I think any time you set out to make big changes it's common to have moments of self-doubt. Making over your lifestyle is certainly one of those "big changes" don't you think? It's no small feat to overcome old habits (some that were many years in the making) and create some new ones. So it's probably not surprising that you'd have moments (or days, or even weeks) when the task at hand seems overwhelming, maybe impossible.
If you are a fan of my Facebook page, or happened to overhear me chatting with someone before our meetings on Wednesdays, you might know that I ran a marathon last weekend.
That's my ActiveLink summary from that day - proof, baby! Anyway, covering 26.2 miles on foot all in one go is certainly a big undertaking. And I absolutely questioned my sanity and wondered how this was all going to come together at several points during the event.
But I knew I was going to finish.
I would have crawled across the finish line if it had come to that (and apparently someone DID actually finish like that, shortly after I finished!) but there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to do it, and here's why:
I'd done it before - this was not my first marathon (it was my sixth), so I had the benefit of knowing that this was something I'd successfully done before. As you sit here working on your lifestyle change, think about it - have you successfully lost weight before? Have you ever been regularly active? If so, there's your proof! You can do it! If you haven't successfully done something like this before, you'll have to think outside the box a little. What traits do you think a successful healthy person has? Now scour your life to find evidence you have that. If you've gotten a promotion at work, raised a child, finished a college degree, or any other sort of accomplishment, it probably took those same traits. So apply them to getting healthy!
I trusted the training - I spent the last six months following a training plan. I put in the miles on Saturdays building up to the event distance. I kept to my mid-week exercise plan. I had experimented with different fuels on the run, and different pre-run meals to see what worked and what didn't. I did this through the holidays, through a head cold, did training runs in the Michigan woods and the New Mexico desert. I'd done everything to prepare for it. So I just trusted it and ran. If you're eating a well balanced diet (Good Health Guidelines ahoy!), if you're paying attention to your portions, if you're adding in movement, trust that all that will pay off. It might take longer than you expect, which leads me to...
I had patience - I've been running now for a total of 15 years. That included a few years when I actually didn't run, because I had a foot injury that I needed to heal. That's when I learned to love spinning, Pilates and weights classes. But gradually I returned to running, and over the course of a few years got ready to start increasing the distance. I said that this was marathon #6 - my previous marathon was in October of 2004, over 8 years ago. I didn't just get up one day and decide to run for almost 5 hours! It took great time and preparation. So whatever you do, have patience with yourself. You will not accomplish everything and make the Big Change in one day or one week. You have the rest of your life, so while you don't want to dilly-dally, you also don't need to be in a hurry.
Believe it, and you'll achieve it.