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A great man once said, 'You can do anything you set your mind to. Your mind is powerful, but it can serve you or harm you. You get to choose. It's all in your perspective' ~ Raymond Merle Weiss

This was followed up by 2 other individuals I have been mentored by recently. Here's a thought: How can you serve others or rebuild your life/yourself, if you don't first choose to love yourself? I get it...I don't know what you have been through. That's true enough. But guess what. I don't care. What I care about is how you handle today. I've been there. I still am there. People by nature want to believe in others and want to share love and kindness. Society however has perverted it to become a different norm: getting a thrill out of punishing, shaming or bullying people into 'action'. Because this creates a needed drug: Adrenaline. This does not create the needed result. Nor is it productive. It doesn't even make sense. If I need someone to be at top functioning and fix an issue between us, does it benefit me to hurt or belittle them? Not at all. I want them to be accountable and have good open connection, but I also need them healthy and viable. But remember, people become like who they are around. So determine to be one of the good ones and make measurable changes.

This past weekend, my daughter and I had a team photoshoot with our fitness instructors. Then we were invited to do an individual photo shoot. Ours will be shared in a section on 'Fit Family and Coming out of Adversity.' The point of my training has been mostly to get healthy and it's part of my physical healing journey right now. But also, it's emotionally and mentally healing. I rushed into it with great energy! But as we all know, energy fades. What we have within us keeps us strong and moving. This is what brings change. We were 18 weeks out and I set a really unrealistic goal. 'I'm going to lose 25lbs - 30lbs and look like a rock star!' (First of all..let's be clear. I ain't gonna look like a rock star with only 30 lbs of fluff off - but in my head, It made sense).

Well, life still went on and happened. I was still me and still had the same daily realities. And I was somedays winning on those goals and somedays failing. Mostly failing. Well, I got sick in May and had a big set back. So I quit. They were loving and patient. But, I had changed just enough that quitting wasn't an option. So I got back up. 2 weeks later I quit again. Again...I realized my goal was unrealistic and I had to reset it. And focus on eating clean and take it day by day. Then 3 days before the photo shoot, I got a reaction that caused my whole face to swell up and I literally looked like a charachture. I felt sorry for myself, whined and complained. And I quit again. Because that is the junk that was still inside me. I cried alot and when my fit was done, I sought a heathy solution and just had faith. Sunday, I showed up. In the process of just needing to focus on eating and thinking healthy, something shifted. I magically dropped off some water retention and weight. I was looking healthier. I went to get my tank top for the group shoot and my trainers wife would not let me choose the size. She just kept looking at me, held one up, tossed it, held another up, tossed it, then settled on one and tossed it to me. I thought, 'oh yeah...couldn't find a big enough one and assumed it was the largest size they had.' I put it on and asked how it looked. She smiled big and said, 'It looks great. You are amazing'. Then she hugged me. I went about my day and before my daughter and I did our own mother/daughter shoot, I asked her to come check what size mine was. You see, I had already set my mind to see the worst. And couldn't even bring myself to check the size. So I braced myself and my daughter said, 'Oh Wow! It's a Medium. Like mine!' I didn't believe her and took it off to look. Well ... it was really a medium. Then I was like, what happened? I'm an XL?? She said, 'Well apparently not anymore lol!' I checked the scale and I had lost a total of 22 lbs from the start date. Only 3 lbs short of my goal. Yet when I was only focused on competing and had an unhealthy mindset...I was seeming to gain weight.

Now, I had to still go out to this shoot and watch girls who were super fit do their 2 piece outfits but this time...instead of thinking I look like crap, I was inspired and was thinking, 'I cannot wait until I get to wear that next year!'. The photographer took our first set of photos and showed us. ( Now, of course I had my daughter take selfies of me with my phone so I could 'prepare myself for what I looked like') but these photos....I cried and said, 'You are an amazing photographer! I look good! I love them!' He said, 'No my's all you. The camera just picks up what you resonate...'

Today....I still have a journey, but I see myself as a healthy fit Medium!

Here's 8 lessons I have learned lately:

1. You become like the people you hang with. SO true. Hold personal interviews with everyone you are friends with. Keep your circle small and your circle of trust even smaller.

2.' What goes up, must come down': Everything in life operates this way. Who are you in the great times and who are you in the not so great times. You cannot rely on your emotions to set the course of your journey. It takes discipline and work.

3. Meditate and Pray. Without God I can do nothing. Jesus is my best friend and he is who I talk to now when I feel things suck. I read and listen to whatever I need to build my faith in that moment.

4. Visualize. Take a few moments to sit and see yourself the way you want to be seen. To see your health, finances, love life, family life, friendships, business the way you way it to be. You have a blank canvas daily. Fill it with what you want. And see that you already have it.

5. Choose to Believe. It is a daily choice. And no one else can do this one for you.

6. Forgive yourself. This is the most difficult. Because to forgive ourselves means we need to love ourselves.

7. Pay it Forward. Everyday, especially on the crap shit days, find someone else to love on, show kindness to and connect with. Make a difference in their world and get the focus off yourself.

8. Reframe your words. Your words are what puts into motion what you visualize. So they can either catapult what you are believing for, or can reverse all the hard work you've done. You get to choose.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have these mastered. But when we all work together as a community...great things happen ;)



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