The most extraordinary thing happened to me last week. And like many profound moments, I didn’t realize the extent of its impact until later. Just now, actually…
Last Thursday (New Year’s Day) we went skiing with some friends. One of them (Fred) is a full time engineer who is starting a part time personal trainer business, so we were talking about exercise and physical fitness, stuff like that.
We were also talking about accountability and Fred was telling me that it’s the reason most people hire a personal trainer in the first place.
I told him that wasn’t an issue for me, and that wouldn’t be my reason for hiring him.
Naturally, he asked what would be — and I said “training.” I explained that there are certain areas of my body I’d want to target, and I would love to have training on the most effective exercises for those areas, as well as the correct way to do them.
When he asked me, “What areas, specifically?” I started to respond and then hesitated.
I paused because I was about to rattle off a few improvements I had in mind, and I didn’t want him to get the wrong impression about the way I feel about my body. So I prefaced it with a little disclaimer.
“I love my body, I really do. And there are a few adjustments I’d love to make.”
I didn’t really see the profound impact of this statement of Truth until just recently.
After all, I’ve spent the past YEAR working on body issues for myself (and not surprisingly, for others as well).
When I recently realized the impact of this statement, I was nearly moved to tears.
One year ago, when I began this journey of intense PHYSICAL transformation of my body
And I hope you can understand what a WHOPPER of an issue this was for me — I am the Lightning Fast queen, and I am accustomed to producing rapid-fire results. I have been known to get frustrated when even a colossal issue takes me more than a week to dismantle and dissolve. So for me to even have the diligence and persistence to work on something this intensely for a YEAR — can you get how big an issue that would have to be?
And I didn’t do it all alone, either. Like every great coach, I have coaches of my own. Specifically, at one point last year I had FOUR body coaches I was working with at the same time. Now I’ve got just 1 (well, and another one kind of part time/as needed).
Needless to say, I have learned an immeasurable amount about myself during this year-long journey.
I went through these phases during the process:
1. Being completely disconnected from my body. I was so “out” of my body, I didn’t even know how much I despised it. Back then, someone could have said to me “Raise your right arm” and I would have to take a moment to think about how to do that. Lemme think, which one’s right? which part’s the arm? how high should I raise it? I’m not kidding here! I was completely out of touch.
In fact, when I started Pilates last January, my instructor asked me, “Are you sure you want to be here? Because your mouth is saying yes, but your body is saying ‘get the hell away from me.’ ” I was so clueless, I said, “Really?” And Pilates was so HARD back then — because the only relationship I knew with my body was that my brain had better dominate it, or else. So it was a constant struggle just to do each exercise properly.
2. The next step was realizing how out of touch I was, exploring why I was in constant resistance around my body, and doing massive amounts of clearings. Lemme just check in and see how many of my own beliefs I cleared related to body stuff during 2008.
I get this number: 10,072,472. (-ish.) Feel free to check that # with your preferred Truth Testing method. Over 10 million limiting beliefs. Is it any wonder I had tried every diet and exercise plan under the sun, and nothing gave me lasting results? My God, look at what I was up against??? 10 million obstacles to slimming down and looking great! Is that insane or what? Look how much there was for me to work through before I could start dropping weight. Holy crap! Now THIS is what I believe makes me an expert on weight loss. You can check and see right now if you have anywhere near that many limiting beliefs, and if you get that’s it’s less than 10 million, then you KNOW I can help you overcome this once and for all, right? You betcha.
3. The third stage I went through was impatience. Can you imagine that after clearing, oh say, 7 million limiting beliefs around body, health, fitness, sexy-ness, and beauty, you’d wonder “are we almost there yet? have we even made a dent in the stack? how much longer is this gonna take?” Yeah, I did just that — I started to get VERY impatient, and right about the time I was ready to just give up and chuck it all, my coaches and I got some good news. We discovered a massive issue around body and weight, and we all checked and got that it was my LAST major issue to clear. Hooray! Can you imagine how good that felt?
Until I realized it wasn’t. After the fifth “final issue” to clear, I started to get despondent. “Yeah, right” I thought. “I’m not getting my hopes up this time.” And after asking one of my coaches to check in about all this “last time!” nonsense, receiving her answer moved me right into the next phase.
4. Self-Sabotage. The reason I kept clearing the final big issue and then finding another big issue is because I was creating new issues because, well, that’s another story and this post is already getting waaaaaay too long. Let’s just suffice to say that self-sabotage is something we all do, we’ve all been there, and yet it still sucks. More clearings, more work to do, more waiting, more letting go, more dropping resistance, more allowing divine timing to work its magic. *sigh*
5. The more I let go, the more I eased into my fifth phase: Acceptance. Now I knew I couldn’t rush anything, so I might as well get used to the idea. This led me into a certain freedom called “neutrality” around my body. I no longer hated my body, no longer resisted my body the way it was, no longer thought only of what was wrong with it and what I wanted to change — I moved into a miraculous space of simply feeling neutral about my body. I could look in the mirror naked (or clothed) and just see what it looked like. Like looking at a clock, or a laptop, or a candle. I could see colors, shapes, sizes, dimensions. I could look without opinion or judgment. I didn’t love what I saw, but I didn’t hate it either — I had achieved neutral.
5. Next stage involved identifying food addictions and sensitivities and clearing them. I had already cleared a biggie for me (sugar) so next came soy, corn, and the wh
opper — WHEAT. I also opened up lines of communication with my body, so that I could hear and understand messages I got about what nutrients, foods, and types of exercise my body was craving. And since I no longer had a need to treat my body poorly by trying to dominate, deprive or otherwise “show it who’s boss,” I became able to lovingly give my body what it needs and also meet my own emotional, mental and spiritual needs. This is when I actually started to see dramatic physical changes, and my fear that it wouldn’t last was gone (must have cleared all that during the self-sabotage stage).
6. And this stage sneaked up on me…Loving my body. I didn’t even know I had arrived here until the conversation with Fred when I announced it “I love my body, I really do.”
Have you ever heard yourself say something, and you don’t really realize it’s true until it comes out of your mouth? That’s the kind of experience this was for me. It was like “wow! I really DO love my body! it’s not just some stupid affirmation, it’s now TRUTH. How cool is that?!?!”
And this is where I am now. Dropped a bra size, a dress size (nearing 2 dress sizes) and every few weeks, I find I am tightening my belt a notch. New jeans I bought when Lauren was in town in early December are starting to get too loose on me to wear. This is one of the greatest feelings in the world — the payoff after persisting for A YEAR. And a year for me is like 10 years for most people — I just go fast, fast, fast and I don’t have the patience for anything less than instant.
Well, maybe that was the old me.
Now let me ask you. Would you have kept going? How long would you keep going if you KNEW you could not fail?
What do YOU want so badly that you will persist at it — without exception? Is that how you feel about your goals?
I’d love to hear about a time when you persisted without exception and it paid off in spades. Share your success story with us!