The Struggle

challenges

The young woman talked easily with  me sharing  her struggles with weight loss and food  describing her various up’s and down’s with weight loss over the years.

At one point she said…. “Oh, but I’m sure you don’t  understand that” as she does  an overall gesture that covers me from head to toe, indicating that based on how I look now I certainly couldn’t understand her struggles, or that I had walked in her shoes.

Maybe not to the entire degree she had, but the physique I have today, I wasn’t born with nor have I had it most of my life.

I’ve had to earn it, and it’s only come about in the past few years working at it. Which is pretty much exactly what I told her. She hadn’t known me very long when our paths crossed so it was perhaps easy for her to draw conclusions that I’ve always been some kind of fitness queen.

How did I explain the struggles I had been through in the past, yet, had overcome? Like, the need to go through a drive thru for a “snack” because I was “starving”? ( please note: you won’t really starve before you get home to get something better than a drive thru snack) I’ve since learned to keep a few decent snacks stashed away, for emergency purposes 😉 how I’ve trained myself to eat slowly and savor my food, and understand that it doesn’t take a lot to feed your hunger? That I made a dedicated, focused choice in the beginning to exercise? That some days I flat out didn’t want to do it, but now, couldn’t imagine NOT doing it? To treat food with respect and know that it will still be around tomorrow and I don’t have to eat it all tonight? Coming to an understanding that eating good, healthy, nutrient dense food wasn’t a punishment, but life giving, energy inducing, age defying goodness ?

I shared parts of my story with her and let her know that I did indeed, understand struggles. In fact, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a person around that doesn’t struggle at some point.

We struggle with eating to much, not eating enough, not enough of the good foods, or  to much junk, getting our bodies out the door to exercise, whatever it is, there can be struggles.

I’m no different.

I thought about that today as I was grocery shopping. There are SOOOO many tempting treats… so many impulse items we can buy. I mentally slapped myself and kept going several times.

You know how I don’t eat certain things ? I simply don’t bring them home…which…well… kinda sucks sometimes when I’m trolling really wanting something and it’s not there haha it’s a cruel paradox.

Not that I don’t have treats… ’cause I do… I’ve just learned that to be successful means saying no to impulsive moments more frequently than giving in to them.

If I want something, really want something, I do get it. Some things I try to not bring home ’cause I know it’s my “trigger”.

For instance, I adore Salt and Pepper kettle potato chips…. adore them. One day I was shopping with hubby and  drooling as I walked by them and he said.. “well, just grab them”

He doesn’t understand… they are like… crack to me…or I’m pretty sure they have crack in them… either way… no matter what… I know once that bag is opened … it’s all over.

My plan is to have just a few… but somehow… I nibble that bag away till they are gone the next day.

I know my weaknesses. I’ve learned tricks to deal with some of those weaknesses. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes, not so much so.

As I shared with the young woman, I haven’t gotten where I am without my fair share of struggles.

What’s kept me successful is not giving up, giving in, or quitting. Not saying I had a “bad” day and I’m a failure and it’s not working so I should just quit.

I guess, at some point, stubbornness isn’t a bad thing.  It can lead to success….

I want to remind you that struggles along the way to getting fit and healthy are normal. But I also think we are refined in the process.

struggle  to success

We learn to make better choices, think things through more, decide what really matters to us.

I’ve learned to think so critically about many things I put in my mouth, but again, it’s been a learned process that has been born through struggles.

I know it’s almost cliché to use that “anything worth having is worth working for” but it’s true.

Every time you make a better choice, pass on something you know you really don’t need, say yes to healthier foods, get out and move , whatever it is, will make you stronger and help you take the next step to your goals.

 

the-struggle-is-part-of-the-story-Whitney-English

I want to encourage you, no matter where you are on your journey, the struggle my friend, is a part of the victory of success.

Don’t give up.

Challenges, Obstacles, and Being an Overcomer

A 4ish mile run yesterday morning.

And you’re thinking….sooo… what’s new? you went for a run….

Thing is, it was my first run since I raced last Sunday. I haven’t gone that long not running in… I don’t even know when…… I traveled home Monday and my natural inclination (usually) would’ve been already plotting a run for Tuesday.

But disturbingly, this thought crossed my mind Monday evening,
“I don’t really care if I run anytime soon….”

It freaked me out. Like, where did that come from ??

True, I was tired.

Friday-Monday each day I had traveled about 4 hours at a time, I ran 13.1 miles Sunday ( literally…. ran them all… other than walking through water stations to get fluid in) and even though I mentally dismissed it as “only running 13 miles” fact is, it’s still a good distance to run.
Let’s not forget the complete and total… frustrating let down… of not getting to run the 50K….or that at race day I had logged (roughly) 990 training miles since August.

I guess it was a breeding ground for my “whatevah if I run again” crazy thinking…

I messaged a running friend who assured me I wasn’t a freak but to just allow myself a little down time. He told me I’d be back on my game again soon. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you that you’ve put yourself out there, given your all, worked hard and ….resting… is an ok thing.

So I did. I mean I wasn’t a total and complete sloth. I did do a few days of strength training in my week, but I never looked at my running shoes. ( I think I heard them crying at night 😉

Therefore, yesterday morning, when I knew I was ready to get out there it was totally with the intent to run easy…. and run wherever I wanted….. and however I wanted…. no agenda.

And you know what? It felt amazing. Those creepy feelings were gone. I was back out where I needed to be. I felt alive.

I’m refocused and moving forward and know what my new goals are.

You know those moments we go through where we feel laid low… are often the times where we… once again… redefine ourselves.

Challenges and obstacles define us. They can either take us down, defeat us, and make us want to quit….OR…. they can push us, shape us, and mold us into overcomers.

We just need to decide how we will respond.

How do challenges or obstacles help you move forward ? How do you deal with them ? Do they strengthen you ?