When people come across my transformation photo, one of the most common questions I get is, “How long did it take?” I find that question to be quite cringe-worthy for several reasons:
- My answer will discourage you. I have a LONG story and to sum it up, it didn’t happen overnight.
- My answer doesn’t matter. With the utmost respect, why do you care to know? Will you use my answer and compare it to your own journey? I only ask because I’m guilty of this too. If so, stop it! Don’t focus on anyone else but yourself.
- There is no finish line. Let me repeat, THERE IS NO FINISH LINE! If you are serious about getting healthy and seeing lasting results, you absolutely must accept that there is no finish line to this game, so let’s let go of the pressure we put on ourselves to lose X amount of pounds by X date! Instead, let’s set a goal to never quit, no matter what happens! If you happen to indulge a little more than you had wanted or planned to, that’s OK! Do NOT throw in the towel. Just keep going! There are 365 days in a year and indulging every now and then is not going to ruin a thing. But quitting will!
- The time will pass anyways (God willing). Take a look at yourself a year from now. Will you be happy with yourself, how you feel/look, and the choices you’ve been making? Depending on your answer, you can either do something about it or not; it’s that simple! Time does not matter. It will pass either way.
Once I was able to stop putting insignificant superficial pressure on myself I was able to focus on what’s truly important, which is my overall health. Once I fully trusted the process and set goals to practice healthy habits most of the time just for the sake of feeling good, I was finally able to let go and be free! No longer was I tied to the mentality of working out a certain way or following a too-restrictive diet for the sole purpose of losing weight. I mean it, throw that scale away! No longer did I put stress on myself, crash dieting to be swimsuit ready by summer. It is the most magnificent feeling!
At the end of the day, our bodies simply want to be a in a state of optimal health and if we just get out of our own way, it will work in our favor which manifests itself differently in each and every person. For me that meant shedding the excess weight that I had carried for nearly all of my life. For me that also meant naturally lowering my cholesterol to medically acceptable numbers. For me that also meant achieving mental clarity, spiritual and emotional stability, self-love and respect. I am so grateful!
Believe me, I get it… despite all that I’ve said, you may STILL be thinking about time; we’ve been programmed to think this way thanks to the diet industry and all kinds of media. My response? Sure, adopting this attitude may take you “longer” to achieve whatever your goals may be. However, a health-centric goal is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Changing your focus as described above WILL get you health-focused results that will not only be sustainable but most importantly, long-lasting. Just take it one moment and decision at a time. Trust me, you’ll get there!