The plan today was to upload a new workout. Unfortunately I still have a lot of muscle soreness from training 2 days ago, so I felt moved to write instead 🙂
Since starting my blog OVER 2 and half years ago (can you believe it’s been that long), I have not only changed physically, but I think I have become a better person *big proud grin*! I know this because inside I feel AT PEACE and not all crazy and stressed. Although I know age and experience have to do with that, I do not feel I can take credit for the biggest change of all. There is only One explanation for that, and I might talk more about my inner spiritual journey more some other time, but I want to share these 6 things because I feel that no matter what your circumstances or beliefs are, these key realisations of mine, might just help you too.
As you read through my Top 6 Things (it started as 5 btw) I ever did, try to relate it to YOU and take a minute to focus on your own best decisions/actions etc and really feel proud of yourself for being able to see that you don’t always have to be driven by wanting to change something bad – you can be fueled and rewarded for seeing what you are doing right!
1) I stopped focusing on Fat Loss! (80% of the time, LOL)
This was a huge turning point for me, as I had been plagued by this internal hatred of my body composition. While there may still be times when I am not 100% happy with how I look, I can quickly change my focus to seeing how far I have come and saying “well, you are stronger, leaner, healthier than you ever were, Marianne!” … (as I said in my recent post “Amend Your Mind, Not Your Body“)
When I first started training properly for strength and performance, I stopped looking outwardly at what I wanted to look like and started enjoying the training progressions. This caused a massive shift in perspective for me. I believe this could have been the beginning of me starting to focus on inner-me.
How much importance and worth do you place in how you look? Let me reword that – How many of you feel that your happiness level would be higher, if you were leaner? This leads nicely to my next point …
2) I Stopped Jumping to the Negatives (80% of the time)
Do you ever stand and look at yourself in the mirror and only see the things you wish you could change? Let me tell you that the more you ALLOW YOURSELF to do this, the more negatives you will notice. Your mind becomes a magnet for what you think about most. If you hate your body, you will feed that mind-set more and keep seeing more things to hate.
I spent many a morning and night changing my clothes away from the sight of the mirror. If I didn’t catch a glimpse, I wouldn’t feel bad for the rest of the night. Isn’t that sad? The human body is amazing and each of us should be proud of our physical shell, because that allows us to do good things in the world.
Do you think a person with a “perfect” body (to you) is happy and confident because they have a perfect body? NOPE! If they are truly happy and confident, they are so because they love what they have in spite of the “flaws” (to them).
Try this instead: for a one week trial – notice and write down just 1 thing you like about your body. You only need to think of one different thing each day. It will seem really difficult the first day, but then you become more and more tuned in to what is good 🙂
3) I Stopped Comparing Myself to Others! (well, I’m getting there!)
Envy is a deadly sin for a reason; it poisons you and your relationships! Stop thinking “why can’t I look like her?” or “what does he see in her and not me”, or “If I was as strong, beautiful, lean as so-and-so, I’d be happy”, or the worst of all: “it’s easy for you to say, because you’re x,y,z”…
Hands-up confession: I was plagued by these types of thoughts through my teens and early 20’s! I always managed to find a nemesis; someone who appeared to have it all and who people loved “more” than me. And I made it my mission to try and get one up on them. Ashamedly true 🙁 Yet, the more I let those questions about “me verses them” come up in my head, the more I got angry at them and I felt like they didn’t deserve the favour they got, and I deserved it more (PRIDE!!!). And I started to doubt myself and began to believe that I could never measure up.
Thankfully, we are not stuck in these cycles for life – if we decide to change, we can!
What happened to change this? I set my mind to wishing them well, and I DECIDED to be happy for them. I do not let the crappy, weak-mindedness insecurities rule my life – I simply say: “Well, I too have a wonderful life and I am made for a different, yet equally amazing purpose. Thank you God!”. And you know what? The burning FEELINGS (feelings are not always meant to motivate our actions btw!) die down and I feel happy FOR THEM, and grateful for my life.
This is by far my biggest challenge in life. But I am overcoming it because I cannot live my life being Envious – that is no way to live.
Know your achilles heel and be prepared to guard it well.
4) I Stopped Conforming to What the World Wants!
Giving in to pressures and expectations of the world will never win you long term happiness! It may win you popularity, admiration, money or even a partner but these are just empty promises made by the world’s standards and I believe we are held accountable to God and in Him is where happiness lives.
Whether you believe in God or not, the truth is (in any belief system) that “STUFF” and those things we gain from other people, are not what makes us happy and fulfilled! For instance, what happens when you lose all that stuff? You’re no longer popular; people start to dislike you because you’re not flavour of the month anymore; your partner cheats on you, you lose your outer “beauty” … etc. Ask yourself: Where you place your value, your identity and whose opinion/judgement really matters!
To use an example, I made a post on my FB Fitness Page with something about God in it and I got a telling off and lost a reader because he was offended by my belief and so-called “evangelising”. In the past I might have freaked out and deleted my post so I didn’t cause more people to leave my page (trying to win my popularity), trying to conform to their expectation of me. I don’t do that anymore!
You can NEVER please everyone anyway, so just be yourself.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
*Oops! Sorry for evangelising on my own blog!*
If something I say offends you then don’t blame me (my intention is never to offend), look to yourself for why YOU are offended. Offense is not given, offense is taken. If you feel so free to tackle me on my beliefs, then surely I am granted the freedom to voice them.
5) I Stopped Taking Things Personally (another work in progress)
This leads on from point 4, but on it’s own it can pull you out of many a dark moment! Think of how miserable your life would be if you took everything people said as something mean or a criticism? Well, I have been in that messed-up warped mind-set too!
I would say that 80% of the time that you are feeling hurt by someone, they don’t even realise they have done it!! Then, when you realise they haven’t realised – you take even more offense to it and huff or retaliate or you get caught up in thoughts of revenge.
Before letting yourself become offended by something, do the following:
- Ask “why is this hurting me”?
- Try to give that person the benefit of the doubt.
- If it’s a stranger, stop feeling you have to justify yourself.
- Don’t act too soon. “… everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger…” James 1:19
- What helps me, is thinking: “well, do I want to prove them right?” 🙂
6) I Shut Down the Time Portal
Lately I have written and talked about this topic extensively (see my post about “The One Day Mentality“, so all I will say is our awareness, understanding and actions/inactions only exist in any given moment – not down the road in “one day I’ll be …” or in the past “where we had it all” – it is right NOW.
Yes, the past may have shaped us, but that shaping has stopped; we can’t go back and unshape to a former version of ourselves. Like that relationship that doesn’t seem so bad looking back?? Hmm, that relationship a) ended and b) no longer exists because you and whoever are different NOW. Why try to move back to a past place? Or you want to look how you did in your 20’s … yet you’re not in your 20’s now, you’re 40 and have 3 kids!
Shut down the Time Travel and remember it for what it is now – a lesson.
There we have a “little” glimpse of a few lessons I have learned over the last 2 and a half years. I set out on myomytv to document my fitness journey (and provide awesome workouts), but what a journey it has become; fitness of Body, Mind and Soul 🙂