I think the last few posts I’ve made, I start out the same…”well it’s been awhile…blah, blah, blah”. The thing is, I could say it again, but I’m not going to. I’m starting this off with a challenge to myself, to write once a month. Honestly, for my mental health alone.
I’ve talked about strength a lot before, but I keep coming back to it and it’s timely to talk about once again with all of the stories coming from the Olympics of strength, grit and sportsmanship.
But how do we relate to the strength of an Olympian on our journey to becoming healthier and losing weight? I know it sounds impossible, but promise me you CAN.
Because that strength that every Olympian has, is in each of us. The key is to know that you have it and to use every ounce of it along the way for your own journey.
You may not be training to be the fastest runner or swimmer, but moving forward on your journey takes strength. Physical, and most importantly, mental strength. Mental strength is the most powerful but sometimes the hardest to come by. We overthink things, we psyche ourselves out, we are multitasking ourselves into the ground, we’re parents, students, worker bees, you name it.
Part of that mental strength comes in believing in ourselves. This is hard. I know. This is one of the areas where I constantly struggle and talk about on here (even in the last post). The belief that I can lift a little more weight or run a little further. Or how about the belief that I am parenting my kid the right way…don’t even get me started.
One of our greatest obstacles to success in anything, not just losing weight, is believing that we are powerless – that we don’t have the ability to do what we set our mind on.
When I was in elementary school, my PE teacher always told us she never wanted to hear us say the word “CAN’T.” That no matter how hard we thought it was, we COULD do it if we put our mind to it. Despite my struggles, and the ups and downs, the memory of her telling us to never say the word “can’t” when I start to say it to myself, comes back to me. And this is where that inner power/mental strength comes from. You have to remove the limits you put on yourself and believe that you have the power to do it, and push yourself beyond those limits.
I tested the theory of pushing myself beyond what I “thought” I could do these past 2 weekends. I’ve been running more and more, slowly increasing my distance before I run a 10K in September. But, I’ve never made it past about 4.5 – 5 miles. On the first Sunday, I told myself I was just going to go and do it. So, I ran out almost 3 miles, then turned around and went back the same 3. By the end I was walking, better yet practically crawling up the giant hill to our house, but when I got there, it was an amazing feeling to know I had just completed under 6 miles. This past weekend, I did the same thing and changed up the route. Having an idea that it was roughly 6 miles in my head. I headed out after winning a small battle in my head telling me not to go and did it. Over 6 miles later, running much more than the weekend before, I made it home feeling tired but psyched about what I had just accomplished.
So, never say never. Remove CAN’T from your vocabulary. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take on the next challenge. And develop your mental muscle to become a stronger more powerful YOU.