Sunday, July 23, 2017


So much of this journey has to do with confidence. 

When you are over weight for most of your adult life, you tend to not have much confidence when it comes to body image. I was never good at sports, so even though I can ride my bike 100 miles, run 5 miles and lift weights, I lack confidence with pretty much anything fitness related.
Fall, 2013
I am the head of the department where I work and have many successful and varied leadership experiences.  I write a blog about health and fitness.  Ha!  But I'm still insecure about my weight, and since I hurt my back this year, I have felt completely lost with my workouts.
Me, laying flat on my back during my recovery.  Uggh.  (Cool filter, isn't it?)
What's enough?  What's too much?  This is hard!  I want results... NOW!  Why bother?

After I wrote my last post, Breakthroughs, I got to thinking about my own lack of self confidence.
I am really starting to find my inner joy again.
Everyone has an internal belief system, built upon your own perceptions of what is true and real to you.  If you believe something to be a certain way, changing that belief system is not easy.  To do that, you have to recognize that your perceptions are faulty and you have to have the courage to replace them with a more solid set of realities.  This is complicated, but let's look at it from a child's perspective.

When my sons were little, they had to learn how to do a variety of different basic skills from walking to riding their bike and swimming.   We had a pool, so they were used to being in the pool with various flotation devices.  As they got older, we taught them how to float on their own, how to tread water, and ultimately how to swim.  One of my boys was terrified to swim without assistance.  We brought him to swimming lessons and he basically had a complete melt down.  He needed to have courage to face his fears and he needed to put aside his belief that he had to have a floatie (or a noodle or Mom / Dad) to swim.  Out of the two weeks of lessons, he probably only got into the pool half the time.  It was not what I would consider a success.  That summer, we focused on skill building with him.  The following year, he got into the pool with no problem.  He went on to join the local swim team and swam right through high school.  He had to have courage to replace his belief system.

The same holds true with the journey on this road to fitness.
Believe in yourself!  You CAN do it!  Smile!  Put one foot in front of the other.
Whether you are just starting out, are mid-journey, or like me, are have been on this path for the long haul, you will face obstacles and roadblocks along the way.  You are probably the biggest obstacle.  Yes, you.  What you tell yourself, what you believe.  Recognizing negative self-talk or messages that communicate defeat is essential.  It's okay for things to be challenging, you CAN learn how to work around or overcome your circumstances.  But, you have to tell yourself that.  AND you HAVE to believe it can be done.

Working with a personal trainer helps a LOT.  I started working with Ashley about a month ago and I am so please with how well things are going for me.  She has given me specific things to work on building both my endurance and strength.  The workouts she has me do target my specific weaknesses without causing further injury.  She's also been available in between our sessions.  I will send her a video of a workout and say, "Hey, this is how I'm doing with this, what do you think?"  Then at our session, she provides me with strategies to improve.  She also provides a lot of positive reinforcement, which I realize I need.  I need to know I am doing a good job, and hearing it from someone else, especially a professional, really gives me the confidence I need.  It's worth the financial investment.
My riding buddy, Erica
You may not have a personal trainer, or be able to afford one, but I do recommend you find a workout partner.  Someone to train with so you can encourage each other.  It helps with accountability too.  If someone is counting on you to be there, you're not as likely to let them down.  If you are working on the same training plan, you can provide each other with great feedback too.  Even in between workouts.  I've been riding my bike a lot with my friend Erica.  Even when we don't ride together, we send each other Snapchats of our rides - before, during and/ or after.  When we ride together, we talk about how we are going to tackle a particular hill or what route we want to ride to challenge ourselves.  Having a partner really makes it worth while.
Friday morning we both went out for a ride, but not together.  I sent Erica this selfie, taken at the top of a very aggressive hill I climbed.  It was a major accomplishment to get up that hill!
No one else can give you the self-confidence you need though.  You are the one who has to address your own fears and insecurities.  Recognize them for what they are.  Tell yourself, again and again, that you can do this.  Believing you can; refusing to give up; working around your busy schedule, your day to day obstacles; making your daily goals happen - this is key to long term success.  Believing you can is more than half the battle.  It's critical to achieving your goals, no matter what they are.

Stick with it.  It's worth it.  Give yourself positive affirmations daily.  Yes, daily.  This is not about becoming arrogant, conceited or self-indulgent.  It's about building your self-confidence, giving yourself the tools you need to accomplish your goals.

And remember, YOU do the hard work!  You do it!  You are a champion of every hurdle you cross, every obstacle you defeat.

Challenge for you:  If you accept the challenge, respond in the comment section below how you will do it.
Think about one thing you want to accomplish and haven't gotten around to it because   fill in the blank . Then, go out there and do it.  What is it?  How will you make it happen?  Check back with me periodically and let me know how you're doing with that goal.

Musical notes    
Now, this song should REALLY motivate you to get out there.  Don't let anything hold you back!
There's Nothing Holding Me Back by Shawn Mendes
You take all my inhibitions.  Baby, there's nothing holding me back.
You take me places that tear up my reputation, manipulate my decisions.
Baby, there's nothing holding me back.  There's nothing holding me back.

Instagram:  @tracoleman99