, your friends 60 days, and strangers 90 days.” Let me first point out; how is a stranger going to know if I’ve lost weight… they’re a stranger? I’ll that sink in for a moment.. moving on. Ya’ll know I don’t just loooove cheesy quotes, but I am a firm believer that cheesy quotes and cliche expressions got to be that way because they are somewhat true. I still remember the first time I was out in public and an old sorority sister from college came up to me and asked if I had been losing weight. I was so jazzed I could have fallen out in the floor right then and there. Shortly after that is when people started asking about it almost every time they saw me. All of the oohs & ahas were like instant motivation. It was almost addicting to hear that all of the hard work was paying off and people were starting to recognize. If I had stopped at the beginning, I would have never heard those comments or compliments. I had to walk blindly for months, hoping that something was working and having faith in the process. That’s the funny thing about faith, you usually can’t see it. But, eventually, it all starts to pay off.
Have Faith in Yourself
You are powerful. You are so much more powerful than you are even able to conceptualize. Any goal that you set, you are able to achieve. It just takes time and hard work. Hopefully you read those words and know deep down you are going to achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself. Some of you might feel that those words are empty. You may feel incapable of reaching those goals and you don’t even know how to start going after them. A huge part of your success is going to be dependent on the faith that you have in yourself.
When I mentioned above that you have to have a psychological shift in your mind, this is one of the things that I was referring to. I had to do this myself (and it is still a major work of progress). In the beginning, I had to force myself to let go of the negative self-talk. I was literally beating myself up in my head FOR NO REASON. I know I am not alone in this. Sometimes it’s easier to find something bad to see than it is something good. If you feel like this is something you struggle with, I want to challenge you, this week especially, to find something about yourself (mentally or physically) that you really love. Then on the days when you start to feel that self-doubt creeping in, you can tell that ugly monster to get back under the bed, because you have this amazing thing going on that you love. Because what you tell yourself at the end of the day is either going to break you down or build you up. You choose.
You have to have faith in yourself throughout this process. You are going to work harder for this than anyone else and when you finally reach whatever goal you’ve set, don’t you want to be able to say that you knew you could do it all along? I’ve still got a long way to go to be where I want to be, but I know without a doubt that I can do it. I hope that as each of you begin your new journey, whatever it may be, that you will join me in this mindset.
Have Faith in Prayer
At the end of the day, loving yourself and having faith in yourself can be harder said than done. I would be lying to you if I said you’re gonna wake up everyday and just be jovial about working hard. Some days you might hop on that scale after an entire week of working out and eating perfectly to your meal plan and the scale has not budged. Or you may have been saving money, an expense comes out of nowhere, and you have to spend all the money you’ve saved. It’s usually about that time that discouragement sets in. It’s a sinking feeling. It feels like someone has tied a cinderblock to your foot and dropped you out in the Pacific ocean (which is the coldest water in the world just to add a cherry on top).
You need to have faith in something that will raise you up out of the water when you feel like you are sinking. I have relied heavily on my faith in Christ the last few months. Prayer, more so than anything. Even at the end of the days that I don’t feel strong enough, I know that He is. I find comfort in that and am thankful that I worship a God that cuts the rope and brings me to the surface.
“For we live by faith, not by sight” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
People Who Have Faith in You
Surround yourself with people who have faith in you. That little pep talk I told you that you need to be giving yourself, you also need to have other people saying similar words to you. I know, I know. Life isn’t about what other people think about you. I agree, but it is very important for the people that you love to be supportive. I have talked numerous times about the role my friends and family have played in my success. I believe wholeheartedly that I wouldn’t be where I am now, had they not been encouraging me at the beginning. Even now they serve as a sounding board for those stupid thoughts that sometimes get stuck in my head and accountability partners when I am starting a new goal. Have faith in those people that build you up, and let them have faith in you too.
When I first began, my faith in all areas wasn’t the greatest. I felt like my goal was too extreme to be obtainable and I didn’t think that I had the power to do it. Boy, was I wrong. Having faith is just as important as drinking 120 ounces of water or eating green vegetables. Shifting my mindset has made me physically feel better, simply because my mind is in such a better place. Changing your thoughts also take time, just like anything else, so be forgiving with yourself if you just can’t get that one nasty thought out of your head. You’ll realize that it’s not true or someone will remind you what the truth is. Find your faith and stick to it. At the end of this crazy journey, you want to look back and know that you believed in yourself all along.