Tag Archive: discouraged


Vulnerability. Not a comfortable concept. Even the word itself if hard to say. All of us have to face it to some degree or another. This morning I was so excited to get out in the sunshine and walk. I had high hopes of finally meeting the woman who’s husband said she’s been wanting to walk in the mornings. I even took the stairs instead of the elevator because I didn’t want the usual mess and occasionl smell of PineSol to ruin my mood. But by the time I burst through the exit into the great outdoors, the sun was covered by clouds and the woman was nowhere to be found. I stood there, alone again under a grey sky, waiting…hoping she would appear.

After a few minutes passed and there was still no sign of anyone coming to join me I headed for the tree despite the overwhelming urge to turn around, crawl back in bed and forget the whole thing. And by the whole thing, I mean the walking group, the weightloss challenge (which hasn’t even started yet), this blog and being a coach. Each and every one of the things on that list makes me feel vulnerable and this morning it was almost too much. My success depends not just on what I do, but also on other people and their willingness to trust that I have their best interest at heart. I can do all the right things, but ultimately they have to take that leap of faith.

In some ways it was easier to go to a job each day that paid well, but deep down I knew I was wasting my time doing something I wasn’t meant to be doing for all the wrong reasons and it was making me miserable. Too many times I’ve taken the safe route, the path that appeared to be the best choice when looking at it logically, but failed to take into consideration what it is that motivates me to be the best I can be. Now I do something that I love, but the very nature of what I do makes me vulnerable.

As I walked along, thinking about how we rely on others for support and encouragement and are often times let down, I starting noticing things all around me that are also vulnerable.

The worm was completely unprotected, relying on the world to first notice it was there and then be kind enough to avoid squashing it. The bird was also vulnerable and clearly saw me as a threat, but had a back-up plan. It protected itself by flying to the top of the tree, out of reach, where it could see when the danger had passed. Some people are like the worm and expect too much from others, putting themselves in situations where they can be easily hurt not realizing that they are at least partially responsible for the consequences. Others are like the bird. While they don’t put up defenses like a blackberry bush, making sure no one can get close without getting hurt, they recognize the possibility of danger when putting their trust fully in the world around them. They know that they can protect themselves by going higher which gives them a better perspective.

As a society we’ve put certain rules in place to protect us from each other. For example, traffic laws. We trust that other people will follow the rules and stay in their own lane or not turn right in front of us. Even though they’re perfect stangers, we trust the other drivers with our lives. However, once we’ve experienced the consequences of someone breaking the rules we become distrustful and even angry. I know that while most of the time I’m a pretty relaxed driver, there are times when another person does something that makes me wonder if they’re paying attention and it makes me angry. Some people have been hurt so many times, they’re constantly on the defensive, ready to lash out at any moment.

I’ve been a worm before. And I’ve been an angry driver. I don’t want to be either. I purposely walked along the road in front of Autzen Stadium because with the way I was feeling I knew I needed a better perspective. The Xs and Os in front of the stadium have quotes engraved at the bottom and I figured someone had decided to put one on there that would help me find the determination to keep moving forward.

Mentally, reading those helped me get the perspective I was looking for. Emotionally, I was still feeling down and discouraged. The batteries in my camera were just about spent, but lasted just long enough so I could photograph the one thing that made me smile as I headed home.

It reminded me that even when the people closest to us let us down or we allow ourselves to feel judged because others don’t seem to have faith in us, there is only one who has the right to judge us and chooses to love us unconditionally. There is only one who knows the number of the stars and every detail of every flower and always notices us…every hair on our head and every thought inside it…and never hurts us, but takes us higher so we can see life from a different perspective.

I’m not going to lie, even as I’ve been sitting here writing this I’ve received news that on another day would’ve been somewhere around a 7 on the disappointment scale, but today feels like 1,000,000. One more thing I was excited about, not just for me, but even more for the other person…gone. Over before it even began. Leaving me wondering why they didn’t trust me to come through for them or why they didn’t talk to me before making the decision final. Part of me, a big part, wanted to say screw it, delete what I’d already written and close up shop. Obviously, I chose a different way of handling it. Perhaps that means I’m growing. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but for now it hurts and that is the reality of being vulnerable. But if we close ourselves off and never take risks we will never live up to the full potential of our lives, robbing those who may have been helped if we had been willing to get hurt along the way.

Oh yeah, can’t forget the tree.

I started a walking group recently to get the people in my apartment complex interested in working out and living healthier lifestyles. An invitation went out to everyone with the monthly newsletter. I was excited to get started and meet new people. The first day came, but no one from the apartment did. Thankfully, I had a friend show up who lives nearby or I might have been tempted to give up. That was Monday. Tuesday, everyone decided to stay home again. This morning I was alone…again…and it was cold (30 something degrees) and foggy, but I walked anyway. I enjoy taking the same route in different kinds of weather because it gives me a new perspective on the world I see everyday. This is how it looked this morning.

When I got home I uploaded my bodybugg stats and found that I burned 550 calories in 50 minutes. Not as high as doing TurboFire, but still worth the time and effort. Getting outside in the fresh air, brisk as it was, put me in a great mood and was a fantastic warm-up for ChaLEAN Extreme Burn Circuit 2. I’m glad I decided to start a “group” of one and sometimes two. My neighbors don’t know what they’re missing. Maybe one of these days they’ll figure it out. We live in one of the best places to get outside and walk, run or bike so I’m going to keep inviting them until they join in on the fun.

Who’s In Charge Here?

Anyone who has tried to lose weight has probably encountered at least one person who has made them feel humiliated and discouraged. Sometimes that person doesn’t even realize they’re doing it. They may even think they’re helping. For example, my father-in-law came to visit and the first thing he did when he saw me was ask if I had been walking. There is a bit of a language barrier so I said I had since I just came from parking the car. What he meant was walking for exercise…to lose weight. He responded that maybe walking isn’t enough. He then showed me a product that would help me…some miracle cure for being fat.

What he failed to realize is that I do very challenging workouts, TurboFire and P90X, and eat a healthy diet including Shakeology. He didn’t know that I’ve lost over 60 lbs since I starting taking my health seriously last October. He simply assumed that because I’m not thin I’m not taking care of myself. Even though I’m not yet at my goal weight, I have the confidence and self-respect of a person who’s making positive changes and making progress. And yet, after that encounter I felt like all I amounted to in his eyes was a person who needs to lose weight and nothing else. All the pride I had for what I’ve accomplished and the person I’ve become went out the window.

It occurred to me that this has happened many times before with him and others –  friends, family and complete strangers – and every time I let it defeat me. I would simply give up because in my mind, no matter how hard I tried, I would never measure up. Not this time! It finally sunk in that it doesn’t matter what other people think. I know what I’ve accomplished and how determined I am to follow through, day after day, until I reach my goals. I will no longer let other people’s negativity bring me down. So who’s in charge here? I am. We all are. We have the power to choose how to react to those around us. We can allow them to take away what means so much in just an instant or we can choose to become more determined to succeed…not just to prove them wrong (although that seems pretty appealling at times), but for ourselves because we were created to be amazing, incredible people both inside and out. Then, once we begin to reach our potential we will have a positive influence on everyone around us…and that is what’s truly incredible!

So who’s in charge of you? ; )