I get compliments almost daily. “Wow, great muscle.” “I love your arms.” “I bet you could beat me up.” (Does it look like I want to?)
The comment that really bothers me is: “I could never look like that.”
What I truly want to give in response to that is: “YOU’RE RIGHT!”
It goes back to that saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” –Henry Ford
How I look today started with a choice I made eight years ago. My health became a priority and still is to this day. I have chosen to give up certain things in my life to look the way I do and to have the vibrancy and energy I feel. Do I make some sacrifices? Yes. But trust me when I say that I feel so much better when I eat well. My confidence is up because I work out and take care of myself. Plus, I still have the occasional dessert and glass of wine. It’s the way I choose to live.
You can have whatever it is you choose to work for. Wishing and wanting is not enough. Do you have to completely give up your favorite beer or that bag of M&M’s? Well, no. But you can’t have those things every day and reach your health goals. Do you have to run on a treadmill until your feet bleed? Not really. It’s about balance and realistic goals. However, you must be willing to make the changes and do the work.
You must want to change more than you want to remain the same. Change is scary. As human beings, we tend to resist change. We prefer schedules and familiarity over something new, even when it is better for us. We all know people who stay at boring or disappointing jobs, or who remain in unhealthy relationships because the unknown is more terrifying than staying in a negative situation. I’ve even known people who, faced with the threat of death, wouldn’t make the choice to change.
To those who want a life change but can’t seem to make the commitment, I ask this question: Which do you want more? We all want to feel better, but are we willing be eat better, exercise, stop smoking? … you get the picture.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is: ”You will remain the same until the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.”
My tips for making a change:
1. You must utilize positive thinking. You must believe you have the power to change.
2. Find a mentor who is where you want to be. Ask for advice and reach up when you feel stuck or are struggling.
3. Focus on making one change at a time. It is not necessary or realistic to try and change everything at once. You will not be able to maintain it.
4. Prioritize your efforts and eliminate the unimportant. Are you doing the actions necessary to reach your goals or are you stuck in unproductive busywork?
5. Visualize yourself where you want to be. Having an emotional attachment to your goals will keep you motivated long after the excitement has left.
6. Find a way to make your goal non-negotiable. Your goals must be bigger than your obstacles.
So the next time you catch yourself thinking “I could never … ,” remember that you have the power to change your own life and that anything is attainable if you truly want it and are willing to do the work.
Photos of Melissa Fillmore by James Patrick Photography