Written By: Wendy Parry
“Everything happens for a reason”
“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
“Every experience gains you knowledge for the future”
“Timing is everything.”
These are quotes that I have used in my own life several times. Words that I swore I practiced in my everyday life. I considered myself to be “wise” and “experienced” and so “profound”. But never truly believed what I was preaching to everyone else. “Practice what you preach” is probably something I should’ve been more authentic about.
I have been a part of a fitness challenge group since the fall of 2012. I jumped on board because it was something that I needed in my life. A group to hold me accountable to food and exercise choices I was making. I didn’t like how I felt or looked, so felt that this would be a good thing in my life.
In many ways, it was. The women that were involved in this group were and are some of the most amazing, genuine, good hearted and inspirational people I have met (in real life and online). For the most part, I put in about 10% to each challenge. In 2013, not only did I partake in this challenge group, I joined a boot camp and attended, fairly consistently about 6 days a week. I felt I was eating pretty well, too. Clean eating about 80% of the time. (Or so I convinced myself). My results were less than stellar. I got discouraged, but plugged along anyways.
You see, for each one of these challenges, I was experiencing really tough REAL LIFE challenges every time. I used them as the appropriate excuse to not be getting the results I was looking for. Or like I refer to it as: VICTIM MODE!
I was so quick to blame my life circumstances for giving up, having that drink, that chocolate bar and not properly take responsibility for those choices. No one could possibly understand that I was in financial hardship, that I was struggling emotionally with other circumstances in my life, because there is no way possible that anyone else had the kind of problems that I did. I was “unique”, you know? And the problems just seemed to keep coming, piling on top of each other, until I felt like I was drowning. It was easier to give up half (or a quarter) the way through a challenge, and just chalk it up to life.
2014 has been a particularly challenging year. I often caught myself saying “How am I not in a strait jacket yet?” But these same challenges that were thrown my way, I decided to take hold of and control them instead of allowing them to control ME!
I decided that some real self-development was something I needed, and to stop playing the victim. I looked at my circumstances and misfortunes in a different light: they were now learning experiences I was grateful for, because they showed me something new about myself.
I took control of my eating, and my exercise. I branched out and tried something new that I didn’t think I really liked, which was yoga. Instead of resisting things, I embraced them. And found the changes happening within me emotionally and mentally were now starting to reflect physically! I started looking at myself differently in the mirror, loving the parts of me that I always hated, and telling myself that. My confidence grew, as people started to notice and mention it to me. It kept me focused and strong!!
I have come to realize that no matter what is going on in my life, I can take them and be either a victim or an agent. I choose agent, in all aspects! Nothing that happens TO me is the fault of someone else. Not a tenant skipping on the rent and then trying to sue me for their damage deposit back, not someone breaking into my house and stealing things from me, not the overwhelming debt that felt like it was sinking me, not a damn thing! I am responsible for everything that comes my way, and how I handle it! And no crap food or sitting on my ass having a pity party is going to change that.
Does that mean I don’t have my moments of “poor me”? Absolutely not! But now I say “ok, I’m going to take a minute to be a victim and whine about this moment, but then I’m going to stand tall and face it head on and see what I can do about it, handle it, MAKE IT HAPPEN!”
My challenge group has been an incredible place of support, through good times and bad. Even when I was quiet, the words and actions of others still continued to inspire me, and I signed up for challenge after challenge, as I just couldn’t see myself not being a part of that group, whether I was exercising or not. The friendships and camaraderie were too important to let go of.
The “Timing is everything” quote was never more applicable than it was this past fall, when I started the latest challenge at the end of September. I was at my heaviest in 5 years, my life felt like it was in the toilet and my self-esteem couldn’t have been lower.
But it’s like the stars and planets aligned perfectly. I started this challenge right after a DeMartini Method session with one of my best friends, another best friend decided to sign onto the challenge with me, and my husband ended up with a full time job in his field. I took what I learned during that DeMartini session and applied it to everything in my life, and started taking accountability for me (why was it up to a challenge group to hold me accountable?).
These past few months have been some of the most amazing in my last 41 years, and I look forward to the future, the challenges that will come my way, and what I can learn from them. I’m thinking more about what I can offer to this planet and the people in it, and my future. I’m making plans, thinking about things I haven’t in a long time as I have been going through life as a victimized zombie. For the first time in a long time, I see light in my future, not darkness.
I have many dear people in my life that inspire me, and I express more gratitude as of late. My friendships have deepened, my connection to my own self and self-worth has grown and I have come to appreciate all that I have, and not worry about what I don’t.
The biggest thing that I have learned in the past few months is one of extreme profoundness: I can’t fix everyone else. I can’t focus all my energy and time into someone else. I need to give those things to myself in order to be a benefit to others that are in my life and those I will encounter. And it’s not my job to fix anyone else, especially when I’m such a magical work of art in progress!
It has been life changing, mind and soul freeing to come to this realization. It doesn’t mean I can’t support others, and I do this as often as I can!! But it does allow me to be ok with myself to not be involved in relationships that are toxic and to move on from them, and that it’s definitely ok to work on making myself a better version of me!
My gratitude and love for all the people that are in my life knows no boundaries. They have all taught me something about myself that I have just recently been awake enough to see. Inside the challenge group and out, the people that I surround myself with are there for a reason, and I’M the one making the reasons one of true value and inspiration to myself and my life.
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"] “Everything happens for a reason.”