This is Part Two of Three
Making a physical transformation is one of the ultimate acts of faith. Losing weight and changing your body is about more than just shifting pounds. I like to say it’s a simple process, but the reality is that simple doesn’t mean easy. Losing weight challenges your very sense of self. It’s about letting go of things you’ve believed to be true for years. It’s about learning to be brutally honest with yourself.
That honesty is scary. Honesty is important to me. I like to think people are being honest on a daily basis. The reality is deep down my body would recognize the little lies that I would tell daily. You know the ones. A little more won’t hurt. It’s a low fat food. Or my personal favorite: I’ll start tomorrow. Tell yourself those lies day in and day out and makes it hard to trust yourself. You start to look for someone else to believe in. If I could find something or someone to hang on to, that support might help to rebuild my own broken confidence.
It’s natural to look for a mentor, a leader, or a role model, although I didn’t realize I was doing that at the time. Humans want to find someone who can show us the path. In years past, this could be a challenge. Seven years ago, with over 100 pounds to lose, it was difficult to find people to relate to. There were periodic stories on late night infomercials or in women’s magazines. The wise individual treated those claims with skepticism. If it sounded too good to be true, odds on it was.
In the late 1990’s all that changed. Bill Phillips’ Body-for-LIFE program generated a fitness revolution. For the first time ever, I could see before and after shots which seemed real. Combining those photos with powerful stories of change and slick marketing, Phillips was able to reach out to a wide segment of the population. These were real people. The stories rang true. I could relate to the struggles. Reading Kelly Adair’s words I could find myself starting to think that maybe, just maybe, it was possible to make a major change. I wasn’t going to look like a cover model in 12 weeks, but maybe one day I could actually look normal.
That maybe is all it took to ignite the spark. That spark flared up, and ignited hope. All this was fed by the words and images of Kelly, Porter Freeman and others. If they can do it, maybe I can, too. In that first 12 weeks I took a leap of faith. I did what others around the country were doing. You stop lying to yourself. You don’t promise to start tomorrow. You realize that tomorrow is today. You hold yourself to a higher standard. Maybe for the first time ever what you say is what you do.
That act of faith gave me back my honesty and integrity. It gave me back the person I’ve always had the potential to be. It was everything I wanted, and so much more. For so many people this is where it all stops. The changes are made, and it just seems to stop there. So many of them end up going backward. That’s not what I wanted to do. There was so much I’d changed. I had a question repeating in my head, “What’s Next?”