The Awareness Alphabet - Accountability
This is an ongoing series that offers 26 ways for you to be aware of the things you need to do in order to make change. This post kicks off that series.
So here's the thing. Change is hard. Like super fucking hard. But as cliche as it sounds, nothing worth having ever comes easy. So you need to work for what you want. And yet, when it comes to ourselves, we're so quick to make excuses and dismiss our wants as too hard, or too selfish, or too time consuming. Anything to not have to change. But, and this is true, the only constant in life is change.
As someone who has changed (and is constantly changing), I can acknowledge and own all of this. It took me years. YEARS. Not like 1 year or 5 years. More like 15-20 to become the person I am now. And yes, it was hard. And it took discipline. And I failed — a lot. But what is the alternative? Doing nothing and being the same unhappy person you are now in 15-20 years? Screw that. I'm worth more than that. And so are you. And if you don't think you are, then please, please, go talk to a therapist. Go get help from someone who can help you unlock why you feel you aren't worthy of a happy and healthy life. Invest in you as much as you invest in your family and your friends and your job. BE ACCOUNTABLE for your life. For the choices you have made and the choices you will make. Own it.
It's only by doing so that allows you to truly let go. Truly say, 'yes, I made bad choices'. Or maybe 'yes, I made the best choice for me at the time, or the only choice, but now I have the ability to change that. To rectify wrongs. To move forward'. There's no reason to beat yourself up or dwell in the past. All we can do is acknowledge and move forward.
I was obese for most of my life. And like millions and millions of us, I was up and down with the same 30-40 pounds. Dieting and gaining. Never really creating a healthy relationship with food, never appreciating my body and completely taking my health for granted. At my heaviest I weighed about 235 lbs. I ate for lots of reasons (which I'll get to in many future posts), but I never owned those reasons. I blamed food, or my family or society. Everyone but myself. I didn't hold myself accountable for my actions. End of story.
So what changed? It wasn't like a lightbulb went off in my head. But the most defining moment was the end of my marriage. I knew I'd have to start dating again and I didn't want to do it overweight. Plus, my son was not quite 3 and I wanted to be a role model for him. I wanted him to see a strong, fit mom who made smart choices. Someone who could keep up with him on the playground and also teach him how to eat well. Let's be very clear. I hated exercise. I thought it was boring and while I'd worked out on and off my whole life, it just never clicked for me.
But I reached out to a friend and asked if we could start walking in the morning before work. We got up 5 days a week at 5:45am and walked for an hour around the neighborhood. The only times we didn't meet were if it was raining or truly freezing (once we met when it was 7 degrees. Yes, 7. #noexcuses). She was in much better shape than me, but she walked at my pace. Soon walking turned to alternating running and walking and eventually we just ran, logging about 3-3.5 miles at a time. Needing more, I joined Lucille Roberts and also started doing workout DVDs at home. I did that for years and lost probably 20 pounds or so. I felt really pleased with myself. I was dating, feeling hot and loving life. But then the workouts started to become boring again. I bought other DVD's and took other classes but I felt like I wasn't giving it my all. I needed a push. I needed more accountability. That's when I found CrossFit. #Gamechanger
I'll definitely get more into that as well but my point is, no one thing is the big fix. You keep checking in with yourself. You keep asking yourself is what I'm doing enough? And you keep holding yourself accountable for those answers. Today, tomorrow and always. Because happiness isn't one thing. It's a lifetime of decisions and choices. Go choose to be happy. You can make it happen.