As I rounded the corner from the cookie isle in the supermarket that day, I happily bounced my pounds over to the exercise gear, looking for my next quick-fix weight loss miracle in a box. My criteria were simple—if it was cheap and looked easy I was sold. It was then that it caught my eye—the bargain bin yoga ball complete with hand pump.
Who would have thought my weight problems would be solved for $10.99 marked down from $20?
I tossed the box into my shopping cart and cringed as it bounced off my barbeque chips crushing the bag, before nestling itself between my bag of double stuffed Oreo cookies and my case of diet Pepsi. After replacing my bag of chips and checking out, I hit the drive thru for a double cheeseburger and large fries and then headed home to begin my weight loss journey—convinced that I had found the answer to my never ending weight woes.
Sweat beaded and dripped of my forehead as I pumped up the ball. I secretly prayed that the exercise wouldn’t be as much a challenge as the set up. I had seen girls at the gym lying with their backs arched across these things, doing crunches with all their might, but after about 5 minutes, the only crunch I was interested was coming from the potato chips in my kitchen that had began calling out my name. It was then that I decided I was due for a break- perhaps there would be some tips and tricks in the pamphlet that came in the box.
Twenty minutes and a half a bag of chips later, I was devastated to learn through my search for tips and tricks, that my body weight exceeded the maximum allowable capacity for safe “operation” of my newly acquired exercise tool. I was too fat for my exercise ball. I was crushed at the idea that my ten dollar and ninety-nine cent dreams had been deflated by my own mass as each crunch would leave me teetering on the brink of lying flat on my back in a wasteland of busted rubber and my own low self esteem. And so, as I always did when faced with the embarrassment of my weight, I laughed it off and added the ball to the growing collection of exercise equipment in my closet—where it would never again see the light of day. My weight loss woes have mirrored many of the challenges I’ve faced in my day to day life. When push comes to shove, I’ve had the tendency to always become my own biggest obstacle—not in a deflated yoga ball sense of the term, but in a hopelessly afraid to face reality sense of the term. For far too many years I thought if I bought the right product, talked the right talk, and had the best intentions despite zero action- I would miraculously become the unattainable, idealistic self imposed criteria of a “Me” I had always hoped for—which created a painful cycle of self hatred and reluctance to seek out meaningful realistic change—a cycle that lasted for years. I was the quintessential excuse girl, the queen of justification; I was lost in a world where I was exerting more time and effort trying to find the perfect Quick-fix, then even a realistic and patient approach would have taken.
Deflated by continued failures, I was crushed as my quick fixes and excuses left me continually teetering on the brink of laying flat on my back in a heap of failure and low self esteem.
Just the other day my brother and I were discussing some changes I was hoping to pursue. Real changes. Meaningful changes. Not 10.99 closet clutter, failure inducing, low self esteem garnering, give up after a day and a half changes—but real, thought out, planned, patient, long-term change. As we discussed the pros and cons, the up and downs and the variables included, he asked me why I hadn’t decided to do this before. My response to him was simple, and one of the hardest things to admit to myself, let alone someone else.
I was too afraid to fail.
My brothers response was simple yet brilliant as it always tends to be, “Well if you haven’t tried- you’ve already Failed.”
If you want to win a sprint, you’ve got to run with all your might.
I’d never even really shown up to the race at all.
Being the excuse girl—the action-less quick fix, talk the talk without walking the walk girl was not born out of laziness—it was built out of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the idea that perhaps the weight of the world would be more then I could handle and my own personal strength, endurance, and will power, be it physical, mental or emotional, would be much akin to that body ball ready to burst and deflate me at any moment.
If I never REALLY tried, I could never REALLY fail… except I already had. Until now. So as I round the corner into the next step in my life, My criteria is simple, I'm going to give it all I’ve got—despite where the outcome may lead. Let fear run my race? Not a chance- not when I teetering on the brink of seeing my goals take root, and a finish line in site.