Years ago, I belonged to a Weight Watchers group in Hattiesburg. My favorite instructor was Marsha, a woman older than myself who has been there and done that when it came to weight loss. Her approach was very direct – no nonsense, and unsympathetic. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but it worked for me. One of the things she always asked anyone who was falling down on their plan was, “How bad do you want it?”. You have to want to lose weight more than you want that slice of red velvet cake if you’re going to be successful.
That’s a motto I’ve carried with me since then. Whenever I approach a long term goal, whether it’s weight loss, a running goal, a business goal, or any other personal goal I’m reaching toward, I ask myself that question. Because, if you don’t want it badly enough, you’re not going to be willing to put in the work required to get there. Most goals worth setting require time, intense effort, and patience. Few things in life worth having come to you without effort.
Getting back to running was one of those things for me. I knew I wanted it in my life, had allowed it to fall by the wayside, and was ready to pick it back up and try it on for size. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a good fit when I started back. But, as the days turned into weeks, then months, then years, I established patterns that I’m excited to believe are with me to stay. I’ve had to overcome a few things, and am still working to overcome some issues, but the end result is absolutely worth it. I can say with confidence and no exaggeration that I feel better now than I ever have. And, I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been.
Reawakening the discipline of exercise in my life has led me to become more disciplined in other areas of my life. I eat much more intelligently now, and see food as a source of fuel, rather than a source of stress relief or comfort. I’m learning to refine it so that it is the most efficient fuel burner I can make it. This is a work in progress, but again, I want it badly enough to do it.
I’ve learned that my body doesn’t like it when I don’t give it the daily attention that it needs in the form of prayer, movement, and proper fueling. On days that I oversleep and miss my early morning run, I’m foggy and foul tempered the entire day. Summer runs in Mississippi have to be done very, very early out of necessity in order to beat the heat. Even 5 am runs can be 85 degrees with 95% humidity, so running any later in the day is a death wish. I’m not a morning person. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But, I know if I don’t run or crosstrain early, it won’t happen. So, when my alarm goes off at 4:30 or 5 am, I have to bargain with myself to make it happen. Usually, I tell myself that if I will just get up, I don’t really have to run, I can walk my miles today. Of course, I know that when I get started, I won’t walk, I’ll run, but I have to trick my psyche to make it leave my nice warm nest. Amazingly enough, that works almost every time. I guess my psyche is too groggy with sleep to call me on the lie that early, and by the time it catches on, the run already feels pretty good. Sometimes, I just have to remind myself what a foul mood I’ll be in if I don’t get my run in. Those moods are serious enough that I’ll do whatever it takes to prevent them, so out the door I go.
So, how bad do you want it? Whatever your goal is, write it down, pray over it, and let God lead you to the best way to accomplish it. Know ahead of time that it will take time, much more time than you want it to. Prepare your mind with prayer, seek good, Godly advice, and most of all, know that as you are striving to achieve your goal, God will provide what or who you need to reach it at exactly the right moment.
My journey is ongoing. I’m still struggling with weight issues (although I hope to have an exciting post about that in a few weeks) and am still really struggling with GI issues when I run. But, with age and determination have come wisdom and patience. I know I’ll get where I’m going, because God has set my feet on this path. I recognize that this is my journey, and I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. If it took some gray hairs and the permanent sagging of my skin to get me to this place, then I can live with that. And, I have a really good hairdresser (love you, Amanda!) and excellent skincare that is second to none (love you Fleur de Vie!). 😉