From the Publisher - June 2015
Photography by Lindsay Gifford
"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 two years. Probably the biggest change, however, is my weight. I have lost around 53 pounds. It has been a big accomplishment—something I didn’t believe I could do. I am so close to reaching my goal, but 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 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 have 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 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 my life depends on it and have no doubt that due diligence will pay off.
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. However, 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, paints, 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 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 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.
These reasons all make sense to me. But there is a fourth reason that scares me. I think I stayed overweight so that I would always have an excuse if I failed. Wow. Being adept at disappointment anyway, this subconsciously has always been a defense mechanism for me.
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?”
As women, we are all in the midst of trying to accomplish something. I ask you what is holding you back? Doubt, self-sabotage, procrastination, fear? Don’t give in to this junk. You (and I) are better than that. We can prevail. Let’s go for the goal. Don’t give in. Don’t stop. No fear. We will get to the finish line…but in the meantime, enjoy the ride!