Before Body Wise, Shelli and I began our original daily email program as “Fit 2 Shine”, and SHINE was our acronym for Sharing Hope and Inspiration for New Energy – it has carried over with our original 7 steps to what you know as the Dare To Be Slender program.
Some of you have heard my personal story – in my late teens and early twenties I found myself overweight and completely obsessed with body image issues. I’m not exagerating when I say that they completely ruled my life. I wouldn’t go out without a long coat. I avoided parties and social situations where I felt I should look attractive. Every day began and ended with the thought “I’m going to eat less today/tomorrow”. And everyday I failed.
The seed of change was planted for me while I was watching the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona Spain (well, the Olympics were in Barcelona. I, on the other hand, was at home on the couch eating oreo icecream and arrowroot cookies.) Believe it or not, a Nike commercial planted the seed in my mind that would eventually lead me to personal training and a passion to see people set free from the idea that they could never win the battle for their own bodies. The commercial featured a black female runner (I can’t remember who it was now – was it Flo Jo?) It highlighted her training, her journey, shots of her races and of course ended with the famous Nike slogan “just do it”. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to earn a living simply by being the best you are physically capable of being?” My life didn’t change that day, but I had a visual destination in mind and eventually I found myself face to face with it. Never underestimate the power of the images you place in your mind!
Now, almost 20 years later, I have travelled a long road. (Haven’t we all?!?) I’ve enjoyed times of intense training and a busy personal training schedule, but the last 10 years have had their bittersweet moments as well. Real life happens to us all, and my family has gone through a difficult journey with our oldest son who has been diagnosed with a serious mood disorder. I often don’t know how much to say about him because I want to respect his individuality and personal privacy – and so I think a definition is enough for now. Those of you who have experience with mood disorders will have some idea of what we are dealing with. What it meant for me personally was a slow decent into a place where I had to give up almost every personal goal that didn’t relate to putting groceries on the table and getting through my days without a prescription for prozac. There was no energy or time left for anything else.
So what does this have to do with New Year, New Hope and Body Wise? The last 6 months for our family brought both our lowest lows and our first real hope in over a decade. I credit the new hope to a lot of prayer, an amazing doctor, and really good friends who rose up around us – most of them unexpectedly. (C and J – Thank you!!!). For the first time in years, I feel ready to tentatively step forward into physical goals of my own again. I feel like a beginner again – with that first ‘new-love’ excitement of being able to get out and move and experience the exhaustion and exhilaration that comes from pushing yourself to the edge of your limits, and discovering that your limits are larger than you knew! And my goal is to come up with practical ways to share goals with you that you can participate in as well. All truly good things in life are those that we can share.
And that’s all I want to say for now. I would love to hear your fitness goals! Please feel free to comment here. Whether you are joining a kickboxing or bootcamp class, a triathalon training course, a walk/run program, a swim club, or training for an event that is scheduled for this year, you can say it here. The accountability will be good for you, and you never know when your energy and intent will give someone else the final encouragement they need to say “Me too. It’s my turn to just do it.”
Have a great weekend, guys.