I have been trying to write this blog the last few days but I kept getting distracted. I am convinced I am attracted to all forms of distraction. I have a to do list that keeps getting longer, and goals that inevitably keep getting pushed further and further into the future. In talking to my best friend, who is currently in college with homework coming out his ears and a part time job, it was easy for me to see the distractions in his life. Well…..it was easy for me to see what distracted him but what about what distracts me? Are distractions distracting me? I know I have always been fairly oblivious to my surroundings but distractions are different. Not all distractions are bad and sometimes they are necessary and very much needed, however; uncontrolled, unnoticed distractions keep us from reaching our full potential!
I decided to make hunting for distractions a priority. At first they were hard to find because they had creeped into my daily routine. They were sneaky and easy to justify in the beginning. Eventually, I could see distraction in nearly everything around me….sitting there crouching waiting to pounce on any attention I might give. I found distraction in my dedication to family, friends, church, and to myself. I could tell that in order to rid myself of all these distractions I would have to get myself organized. I felt overwhelmed! I had the same feeling I had when I had to weed a flowerbed I had left unattended for far too long. I felt like setting fire to it and starting completely over but I didn’t I picked one spot and worked my way through the jungle patiently but focused. The end result was a nice clean flowerbed but moreover I had a sense of accomplishment and pride with finishing what I set out to finish. I decided to start with the dedication I have to myself. In doing so I decided to focus on one of my own goals….a healthier and more fit me!
I was not always heavy so I knew what it was like to be thinner but I also remember the feelings of poor self-esteem and poor self-confidence despite my weight. But I can’t let those thoughts distract me in this blog because that is a whole other topic. I graduated high-school and focused on college and career. When I look back I was extremely focused and passionately driven towards my goals allowing very little to distract me. Then I met my husband, my first big distraction. In fact, I had to drop a few classes and one of my jobs just to fit him into my schedule. He was worth it though and I wouldn’t change a thing. OK that’s a lie, I would change one thing. He loved food and before I knew it I loved food just as much and my weight proved it. Before long I had gained 30 lbs and then another 30lbs and then that turned into 3o more lbs. What happened? Why didn’t I notice what was happening? I was distracted! I was working, going to school, dating my husband, I didn’t have time for me. It wasn’t my husbands fault it was my inability to notice and manage the distractions. Eating became a routine distraction to help me cope with school, money, work, and love.
Years later, 16 to be exact, I met my best friend. He was my daughters pre-school teacher and later became a Zumba instructor. He asked me to support him in his new endeavor and I was petrified. I did not want to shake 110 extra pounds at the Gym but grudgingly I did and was surprised to learn that despite my insecurities I loved it. I realized in the beginning I was dedicated with losing the extra pounds with a dedication void of distraction. I became obsessed, focused, driven, and excited about finding a new me. As the pounds started to drop I ate better, I tried other forms of exercise, and I found a new and powerful self confidence. I dropped 83 lbs and had another 10-15 lbs I wanted to lose. But then I got distracted.
With my new self-confidence came new friends and new opportunities. I started eating out more in order to spend time with friends, and that created less family time so I stopped exercising to find time for them. You see distractions are about prioritizing and decision making! I have since gained back 15 pounds and have realized that it isn’t self control that will help me reach my ultimate goal but finding and eliminating the distractions that keep me from that goal. For example, while out with a group of friends for dinner I ordered pasta because the picture on the menu distracted me from ordering the salad I knew I would love. I also bought cupcakes for a few of the people having birthdays and decided to enjoy one of the red velvet beauties because I was distracted by how yummy the icing looked. Afterwards, I was disappointed in myself for indulging in both. I look back and realize if I had been dedicated in my goal for health and fitness I would not have let those things distract me. I have lost focus on my ultimate goal. Furthermore, I let that cupcake ruin my future workouts because that sense of failure kept distracting me from being the best I could be in that moment.
Distractions are everywhere. When you log on to facebook and see your friends enjoying an event you were not invited to it distracts from the bonds and memories you do share with them. When you notice your best friend making inside jokes with someone else the jealousy will distract from a friendships future potential. But remember some distractions are positive. When you are working out and you see a perfect pair of abs working out across from you (just because I am married does not mean I am blind) the distraction can motivate you to work harder. Bottom line…..be aware of the distractions lurking around the corner and decide if they are helping you in your endeavors or hindering you!
Here are a few pics of my weight loss journey. Many of these pictures are hard for me to look at but they ultimately motivate me to succeed. I would love to hear if they help you!