Being SparkPeople Motivator of the Day is a double-edged sword.
While it is certainly an honour, and I appreciate the acknowledgement of my contribution to this site over the years, it is impossible to respond to everyone who will visit my page this day in the same personal way that truly sparks the motivation which carries each of us through this journey to our own personal best.
So, if you are reading this today, I thank you, and I hope that you find here something that justifies today's 'motivator of the day' designation. I also hope that you will take what serves you truly, and leave the rest. This is YOUR journey, and yours alone, to craft as you will. Don't let anyone, imply that whatever serves you well is 'wrong' in some way... though, if you are not getting the results you want, perhaps consider that there is another way that may work better.
If asked what has been the most important aspect of this journey for me, I would say blogging, and documenting the journey, is most important. Your blog becomes a roadmap at those times when you lose your way, when you feel overwhelmed or challenged, when you forget why you started this in the first place, and when you can't think of reasons to continue. Looking back helps you move forward when momentum and focus just aren't there... and trust me, this will happen a whole lot more than you will like. My journey here has been fraught with doubts, fears, setbacks, and detours.
It was on one of my less than stellar days that another SPARKling (a woman I already greatly admired... someone whom I thought had it all figured out) offered me words of wisdom that I have clung to ever since, and which have carried me to this day, and my current accomplishments: "I am still struggling, too. But it's the way we do it that's a motivation for others to follow. You know that, right?"
As I carefully pondered that simple statement, I realized that the people by whom I am inspired are those who have struggled, and continue to struggle to reach their goals, often against circumstances I believe would crush me. Suddenly I had many fewer concerns about the specifics of my journey.... and like a little kid tagging along after the grown-ups, I carefully and studiously worked to place my faltering steps into those of others who walked this path before me. As a result...
Worrying about what others may think of me... GONE.
Making choices with one eye trained on how others may be responding or reacting... GONE.
Trying to keep up with the 'big kids'... GONE.
Wanting to be liked... GONE.
Concern about getting it wrong somehow... GONE.
Focussed on results rather than process... GONE.
SHE_LION really has no idea how she irrevocably changed my journey with that simple statement. They say 'close' only counts in horseshoes, dancing and grenades. I think it works with love, too. That grenade she lobbed at me, along with the heart she so generously offers to everyone, blew apart the wall I had continued to maintain between myself and any possible success I could have here.
As you struggle, remember that it isn't your success, or how much you know (or how much you think you know), or how many goodies or points you have, or challenges won, OR EVEN POUNDS LOST that speaks to the hearts of others. That you lost any weight at all will soon be forgotten by most people.
...And I know right now some of you are thinking, "What's it about if not the pounds lost?" "How could how much I lose become irrelevant?"
What it's about is how this process shapes you, moment by moment, throughout the journey... and that doesn't end at 'goal weight'.
What it's about is that you struggle, and that you continue to struggle, and even struggle some more to be authentic... because as you struggle you are learning, and you are inspiring someone else to struggle beside you.
...And if you aren't achieving your goals, consider that perhaps you aren't struggling effectively... insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Find some bigger footprints and place your feet within THEM for a bit and see what happens.
The success and achievement of various goals is self-evident.
That we all struggle in the process is also self-evident.
More importantly, don't be afraid to tell people HOW you struggle.
Don't be afraid to let others see your vulnerabilities... and then allow them to bear witness as you turn your vulnerabilities into strength and authenticity.
Sing your song loudly and unabashedly! Your off-notes will become harmony to those of another struggling along side of you.
It's been eight long, infuriating, frustrating, exhilarating, rewarding, complicated years since I first signed on to this site. If not for that one well-placed comment early on, I'd now likely be off-site, slowly forgetting who I am called to be and that it is HOW I struggle that's important.... how and with what (maybe even with whom) I choose to struggle determines my success... as do those struggles from which I choose to run away.
...And to all of you who find anything I have to say 'inspiring' or 'motivating', just remember that when you're inspired and motivated it's because through the specifics of my journey you are identifying for yourself how you, too, are struggling well.
I'm NOT the 'motivator' ...through considering my experience you are discovering the motivation within yourself (you are SPARKED); and I'm honoured to struggle alongside you.
To those of you who experience an uncomfortable resonance as you read this, consider that perhaps you are identifying a struggle with which you need to engage more fully... and remember that you don't have to struggle alone.
Look for the footprints INTO WHICH your own feet fit...
My greatest hope for you right now is that, despite any and all difficulties, your summer continue be all you need it to be... that good memories abound... that peace and joy run rampant and reign free... that love crowds out worry and strife and fills every nook cranny to over-flowing... that abundance becomes all you remember when you look back from the other side. I pray that the peace which surpasses all understanding becomes like a cosy sweater hugged close under starry summer skies, clothing a heart filled with wonder and awe, and which beats steady faith in all things and possibilities. Amen.
Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga
No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!
What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight
How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'
(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)
I'm 155.0 pounds, today!
(I started my journey at 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III)