Building trust in yourself is a lifelong endeavor and applies to every single thing. Last year, I was out of control. I wasn’t on some drug/booze bender. It wasn’t like I was eating 10,000 calories per day or anything. Nothing on the surface seemed out of control, but I can tell you one thing: When I said I was going to do something for myself, I was never really sure if I would. Simply, I didn’t trust myself. I flaked on myself almost every time. I let myself, and people around me, get away with a lot of bull shit. And, there I was–the only person who couldn’t trust me to do what I said I was going to do was me.
Will power isn’t just the practice of abstinence. Self-discipline doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. What this all amounts to is being in control of your life. Making actual decisions and being fully aware of the consequences or where those decisions fall into your life’s overall balance. Let me elaborate.
I’ve been working out with Jess Hogue, personal-trainer and owner of Shape Plus Personal Training, for nine weeks. When I first came to him, I was crying my eyes out. “I don’t know how I got here,” I kept repeating. I felt so unbelievably lost and unsure. I didn’t know if I could ever find my way back–I think part of me knew I would, but most of me had no idea what that would look or feel like. But, Jess can tell you, I’ve only been crying tears of joy since. I think, for me in particular, I was at a place in my life that I needed someone to take my hand and show me the way. I haven’t resisted any of his instruction. I’ve taken his advice as perfectly as I can. Some of that straight line, cold turkey tactic has really worked for me because 1. I wanted it so badly, but 2. I would do anything he told me to do. I knew that I wasn’t doing anything right for myself. I needed someone else to drive the boat for awhile.
Things are different now. I’m actually making various decisions on a daily basis based on me, what I want, and what I know I have to do if I want them. So, for instance, I’m on the losing-weight track. I’m not maintaining my figure, I’m actively trying to lose. This means sacrifice. This means I don’t have a lot of wiggle room, particularly because I want to sprint to my goal as quickly as I can (this is very much the type of person I am). I have one cheat moment (it’s not a day–it’s a moment) per week and usually, I use that to have drinks with friends on Saturday nights. But, for the past few weeks, I’ve been really missing Sunday brunch. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and this past Sunday, after a night of celebrating a dear friend’s birthday, I decided I was going to also have Sunday brunch. That’s two cheat moments. I couldn’t have done that the week before. The week before, I may have slipped into some sort of unhealthy pattern and decided two cheat moments could mean three, etc., etc. But, as I dunked pieces of chicken-fried steak into chorizo gravy (I asked for extra…I barely dented the massive steak, so I’m still not sure why I wanted the side. I guess old ordering habits also die hard), and washed it all down with Snazeberry mimosas (still not sure what sugary, fruit juice concoction it was), I felt incredibly in control. I knew I wasn’t going to take leftovers home for later, or turn two mimosas into five. I knew I was going to do more cardio that evening and I was confident I wasn’t going to gain any weight. And, I didn’t.
I didn’t resist getting on the band wagon, but I have to say, I was afraid of ever swaying from it. I couldn’t be sure I wouldn’t just get out of control again. While it’s not something I want to do on a regular basis–like I said, I’m trying to lose weight, not maintain my current weight–I made a choice. I knew how to balance it into my goals. I’m not some deprived woman (I’m asserting my will) and I’m showing myself that I am in control in a positive, healthy way. The thing is, I’ve always wanted what I wanted when I wanted it–which led to too much excess. What I want now, and what I know I will want forever, is to be firing on all cylinders–and I can’t do that if I don’t take care for myself. If I say yes to every cupcake, press dinner, lunch date, dinner date, I will be saying no to feeling this good. I can say yes a lot of the time, but I have to say yes to me more often. Jess said something really touching to me last week: “Watching someone become who they really are is awe-inspiring.” And, man, do I feel like myself, more and more, every day.
From Jess: “Make it impossible not to succeed by gaining your own trust! Trust that this time is really different and that you will accomplish your end goals and that you will do whatever it takes to get there. That’s just talk until you do something every day that brings you closer to your goals. And, you will be building trust and a sense of security that your goals are definite and they they are a must instead of a should. Obstacles will get in your way–mimosas and overeating will set you back. Life will get in your way of accomplishment, but is it really getting the way or are you letting it? Realize you always have options and focus on your goals. Whatever you focus on, you will get more of. If you focus on problems, then you will have more problems. If you focus on your health, you will have your health. Focus on a cheeseburger and fries, and they will come! Don’t just think about your goals. Instead, you must act on your goals by doing something every day that brings them closer to you. Anything is possible when you do this–another way to put is is: It would be impossible not to succeed!”
To learn more about where I’m working out, click here.