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Climb Your Own Ladder

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My full time job is all about encouraging people to actually take steps toward doing the things they dream about, despite all of the things that tend to get in our way. No matter what personal goals we may have, there will inevitably be a myriad of things pulling us in different directions. Obligations to our families, friends, jobs, and just plain old exhaustion have a tendency to crowd out the things that matter most to just us. We make all sorts of excuses for putting our dreams on hold. Personally, I spent years bargaining with myself. I promised that I would focus on losing weight and getting healthy if I could only get through the next upcoming challenge. Finally, I realized that it's a lot like I've been standing on the edge of the ocean, constantly being pummeled by waves. I kept waiting to find solid ground before I began to move, when really, all I needed to do was take a deep breath, jump in, and just start swimming.

Over the past year, I've spent a lot of time focusing on me. I deleted my social media accounts because I couldn't stand how everyone seems to only post the "roses and sunshine" versions of their lives. My brain was trapped in a vicious cycle of comparing my insides to their highly curated outsides, and of course my life seemed to come up short. Stepping away from all of that has enabled me to see things much more clearly, and I am so much happier now.

In the past year, I've started writing a book, gotten into the habit of creating art frequently (and even sold a piece of my art in a show!), and lost 60 pounds by cutting way down on both sugar and carbs, focusing on high quality vegetarian protein sources, and walking 30,000 steps every day. I'm still aware of my tendency to compare my progress with others (partially because I'm human, and partially because of my fiercely competitive nature).

At work, we have a saying that I think applies well here: Climb your own ladder! Although we may have similar goals (weight loss, increased fitness, better health, etc.), each one of us is on an individual journey, battling demons that nobody else can possibly know. I'm not going to compare myself to anyone else anymore. I have no idea how long this journey will take me, but I'm not going to obsess over numbers or timelines. Instead, I'm just going to keep doing what I know I need to do, have compassion for myself when I slip up, and get right back on the proverbial horse. I hope you'll all join me!
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