Want to know what’s even more challenging than the initial post? The second post…the song “Under Pressure” comes to mind right about now. I want it to be poignant and full of great analogies; but the reality is I’m more likely to stumble through these next few paragraphs like a….see nothin. Not a single one comes to mind……
So, what I get asked about quite often, or see as “trending” (I don’t even think I’m cool enough to use the word trending–kinda not sure how something or someone begins to trend) or is now a buzz word is: Motivation. How does one stay motivated to (fill in the blank)? Oh look at him/her, they’re so motivated. I feel when you’re working towards a goal, once the excitement fades, so often does the motivation. I challenge people to refelect on their motivation and ask themselves one relatively simple question: “why.”
Why am I going to wake up before most people and complete a workout? Why am I going to read instead of watch TV? Why am I going to pass on the chocolate chip cookie dough, when deep down I really do want a bite. Why am I going to opt for water vs. wine at dinner? Why, why, why? (We sound a bit like that Brady Bunch episode, but we’ve replaced “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha” with ‘why.’) Your why factor for being diligent and staying the course must be something deep. I feel it has to be bigger than something that is simply below surface level; for it must help you overcome the hurdles when the novelty fades. As I sit here now, I somewhat thought I had a great answer for my motivation, my why, my reason for staying the course when the road isn’t easy. I was wrong. I was going to tell you that my motivation is to be a positive example to my sweet-five-year-old-absorbing-my-every-move-like-a-sponge little lady; but if I am truly honest about it she is not my sole reason. She is one of my motivating “why” components, yes, absolutely; but there is another little lady; one who I’ve known longer and knows me to my core, my inner most thoughts and such; and it’s all about being authentic and real so……here goes it……
10 years old. 5th grade. Roughly 5ft tall and 180lbs (maybe?). Size 12-14 jeans (if memory serves correctly). The first time, I remember, being called a name due to my physical size–and no, I’m not talking about my height. “Miss Piggy.” Seems innocent enough right? Well, to my ten year old self, not so much; it stung and cut deep. It hurt so much partially because of who it came from. The person who was the “cat’s meow” of the 5th grade. The super-cute-all-the-girls-have-crushes-on-him-and-sadly-I was-no-exception kid. The other part was because his words validated what I already had thought about myself. I really wanted to be seen the way I thought girls were supposed to look like: slim, pretty, perfect hair, clothes, tan, etc. I had yet to discover the love yourself as you are type campaigns teaching young women that you, as you are in this moment, are enough and those around you and the world are better because of you. Sure, I had the reassurance from my parents; but sadly, it never quite sank in. (I’m a slow learner, what can I say?!?) I had yet to really absorb and believe the encouragement and support of my family. I had yet to really believe the words they spoke were affirmations from my heavenly father–the one who made me.
You see from this point forward my journey began. A journey of self loathing, self pity, self consciousness, body image issues, constant state of comparison to others, abuse of my body by withholding nourishment and then quickly ensuring no calorie remained in my body, abuse of a body that was made in the image of the creator above. It was, and sometimes still is, exhausting. The ever present mental battle that took place would make some war time strategists impressed–well maybe not real war time strategists, but at least a solid game of Risk. I would love to sit here and tell you I have fully overcome this portion of my journey; but I am a daily work in progress. Some days are far easier than others; while the more difficult ones I need Jesus that much more. You see we are made in the image of our creator and He is perfect and He doesn’t make mistakes–talk about guilt whenever we nit pick about our body’s perceived imperfections , am I right?!?! (Again,”Under Pressure”–you’re welcome for the ear worm by the way.) Our beauty and thus our worth shouldn’t solely be located in our outward appearance; but by our gentle and quiet spirit. (1 Peter 3:3-4) I am not saying that this gives us free license to go out and treat out bodies any which way. I still believe these vessels, these bodies, need to be healthy, strong and well taken care of because they’ve been given to us as a gift and have the ability to take each of us on journey’s and paths that can change this world for the better.
Now let’s circle back to the whole point of this second post: motivation aka the “why” factor. One of my “why” factors is my 10yr old self. To have the ability to go back to that moment, look her in the eye as the adult self, and tell her “YOU, as you are, in this moment, are enough.” To let her know that it all works out on the other side. I feel, looking back, as a result of this moment in time, my story began taking shape. That this one moment helped shape me into who I am meant to be; helped shape me into who I could become and challenged me to view things differently than before. To be daring enough to view my body not for what it lacked, but for what it is capable of achieving. Being able to carry another life inside safely. Being able to walk/run where I want and need to go on legs. (I still mentally struggle every so often when said legs need to wear anything other than workout gear–real pants are a challenge ya’ll.) Having arms strong enough to hold onto those I love most. These are the types of thoughts, positive, empowering, and encouraging thoughts, should be kept as our mantra while working diligently towards achieving our goals.
Your story, your journey, your “why” needs to be something that will keep the fire burning when the excitement fades. Discover that, and you’re in it to win it, my friend. Discover your why and there will be no stopping you on achiveing whatever goal(s) you’ve set out. So, here is to you and discovering your “why.”
Oh and PS: If no one has told you already…..YOU, as you are today, are enough. (Ps. 139:14)
Until next time….