This post features Cheryl who has an incredible story to share! She’ll teach us to keep our life vision in focus and not get bogged down by the trivialities that distract us from our dreams. She’ll also motivate us with her story of overcoming daunting challenges to lose over 100 pounds and create a healthy life that strengthens her marriage.
Cheryl readily identifies the relationship with her husband as her priority, however five years ago she was in a deep rut. Cheryl felt self-ostracized from her husband’s active lifestyle because her poor fitness level. She reached the darkest point when her life insurance denied coverage for weighing over 300 pounds. This was the mental cue that woke her up to reality: her lifestyle did not align with her priorities; excess weight was robbing her health and stifling her most valued relationship. She contemplated intensely and decided upon a vision for her future: she would lose the weight, refocus towards a healthy lifestyle, and rekindle the relationship with her husband.
Now this could be an interesting story in and of itself if we fast-forward and reveal Cheryl lost an incredible 130 pounds, now enjoys a strong, active lifestyle with her husband, and is an inspiration to others struggling with obesity and poor health. However that would be skipping the true lesson Cheryl has to teach us:
“decide on the vision for your life and start moving in that direction. The path and direction may change along the way as you gain knowledge and experience.”
You see, five years ago Cheryl didn’t just say “I’m going to lose weight,” and suddenly her lifestyle changed to achieve remarkable progress overnight. No, she struggled shouldering the burden not just of the physical weight, but of the additional mental load knowing she wasn’t meeting her goal to lose that weight. Life events such as deaths in the family, long-distance moves, and job changes added more stress and finally three years later she realized why she was still stuck in the same rut: she had been focused so much on how to lose weight that she lost sight of the underlying priority. It was time to prioritize lifelong health and fitness!
It wasn’t the meal planning or personal trainers that finally brought success, rather it was the decision to focus on her life vision. Conjuring images of being 80 and still travelling, skiing, and dancing replaced the monotony of calorie counting. This long-term vision allowed her to endure the temporary setbacks that previously derailed her efforts. It also provided a guiding light for when her journey veered what seemed to be off course, but in reality was just a different path to the end goal. Cheryl credits her success to sticking with the long-term vision, knowing the “why” behind the actions, and being consistent and persistent.
Cheryl now lives the life she previously dreamed of: she and her husband share kayaking adventures, runs, gym time and hiking trips which have deepened their relationship and brought them both tremendous joy. Also, her success has become infectious as she’s inspired people around her to live healthier. Making a positive impact on others’ lives brings her “an inner joy that [she] had only heard of before.”
Bottom Line: When making a lifestyle change, prioritize the long-term vision. This will provide the strength and wisdom to overcome unexpected turns and ruts in the path.
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