Day 16 – Your Biggest Accomplishment
Day 16 – whew… Halfway through this 31 Day Blog Challenge! And today’s topic is what is your biggest accomplishment.
Many years ago, I was a cigarette addicted, wine-loving, fattiest and yummiest food aficionado. I mean, I was the girl who did not do Physical Education in school nor participate in anything thereafter that was deliberately designed to make me sweat – why the heck would I deliberately want to sweat was how I saw it. I was the girl who at 11pm at night would decide that a fried bologna sandwich was the best idea – and I don’t just mean an ordinary fried bologna sandwich. I mean fried in butter, and put in between two hulking slices of Jamaican hard dough bread (mmm, the BEST), slathered with mayo, topped with sliced cheddar, tomato and lettuce. It was a thing of great gastronomic beauty. 😉
I was the girl who smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day and thought by washing my hands after a cigarette, no one would be able to tell I was a smoker.
I was the girl who had a love affair with red wine. Like seriously, I loved the whole look, feel and smell of a good glass of wine and I rarely met a bottle of red that I didn’t like. 😉
- I don’t smoke.
- I don’t drink any type of alcohol.
- I eat clean.
- I train dirty.
Over the past several years I started making changes towards a more healthy life. I stopped smoking 17 years ago. It took about a year for me to be able to say I was completely over it. Nicotine is a powerful addiction. It was the toughest habit I have ever tried to break. But it can be done – and the health benefits are amazing. I once read that it takes about 15 years for a human body to recover from the damage done by nicotine, and be in the condition of someone who never smoked. Today, I celebrate having breath. I run. I work out a lot. I don’t smell like a smoker because I don’t smoke. I count this as a huge accomplishment and BLESSING in my life.
I stopped drinking alcohol last July – so it has been just over a year. I came to realize that, while I enjoyed a good glass of wine, alcohol was affecting my fitness results and holding me back from living to my full potential. While it had its enjoyable side, it had enough negatives to try giving it up, for a while at least. So far, I am enjoying the health and wellness benefits so much, I continue to be committed. Sure I miss the look, feel and smell of a good glass of wine. Sure I miss having wine while hanging out with my friends. I probably miss most those awesome, long, cool spring evenings in South Florida when my husband and I sit outside and we would enjoy a glass of champagne together. But I love being present in the moment now. I love not having the desire or need to nibble and graze on food, mainly unhealthy ones. I love the loss of stubborn belly fat. I could go on and on about the things I enjoy about this decision, but let’s just make it concise – I feel so much better and I am able to live to my full potential this way.
I finally decided that exercise was going to be a necessity of life if I wanted to lose weight, so I started many years ago now. But it was a chore. Something I had to do – a necessary evil. My trainer, Michelle, could tell you I was an avid whiner in the gym. I did it – but I whined the entire time. And I was just half-way committed, at best. I wasn’t really making the right food choices, I just did what I determined to be necessary – and then, of course, wondered why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. I tried all kinds of insane diets and fast-fix solutions – that solved nothing. So finally, I decided to follow Michelle’s advice and commit to eating clean and working out for my health, with commitment and balance. I feel extremely blessed and happy to be able to say today, that at 47 years old, I am in the best shape of my life. I get told I look far younger all the time and most importantly – I feel GREAT!!! I love weight lifting – not for competition. But for strength. I love the daily feeling of accomplishment and I love seeing that I can lift more today than I did yesterday. I learned from Michelle that eating clean is actually fun and easy if you prepare and if you make sure your food tastes good. I don’t ever feel like I am sacrificing anything because I truly enjoy what I eat – and most people who try my meals enjoy them too.
Well, anyway – that is my biggest accomplishment. And I guess the thing I most want to share is that, in the moment, it is very hard to make big changes like these. It is difficult, challenging and can seem like you are putting yourself through unnecessary punishment – in the moment.
But the payoff – the reward – is life changing and you will not regret it. I promise you that! I want to share that I was the antithesis of a healthy lifestyle. You couldn’t find someone who defined ‘healthy living’ less! But I did it! And if I can do it – you can do it! So if that is what your heart wants, if that is your goal – Go for It! The beginning is the hardest part, but it does get easier. Just focus on getting through today! Tomorrow will take care of itself – if you can get through today, you have won the day! Don’t look so far ahead and see all that you’re giving up – Look at today and look forward to the day when you will have all the results/rewards you have been dreaming of.
Turn to God and He will strengthen you for the journey. He was and is my strength through this quest to live my best life. He will hold you, comfort you, strengthen you, guide you and lead you to victory over any temptation, trial or weak area in your life – if you just seek Him. He wants the best for you; He planned and purposed the best for you.
Reach out to Him – and you will find your way.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10: 13 ESV
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41: 10