It’s been six months since my last post, and the journey continues. This is the first time in my life I’ve stuck to an exercise routine for over a year. And it feels good. I’ve learned a lot, and I continue to learn.
A year ago when I reached out to an old high school friend. I saw her progress through pictures on social media. And I asked her in a private message how long it took to shed her weight. Her answer was something I did not want to hear. She answered, “Two years.”
Then I reached out to an old neighbor who also posted pictures on social media about her progress. And her answer was the same, “two years.”
Two years seemed like an eternity at the time. I wanted a quick fix. Something we all tend to look for at one point or another when we’re desperate.
There are days when I feel like a little kid on a long road trip, and I find myself asking, “Are we there yet?!” And when I see I’m not, I wonder how much longer it’s going to take.
If you’ve felt like that, too at times. Here are three things that helped me and may help you stay encouraged as you stay focused on the road ahead.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is take a picture. But trust me. Those pictures at some point are going to be your biggest encouragement. Because they will show you your progress. If you need encouragement, start taking pictures now for those moments ahead. Your pictures will tell you the truth, and your progress, no matter how small will be your biggest encouragement.
Try your clothes.
You know that old outfit you couldn’t fit into? Save it! And every time you feel discouraged, try it on. If you’re losing inches, you will see the progress and every little bit of change will be your motivation to keep moving forward.
Reach out to a mentor or friend.
If you feel like you’re getting nowhere, reach out to someone who cares. And if you feel like you’re getting somewhere, reach out to someone who cares. Remember the old friend from high school? Sometimes I reach out to her to tell her my progress or just to tell her how much faster I wish things would go. And she cheers me on and makes me feel like I can do it. I don’t even have a close relationship with her, but I know she knows what it feels like and she has a great way of inspiring me through her own progress and experience and her belief in me.
It can be your spouse, your child, your friend, or anyone else. If you can’t think of anyone, try the mirror and you’ll find yourself. You can be your biggest encourager. You know what you need to hear. And you know how to say it. Be gentle. Be your biggest fan. Be your best friend.
This journey is a journey of love. If you haven’t learned to love yourself, you will learn through the process. And the best way to start is by believing in yourself.