Change, June 2013
We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
—Henry David Thoreau
A lot has changed for me over the past 10 months. Probably the biggest change, however, is my weight. As many of you know, I have lost around 50 pounds. I feel like I've written about it a lot, but I find it's a topic that many want to hear about. So as I approach the final leg of my weight loss journey—the last 20 pounds—I find myself having to dig deep and grasp the last reserves of motivation in me. You see, these last 20 pounds are difficult. They don't want to go away. In fact, I have lost the same five pounds again and again over the last three months, actually totaling the 20 pounds I need to shed.
I am so close, but I think on any journey this is the part that separates the men from the boys, so to speak. I use to think starting was the hardest, but now, I'm convinced it's finishing that offers the most challenges. We had a saying when I worked for NASCAR: You got to be there in the end. Yep, the end is where victory lies, but somewhere between a great start, remarkable progress and the finish line, lives doubt, self-sabotage and fear.
Doubt is easy to decipher. As the last few pounds cling to me like a skirt full of static, I wonder if the scale is ever going to drop again. I just have to remember that slow and steady wins the race, even though my NASCAR days taught me differently—fast wins the race; everyone knows that. Not in this case. Now is the time to really dig in, work harder than ever before, commit like I have something great counting on it, and have no doubt that due diligence will pay off. After all, it's simple science.
Self-sabotage can be a little witch. She likes to sneakily rear her ugly head when you're not looking. She comes in the form of negative self-talk. She gets in your head and tells you things that are not true. She also comes in the form of wine, chocolate cake and juicy, rare rib-eye steaks. She tries to masquerade the fact that we are our own worst enemy. Jill Badonsky, Creativity Coach and author of The Muse is In, An Owner's Manual to Your Creativity, says this about self-sabotage, "If you were exposed to a lot of disappointment when you were a child or often felt like nothing you did was ever enough, disappointment may be something that you do because it's in your programming." Uh-oh, looks like I'm in trouble in these waters. I'm just going to put on my life jacket and hold on to Wilson. I refuse to go down with the self-sabotage ship!
You know how the city dump has special days when you can bring stuff like old electronics, paint, toxic chemicals and the like to dispose of safely? Well, I think they should have a day when we can bring things like doubt, self-sabotage, negative thoughts, perfectionism and procrastination—to name a few— to dispose of and say good riddance forever!
Lastly, and my biggest enemy, is fear. Fear is my Kryptonite, and it comes in all forms. Once, when talking to a friend, my highest-weight came up, and she asked, "What were you so unhappy about?" It's a valid question; one I have put much thought into, and one that I could ask her, as well. First and foremost, I was filling the empty parts of my life with food. Two is that I was taught as a child that food equated to love. I was never told that I was loved, but I was fed well. Three, I think it had just become a habit and an addiction to overeat, especially high-fat, sugary, convenient, low-nutrition foods. Seconds were a given; thirds often considered. These reasons all make sense to me. But there is a fourth reason that scares me. I think I stayed fat so that I would always have an excuse if I failed. Wow. Being adept to disappointment anyway, this subconsciously has always been a defense mechanism for me...and you skinny people thought it was just about too many Reece's cups.
When I started this article I had no idea it would lead to my favorite Marianne Williamson quote. I'm glad it did, though, because I needed to read it again and digest it fully:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Amazingly powerful! Don't give in. Don't stop. No fear! This train is bound for glory...so all aboard and let's enjoy the ride!
Elizabeth S. Millen