Who Says You Can’t Change?

I could barely contain my excitement. Something triggered a dramatic shift in the way you look at exercise. “Nothing we can do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.”-Ashleigh Brilliant  My interpretation is that this was a defining moment for you!  As I recall, when you began training with me, this drastic change of perspective could never have been anticipated. Those early weeks were filled with hesitation, uncertainty, and skepticism. They were literally ground breaking and back breaking. This fitness portion of the journey was unlike anything you’d ever done before. There was no blood, but a lot of sweat and tears in my gym. Despite the doubters in the noisy crowd and your own insecurities, you persevered. It was an honor to serve you. I would have loved to have been privileged to hear your perfect response to your co-workers and friends. With mild curiosity and a hint of sarcasm, the daily exchange was always the same. “Oh, so you have to go workout now, huh?” Without wanting to project any hint of frustration, exasperation, or desperation, you calmly said “Yes” and nothing more. The change in your outlook did not occur overnight. “Conversion will not be a single event or something that will last for just one season of life, but will be a continuing process.”-Henry B. Eyring  However, on one glorious day, in the span of a few scant seconds, you were able to verbalize that transformation with beautiful spontaneity, “No, today I get to go exercise with my trainer!” That is an instant classic! “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”-George Bernard Shaw

It has been said by some that one of the greatest pleasures in life is accomplishing that which others say is impossible. Now that you’ve done the impossible, never forget how it came to pass. Remember the tremendous opposition you faced and the courage you demonstrated. Remember that “sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’.”-Thomas S. Monson. Your joy is as exquisite as had been your pain. Remember your original goals and set new ones. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. In a very real sense, you have been reborn. Now, go live that new life! “Your future is as bright as your faith.”-Thomas S. Monson  My friend, keep in mind that “things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”-Carlos Castaneda  By changing your mind, you proved that you really can alter the course of your life. Sometimes it is all between the ears.

Don’t Feed the Animals

Did you know that the road to a healthier lifestyle is often paved with trash? This type of littering has always been a serious problem. Unfortunately, no citations will be written, and, therefore, no fines will serve as a deterrent to prevent this behavior in the future. One seeking to reform his ways must always see beyond the garbage that may be heaped on his path, and even literally upon him. It is easier said than done, though. This can be a grueling journey, particularly when the guilty party, the person whose rubbish is in his way and in his face, is someone he knows. During the reformative stages of one’s D.I.E.T. the all too familiar offerings of refuse can make you feel more than a little uncomfortable. There are reasons why the dealers of “junk food” seem compelled to make your quest more arduous. However, if you are on the receiving end of these persistent efforts to sabotage your good work, the focus today must be on you, and not the offender. Nevertheless, you will have to deal with the litterbugs sooner than later.

You body is your responsibility, and yours alone. Yours is the task of protecting it from harm as much as possible. Strengthen it. Strengthen your will to do what you alone are commissioned to do. Yours is the task of taking charge of how it is fueled, when it is fed, and why it is filled. Take ownership of your body’s basic nutritional needs. Anyone, who is not “all in” with your health and wellness program is going to prove to be an obstruction. Nothing short of complete cooperation forms an acceptable alliance in this journey. So, despite whatever shortcomings you may think exist in your communication skills, talk about it. Speak clearly and emphatically to those in your inner circle about your goals and your expectations. You set the standards for what is appropriate. You must dictate to everyone, not delegate to anyone, your specific requirements. Your desire is to become supremely disciplined and regimented with your daily consumption of food. You need not fear broadcasting your plan to avoid the toxic, recycled, processed garbage that abounds in the daily feeding rituals of far too many. A press conference isn’t necessary. A bold statement of your intentions will suffice. Hey, it is great if someone else wants to help you steer clear of this poisonous onslaught. It is extremely helpful. But, don’t count on it, at least for now. You may be disappointed. “Though we may not be our brother’s keeper, we are our brother’s brother. And because we have been given much, we too must give.”-Jeffrey R. Holland  We should care more and not cripple one’s dreams. We should know better than to impair another’s progress. We should seek deeper understanding in order to avoid damaging our brother’s and sister’s efforts to become their best self. Sadly, we do not step up, and man up, and perform our job of lifting up those around us who need some support as they travel through this wasteland of trash. We are obligated to do better and to be better. “When a man is trying to change for the better, the worst thing you can do is to keep reminding him of his past.”-unknown  By shoving “treats” in your face, or treating you to meal in unfriendly territory, you are being forced to constantly confront your past eating transgressions. I am not going to mix words here. If you don’t open your mouth to speak your peace, it will be opening to eat a piece of something you have sworn secretly to give up. The tempting offerings from others will not end. When you make a declaration of your beliefs, it doesn’t guarantee that others will change. Remember, it is you attempting to change! So, speak up and stand up for yourself. They will be accountable for their actions. You are accountable for your reactions.

So, until the time comes when someone else gets on board with you, this journey is yours to bear. Though the stench from the endless junkyards of popular, empty food choices may grow to be overwhelming, keep walking. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to do it! Put on a mask and blinders if you must. Better yet, put on the whole armor, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of your eating adversaries. Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts from the wicked who seek to keep you unhappy, overweight, and unhealthy. You will find a strength beyond your own. Coupled with a knowledge of who you are capable of becoming, this new found power to resist temptation will lead you safely on your journey. It has to come from within you. You could try wearing a tee-shirt that reads “Don’t feed this animal. I can take care of that myself. Thank you, very much.”, but something tells me that won’t be enough. The current mindset of many is that nothing is broken, so therefore, there isn’t any need for a fix. Don’t worry. I like your mindset. It’s not about fixing something broken. Maybe, as you say, it’s about starting over and creating something better.