I'm participating in a private Spark Team (BLC-32) weight loss challenge that runs for 15 weeks from September through December. Among the many team activities are four-day weekend challenges that include fitness, nutrition, and motivation tasks that you can complete to earn points. This weekend we were given a document with "18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey" and asked to select four per day and journal a response to earn challenge points.
14. Remember to breathe. Embrace your situation this very moment. Breathe deep and exhale with gratitude.
Letha: Glass half full. I have my problems but I can't hardly throw a rock without hitting someone who has far worse problems then I do. Knock on wood!
15. By acknowledging when you don't know the answers and shedding light on your vulnerabilities, you are creating space for your authentic self to live wholeheartedly and courageously. We learn the most about ourselves from the moments in which we let down our guard and admit, "I don't know all the answers. I am uncertain and that's okay." How can I transform this experience from one of self-doubt to one of self-compassion?
Letha: People tend to put their best foot forward when they go out into the world. Sometimes we mistakenly believe everyone else has their act together while we are a great big mess. When you get to know people, you find they all have their share of hardship and issues. I find that compassion for others and compassion for yourself go hand in hand.
16. When the journey gets tough, remember the words of Margaret Thatcher: You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Whether this is your first attempt at weight loss/maintenance, understand that there may be battles along the way that keep popping up. Stay the course, re-route if necessary, but always remember there is always more than one path to your goal(s).
Letha: While I'm not a fan of war analogies, I do think persistence is important. If at first you don't succeed, try try again.
17. Gratitude is the greatest gift you can give to another human being. Appreciate those around you. If necessary, eliminate and/or avoid the naysayers...they will always be there, instead focus your gratitude on those who support you.
Letha: As I've gotten older, I've changed the way I deal with naysayers. I used to argue; now I avoid engaging. In a way, it's kind of sad because it represents an increased level of pessimism or cynicism about my fellow human beings. As a young woman, I believe that most people wanted to understand the truth and do the right thing, so it made sense to debate what constituted the truth or the right thing. As a "mature" woman, I recognize how complex people's motivations are and how people often act against their own interests. Now I look for a light in the darkness and try to keep my attention on it. I aspire to contribute to the peace and happiness of the planet by being a happy peaceful person. Very challenging in the weeks leading up to a national election.
18. Greatness is never achieved. It is something you must intrinsically bestow upon yourself. They may hang a medal on an Olympic winner, but that person had to do the work, stay focused on the goal, and overcame many obstacles to receive that medal...no one did it for them. DO THIS FOR YOU!
Letha: I think it might be kinder to let go of the idea of greatness. Does a tree need to be the greatest? Does a moose, or frog, or a butterfly need to be great? No, they can just be what they are. Humans and all of the groups they belong to can just be without being the greatest. Average people can meet their health and fitness goals with a little persistence.