I’m sure you’ve seen it. Commercials on every channel promising a better you. Skinnier you, richer you, more secure you, more popular you. It’s everywhere and at some point, it becomes information overload to many and a stumbling block to others. When thinking of transformation, a usual thought goes right to weight loss and when thinking of major weight loss, there is a show for and about that attracting MILLIONS of viewers every season. You guessed it, The Biggest Loser. Without a doubt, it’s amazing to see the transformation and also see the dedication it takes to get there. But what happens after the trainer isn’t screaming at you all day? What happens when the healthy stocked fridge is no longer stocked by a crew member, but by you? A study of contestants from “The Biggest Loser” found their metabolisms slowed during and after the competition, making it difficult to maintain weight loss.
Thirteen of the 14 contestants studied regained weight in the six years after the competition. Four contestants are heavier now than before the competition.
Nearly all the contestants have slower metabolisms today than they did six years ago and burn fewer calories than expected when at rest. What does this mean? It means that the transformation infatuation we have in our culture 1. Doesn’t always work and 2. If true transformation is a desire, it requires information and dedication.
I do want to say that there is nothing wrong with a desire for transformation, that is key and good desire, however, there is a difference between dedication and infatuation.
Infatuation means an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something. Intense but short-lived. That doesn’t sound like much of a transformation at all does it? That sounds like coming to a program at 425lbs, leaving at 189lbs and 3 years later you are 450lbs.
That wasn’t transformation that was imagination suffocation!
In an incredible resource and article I found in a blog I follow from positivepsychologyprogram.com written by an young and very talented writer by the name of Courtney Ackerman I wanted to share a small section of what she shared with the world in an article entitled:
The article has many sections, but one of the first is entitled What is the Meaning of Self-Acceptance? And Courtney goes on to say….
Self-acceptance is exactly what its name suggests: the state of complete acceptance of oneself. True self-acceptance is embracing who you are, without any qualifications, conditions, or exceptions (Seltzer, 2008).
For an academic definition, we can turn to Morgado and colleagues’ (2014) working definition:
“[Self-acceptance is] an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.”
This definition emphasizes the importance of accepting all facets of the self. It’s not enough to simply embrace the good, valuable, or positive about yourself; to embody true self-acceptance, you must also embrace the less desirable, the negative, and the ugly parts of yourself.
If you’re thinking that accepting all the negative aspects of yourself sounds difficult—you’re not wrong! It’s not easy to accept the things that we desperately want to change about ourselves; however—counter intuitively—it is only by truly accepting ourselves that we can even begin the process of meaningful self-improvement.
In other words, we must first acknowledge that we have undesirable traits and habits before we start off on our journey to improvement.
Amazing insight and very helpful in today’s podcast, thank you Courtney…
So, how can a person find a place of transformation and be confident it is the correct one and one that can be maintained? Good question. Especially when there are literally thousands of requests for your attention to their solution.
However, the initial question is probably a question that was fueled by the feelings in your life like: Maybe you’re sick of your life, your waistline, your bank account or the person you’ve become.
Well, guess what?! You’re more flexible than you think! You can become just about anything or anyone you like. Whether you want to get fit, build wealth, or revamp your social life, you can do it!
It’s far from easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
These strategies can help you become the person you’ve always wanted to be:
Identify your core values. You won’t be happy if you create a big change that puts you in conflict with your values. Most people have never really taken the time to identify their values. Take a day to consider the values that are most important to you. Write them down. For those of you who are wrestling with what your personal values are, this week we are offering a few worksheets to help with that. All you have to do is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you your FREE copy of your MY VALUES WORKSHEET. It will give present some questions to help you answer and identify some things that are key and important in your life and we want to provide that to you this week for free just by simply requesting it. We’ll give you the information at the end of today’s podcast too.
A good scripture that helps paint a picture of solid values in your life is found in Luke 6:32-42 ESV
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. …
Create a vision of the future. Think about the end result of the transformation you want to make. If you want to lose weight and become fit, think about how you would look and feel. Maybe you’re more interested in becoming wealthy. What would that look like? What kind of house would you own? How would you spend your day?
Is your transformation reasonable for you? For example, you might not be able to make a trillion dollars, but you could still build great wealth. Are you willing to put the work into what it takes to reach that vision for your future? If you don’t, you’re right back to being that person who was heavy then lost the weight and then slowly gained it all back.
To fully understand your future, you must be willing to trust the one who holds it all in his hands.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a scripture you hear me use a lot and for good reason. It’s true and it works!! In the case here when you are planning your future out, it is good to align your thoughts with truth and here is what it says:
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
Make sure you are aligning with truth. That is the best form of success.
It’s important to address each of the issues that creates emotional discomfort. You’re likely to quit if you don’t.
Either come up with a plan to work around those issues or just relax and let the negative feelings go.
You’ll know you’re in a good place when you find yourself chomping at the bit to get started. Procrastination is a sign that something is awry.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
What a great place to start. A place of confidence and truth now plan a realistic approach to fit that truth that you feel honors God as well.
Determine why. Why do you want to make this change? Create a long list of reasons why you want to transform. Get excited. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big here, it’s just a list, after you are done, you can go back and re-evaluate it. This is your chance to reach for the stars and at the same time an opportunity for you to make some grown-up decisions. The question was “why do you want to make this change?” Does it have a purpose? Does it make sense? Does it not only benefit you, it actually will benefit others? Start your why list.
Identify the qualities and skills you’ll need to develop. If you want to transform your body, you might need to learn more about exercise physiology, nutrition, and develop some discipline. Consider what it will take to accomplish your transformation. Doing a few sit ups and running a couple miles is good, but that alone will not provide the transformation you want if your running is on the way to McDonalds to get a double cheeseburger, large fries and a milk shake. Discipline is vital. A good partner to discipline is accountability. Who can you trust and confide in that becomes an accountability partner? Your spouse? A best friend? A family member? Create on your list the qualities and skills as well as the form of accountability for each area of transformation you are striving for. Proverbs 16:9 NLT says
Identify the resources you’ll require. Do you need a personal trainer, gym membership, and a blender? Maybe you need money and a mentor for your transformation. Figure out the resources you’ll need. Planning for success requires forethought. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It makes no sense to go to the efforts to fail, it makes all sense to go to efforts to succeed, so do it. Think it out. What are the details behind your desire of transformation? Yes, this list is getting big, however, it’s better to have a big list than a huge disappointment!
Make a plan. Start at the end and keep working backwards until you reach a step that you can do today. Avoid worrying about the details of step 11. You can worry about that when you’re finishing up step 10. You don’t need to see 10 miles down the road to back out of your driveway. So, if your transformation is not about your weight it’s about finances then the end of your plan would be for example: I am debt free and have a thriving interest earning savings account, a debit account with actual cash in it, a retirement fund and if you have children perhaps you would say you have a college fund with the money it takes to pay for college in cash. Okay, you get the idea then you go backwards from there for example, I put an extra 100 per month in my savings account, created a college fund account and put in X amount of dollars per month there and it goes on. If you have a plan in place, it is much easier to follow it if it makes sense to you.
Audit your plan. Imagine following your plan and note how you feel at each step. You’re bound to feel some emotional resistance at one or more points. If you didn’t, you would have made the transformation long ago.
Okay, and now we are at the last in our list today to defeat transformational infatuation with a transformational aspiration!
Don’t quit! This is the most challenging part for most people. You fail if you quit. You can’t fail if you don’t. Keep on going no matter how bleak things seem. You can always go for it again. I could share so many illustrations of people of success who didn’t get there without many prior failures. I’m sure you’ve heard of many as well. A little bit of progress each day or week is all you need. As you might be well aware, I have said #GodsGotThis a time or two in my life and by saying that, I am proclaiming a truth I chose to align with. There is no doubt in my mind he is perfect in all his ways and more than able, that being the case, I’d much rather follow his lead than my own. The key is as I just mentioned, DON’T QUIT! Press in, trust him and things will work out just fine!
You can transform yourself starting now. Build a vision and create a plan. Stay the course until you’re satisfied with the changes you’ve made. After you have made those changes, continue to stay the course, you’re in for the long haul. Running isn’t about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be. This is a marathon called life, enjoy the journey!