I had an interesting conversation at the gym yesterday when one of my coaches wanted to know how long it had been since I had lost 25% of my body weight. It has only been about 3 and a half years, and people that haven’t known me that long have no idea that I used to be a different version of “me.” Yesterday was another great stopping point along my journey when I had the opportunity to share how I came to be the new ME. There have been ups and downs, but most of my struggles have been with learning what works for me: what I enjoy doing, what motivates me, what makes me stronger inside and out-what makes me feel like ME.
Along the way I have figured out what does not work for me, and I am finally strong enough to speak up and stand up against theories, practices and attitudes that just aren’t a good fit.
Here’s what I learned:
You have to own it. If you try to turn yourself into someone else’s version of you it can never work. Be wary of coaches and professionals who proclaim that their way is the best way, and the only way. The best way is what works for you, and only you can determine what that is.
Trust your instincts. Life should be joyous-even when you are working hard. If you find yourself becoming less joyful about what you are doing and how you are living your life something needs to change. I found that when going to the gym or working out becomes stressful, it is time to look at your environment first-especially if you used to enjoy working out!
Know what your goals are. Life is a more like an ultra marathon, not an 800m dash. What are you working toward? If you are like me and you like training to accomplish goals there is nothing wrong with that. Know what your goals are and stick with your plan; and then find another goal.
Know yourself. This is all of the above rolled into one. You have to be confident in who you are and be okay with it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better version of yourself-but don’t throw it all away to try to fit into someone else’s version of who they think you should be.
I cannot control how others might perceive me or my intentions, I can only stay true to myself. I may not be the most outgoing or popular person, I may have super high expectations for myself and others, but I am who I am. I have finally learned that if someone does not accept me for who I am I am not going to waste time trying to reinvent myself.