Spencer and I started this business, Novo Veritas, over 2 years ago.
I love it. All of the work and hours and challenges and success. More and more every day. It’s a hell of a ride, an intense privilege to work with our clients and we’re currently taking this business in directions neither of us ever dreamed possible…
My personal favorite part of the whole business adventure? The privilege and honor of being invited into someone’s life at a time where their hearts and minds are more than likely vulnerable, ashamed, determined, brave, scared, fierce, focused and much more. They invite us in. Trust us with their stories, their history, their fears and deepest hopes.
And then sometimes, if it all works out just right, they even allow us to join their team.
Most of the people we get to work with approach us for one of two basic reasons…
- Tell me how to get started.
- Be on my team.
- (A close 3rd place would be….) Hold me accountable.
In the past few weeks a handful of people have reached out to me asking how to get started – and how to build their own teams. The following is a list I created about a year ago and pulled from one of my previous blogs. And it’s still the advice I give, still what I believe in my heart.
AND it also happens to be the advice I wish I could have listened to when I got started on this journey to change my life.
Here’s what I wish I had been told. And in the cases where I was told; I wish I could have embraced and BELIEVED it…
1. Your weight fluctuates. Daily. It will go up or down during training. If you have your period. If you eat too much salt. You smelled a cake being baked. The rotation of the earth. 🙂 Sometimes it’s really legit gain because you simply ate too many calories over a period of time. But you have to understand that your weight isn’t stable in the day to day. Not gonna happen. Quit even thinking it’s possible. And you know what? It isn’t meant to be. You thought you got to a number and stayed there with just a little effort? That this whole bodyweight thing was simple math and cut and dried? Uh… HELL NO.
2. Take measurements. I really WISH I had known how big my hips or belly or thighs were at my largest. I didn’t take measurements because — hell — who really wants to know that they have a 90” waist? You will wish you had those body measurements for reference and reassurance in the process. At any point when you’re feeling ‘fat’, stalled, discouraged or just wondering how far your journey has taken you — you can pull out a tape measure and be assured, well beyond the confines of a stupid scale, that you were NOT gaining anything but muscle or fitness.
3. Worry is wasted energy. Spend time looking for solutions and opportunities.
4. And for the love of ALL THAT IS HOLY quit beating yourself up. YOU, who you are at the very CORE of your being, has nothing to do with the number on a scale or the packaging of your body. NOTHING. Please, oh please, just believe me on this one. I’m in tears writing this. I am crying for you and for myself too. Because I know you won’t believe me, you can’t fathom what I’m trying to tell you… This is the last thing you can possibly wrap your mind around when you’ve battled your weight your entire life and a number is staring you in the face — a number you hate. A number so large you didn’t know the scale went that high. I know that feeling of panicked desperation and hopelessness as well as I know the sound of my own heart beating. Text me, call me, reach out to me and I will spend the rest of my life relentlessly reminding you of your value to our world. And if you can’t believe yourself, then trust that I’m a way better judge of YOUR value than a stupid mechanical piece of crap you bought at Costco.
5. Don’t pick a number for a goal. (See 1.) Don’t pick a clothing size either. That’s really just another number. Pick a feeling, activity, ability, destination. You want to climb stairs and not be gulping for air? You want to feel solidly OK with how you feel in your birthday or bathing suit? 🙂 You want to be able to hike, run, walk, move better…. PICK something that isn’t a transient, essentially meaningless, number.
6. Know that the BIG picture is worth all the little steps, mis-steps, concerns, questions, sacrifices. It’s hard work. It’s worth it. They’re points of feedback and learning. And this whole ‘get healthy’ thing is in NO WAY linear. No way. There is nothing direct, logical or straight about this path you are on. And you’re going to be making shit up as you go.
7. Do NOT let that scale dictate your mood to the world. So you can’t not weigh… I get that, but we should keep working on that. 🙂 So you step on the scale and it’s up a bit? DO SOMETHING about it. Don’t be a bitch. Or walk around like someone ran over your dog. Or have a short fuse with loved ones. Or start restricting food because you don’t ‘deserve’ to eat. Or start secluding yourself from the people you love because you feel you don’t ‘deserve’ their love or you’re deeply embarrassed. Stop allowing that stupid, effing, scale to affect your mood. Reach out. You may not have great control over how you feel, but you can ALWAYS choose how you act and react.
8. Please, please, please love on yourself. And believe in yourself. Hang tightly to HOPE. Hope is powerful stuff. YOU will do this. And you can’t see the day, but it’s coming; you will be healthy and happy. Your weight should not be allowed to dictate ANY of that. You have so much to offer the world. You’re an aunt. A sister. A friend. A daughter. A momma. A lot of really, really remarkable things that no one else in the whole entire world can possibly be! We were only given ONE of you. One. Do what you can each day to help yourself get healthy so you can be around and enjoy the life in front of you.
9. This isn’t a short-term investment. Trust the process. Life-time commitment. You will look at something daily and judge it as not moving, plateaued, failing. HANG ON and look at this from the 3,000 foot view, look at this from a 365-day investment. You will see growth. YOU WILL. Really! Keep at it. You didn’t gain the weight over night. You will not lose it overnight. Trite and irritating – but TRUE.
10. One of my favorite songs is ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ by Tim McGraw. If you are like me you’re living this weight loss journey with a lot of fear. Fear of going backwards. Fear of judgement. Fear of FAILURE… The ‘what if’s’ can paralyze you… Holy smokes. The fear you have embraced and live with could choke an elephant. What if you could just enjoy the journey for what it was and live each day like you are trying to be your very best? Living like you’re dying doesn’t mean you live with no consequences for your choices. It means you accept each day, each moment for what it is and keep moving toward the goal you want to reach… (And for back-up… See this video by Brene Brown.)
Trust the process.
Keep moving forward.
Love on yourself.
Happy trails. 🙂
8 thoughts on “Just START!”
I adore you. Thank you for being you, and for being so real. I’m in a bar in rural Oregon sobbing over this. You are amazing, and I am so grateful for you. So much love. Lisa
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So excited to be helping you on your adventure Lisa… Such a privilege and an honor.
I just stumbled onto your blog. I was just reading through Facebook when I saw a Nuu Muu ad. I clicked it out of curiosity and because the dresses are so darn cute. I’m I sucker for those kinds of ads. Like those kinds of clothes would fit me. Then I found a link to your blog. Wow! I just needed to hear words of encouragement from someone who was once where I’m at now.
My story is that I’ve always been big. As a child I was somewhat active but I would rather read. My childhood medical records records read overweight or obese. I was shocked to read those things as an adult. In my late twenties and early thirties, I was an avid albeit slow cyclist. I loved it. I felt great and was my slimmest at 160 pounds.
Then I moved to a new city and slowly stopped cycling. I worked two jobs for many years. Then I moved on to a high stress job. I remember the first time I weighed in at 200 lbs. Then three short years later, I weighed 250 at my wedding in 2003. Then I topped out at 285. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had cancer. I felt terrible. I had my right ovary removed. Immediately felt better until the mild heart two weeks later at age 41. I’d thrown a clot after surgery. During cardiac rehab, my husband and I planned a trip to Colorado. I was faithfully in the gym three times a week. I felt better than I had in years.
Fast forward six years, the ovarian cancer was back and not playing nice. I almost died of sepsis from complications from a total hysterectomy and bowel resection. After emergency surgery which left me with a colostomy, I was on a ventilator for nearly a week. I had to learn to walk again. I finally got to go home a month and a half from my first surgery. Then on to chemotherapy. It’s amazing how fast you lose weight after those two events. I was off work a total of 8 months. That was two years ago. There’s is no earthly reason I should be alive today, but I’m still here.
Now, with this old (50 later this year) battle wrecked body, I want to be strong again. I have a goal in mind to hike to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. My husband and I have been close in 2011 and 2013. When we went in 2014 four months before my cancer battle, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to see the mountains again. We did the lightest hiking. I cried when our plane left Denver. I thought I’d never see those mountains again. The day after Labor Day, I get to see those mountains again. It will be walking around a few lakes – a victory lap. Writing this now, it’s hit me how much this trip means to me.
I don’t know you, but I just poured out my story to you and everyone on the internet. I’m sitting in the dark ugly crying.
I look forward to better tomorrows.
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Becky. Wow. THANK YOU for entrusting me with your story. And I can NOT WAIT to hear about your adventure around that lake, loving life in those mountains and breathing deeply. I’ve just put your Mountain pilgrimage after labor Day on my calendar so I can send good thoughts your way!!! And we do know each other. Souls have stood, fought, battled, lost, re-grouped; we recognize each other. But thank you for trusting me with the words to go with the scars. I am deeply inspired by your story. How can we stay in touch so that I can follow along on your journey??! I am FB, And would happily give you my email. Happy trails my new friend. Happiest of trails to you.
#7. So so true.
Thank you for your advice.
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I finally got rid of the scale… And now weighing in about once a month is simply a data point. NOT a mood-indicator. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post. Happy trails!
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That’s really amazing. Are you pretty much at the goal weight you want to be at though?
I think if I didn’t weigh myself for a month I’d go completely off the rails within a week, thinking “I’ve got time to fix any mess I make”.
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No… I am a little above goal weight. I have recently had to work to lose about 20 pounds. I finished my 100 miler and never reigned in my eating. Opps. 🙂 I try to go by feel of my clothes. That ONE reliable pair of pants that feel ‘good’ when they fit right and when they feel tight or snug — it’s time to start weighing and measuring food again. I take my monthly/bi-monthly weight and enter it into my training logs sos that I can work to correlate my weight/exercise/running… Which is really all I care about at this point. 🙂 This didn’t happen over night. I had tog et the scale out of my house. I work with a therapist. This stuff is NOT SIMPLE or easy. It’s just not. But being anchored to a scale just wasn’t working for me anymore…. Try weighing only once a week — not he same day a the same time — and see if you can tolerate that amount of reduced ‘input.’ Just try it!!!