Lean On Me…

when you’re not strong….la la la 

or we could start with the words to another familiar tune….I get by with a little help from my friends.

So you may have figured from these “name-that-tune” moments that I want to focus my thoughts today on the support, love, and encouragement that I get from my friends and family.

I’ve been on this path a long, long time.  I can say without a doubt that the best thing has also been the only consistent thing…the support I get from those who love me.  This comes in many different formats.  Whether it is my parents making sure that I have what I need to eat when I visit them, or friends who offer to go with me on a walk, or people at my gyms that encourage and support me, or a former trainer who volunteers his time and expertise to help me…just because he cares about me and wants me to be successful–I have felt and continue to feel the support of the important people in my life.  It is the one consistent that keeps me going.

I mentioned the trainer friend that volunteered his time, talents and expertise to help me out.  It totally blew me away that he would be willing to do such a thing.  And I love him for it.  He is a very kind and gracious soul.  One of the big things that he and others have recommended is that it is important to know your “why.”  Why do you want to get fit? Why do you want to lose the weight?  Why is this journey so important to you?  Why now?  Why? Why? Why?

I have to admit that my Why has been a big part of my problem.  I haven’t ever been able to get a solid hold of what my personal “why” is.  On some level, down in the cavernous belly of my soul, there is a part of me that feels very undeserving.  I often catch myself feeling like I don’t matter.  When I auditioned to be on The Biggest Loser several years ago, I remember thinking that I don’t have kids that are depending on me, or some dreaded disease that is going to take my life early (aside from being fat)–those things that are Why’s for so many others just don’t apply to me.  And….that annoying little voice that tries to tell us that we aren’t deserving whispered in my ear that because I don’t have children to get healthy for, I don’t matter as much as those who do.  Because I don’t have a husband who will be devastated when I die from obesity related illnesses, I don’t matter as much as those who do.  Etc., etc., etc.

A few months ago Blake asked me a few simple questions.  He asked me to send him my Why statement.  Particularly he asked me to think about who I need to be in order to fulfill your dreams and why do I want to change my life.  He asked that it not be long–a simple two-sentence statement that could encapsulate my mantra so that it can be repeated regularly.

I had already been giving some thought to what my own personal mission statement would be if I were to have one.  I knew that I needed to find something to anchor this why to that really resonated with me and who I am outside of being without something–without children, without a husband and family of my own, etc.

Even in my darkest hours, when I couldn’t imagine that anyone could love me (aside from my parents–they were stuck with me), I have always known that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me.  I know, I know. How can I know that and still struggle with the “I don’t matters” that I mentioned earlier?  Its a mystery to me too folks.  All I know is that I get off the path when I focus on the negative and that I needed a mantra to keep me focused on this very positive feeling of being loved and accepted by my creator.

It sounds a bit like the Young Womens’ Theme in the LDS church, but here is the mantra that I came up with:

I believe that God–my Heavenly Father who created me, loves me and wants me to be MY very best–designed me to fulfill a significant and unique purpose.  I strive daily to be my very best self–physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually–in preparation for embracing and magnifying my divine purpose and the opportunities afforded me.

That’s it.  That’s my why.  Despite all of the areas of my life where I feel lacking or like I’ve failed, this is statement that helps me bring my focus back to what I want to be.  I’ve yet to figure out what significant and unique purpose God has in store for me, but I do know that I won’t find it, or even worse–will find it and not be able to fulfill it–if I don’t take care of the gifts he has given me.  This magnificent physical body is one of the greatest gifts.  Thus far in my life I have made choices that would indicate that I’m not a very good steward of this gift. 

Repeating this mantra to myself daily is starting to help me turn things around.  Its difficult to eat in a way that I don’t think is beneficial for my body if I say to myself and then strive daily to be “my very best self.”

All this because a friend was willing to present me with some thoughtful questions and direct my thoughts in a way that would lead me to making them succinct–which i think was the thing that got me past the loosey-goosey-tell-em-what-you-think-they-want-to-hear why statements from my past.

I’m grateful for this friend. For the many other friends that help me daily–I’m sure there will be many more posts that will express gratitude for each of you.  An most importantly I’m grateful that the Love of God for me was planted in my heart long before the whisperings of self-doubt came along so that I would be able to find that anchor when I needed it.

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