Am I Motivating?

So true!

First thing- in writing this post I am not begging for compliments or praise (not that I will refuse either :)).  It is a sincere question- Does my story make you want to get in shape or does it scare the heck out of you?

What made me start thinking of this was a conversation I had with a few friends the other day.  I realized after, I had talked about exercise a lot (my goals, upcoming race, trainer, routines, etc) and that I didn’t make it sound very appealing.  I’ve never been the kind of person that can put on a nice face, and I find it particularly hard to do so when I’m in physical pain. Like my father, I can’t seem to ‘fake it until you make it” with anything.

Exercising is HARD WORK!  It is honestly more painful and difficult than it is rewarding and exciting.  At least that is my experience. Of course, it is completely worth it and the pain does make the rewards all the more meaningful but make no mistake it is tough.

The difficult question I am having is how much of these challenges do I share with my friends and family?  I never want to discourage anyone from beginning an exercising quest, but I also feel like I would have benefited from someone giving me a heads up on how hard it was going to be.  On the other hand, I might have been scared off by people being too graphic.  (You can see how torn I am with this question!).

It just drives me crazy on television when they make it seem so easy.  Like all you do is make a few changes and poof 2 months later you are 100 lbs lighter.  If only it was that simple for me.  Granted I had some unusual health problems that may have happened regardless of my fitness quest (such as my eye surgery) but it has been one terrific obstacle after another.  (I am also by no means finished.  I have many years of hard work ahead of me to get to my end-goals and then after that I will have years of maintenance. )

I have the same struggles when talking about my mission.  I loved my mission but it was also a serious testing period.  Never was I lonelier in my life or more daily-tested mentally, spiritually and physically.  Through the loneliness I learned so much about myself and God that it was without a doubt worth it, but it was super hard.

People tried to warn me about the difficulties of a mission, but I mostly ignored their advice.  That said, most of the warnings concerned all the rules and the rejection, which to me were not the true struggles.   My mission was like a personal crucible of everything God could throw at me and as a reward He helped me find some amazing people and refine my testimony and character.

I wish someone had told me a mission was like that…

However, again I am torn because not everyone has the same mission experience.  Most people I know did, but not everyone, so who am I to warn them of something they may or may not experience?

Back to the dieting what if they get lucky and lose the weight fast (it usually is so much easier for men!  No fair!)?  Maybe my discourses will only prepare them for something they won’t experience…I don’t know?

Its the balance between preparation and discouragement which I struggle with…It truly has me puzzled?

In the end, I just want to be motivating.  I want people to look at my example both as an exerciser and a missionary and be encouraged, not discouraged.  I am sorry if I make either seem too hard or painful.  The rewards are awesome!  Nothing could be better than teaching my investigators or surfing in Hawaii.  The sweet moments make the struggles worth it one hundred times over.

How do you give advice? I know many people face the same challenge when talking about parenting.  It is easy to sound like you hate being a parent because it is so difficult but of course it is worth it to raise your children. I am sure nobody would want to dissuade people from having children when they are ready but its really hard.

How do you find that balance in giving honest counsel to friends and family? I would really love comments on this one.

6 thoughts on “Am I Motivating?

  1. YES, you are motivating! Getting in shape IS tough and it requires a lot of hard work and serious dedication. Whether someone, like yourself, is trying to loose a lot of weight or is a serious athlete trying to set a world record, it is tough and requires serious commitment. I am motivated by anyone who sticks to a serious fitness routine, and even more so by those who set actual goals (like your open water swim race) because it’s even harder to work toward a challenging goal like a race or a personal record than it is to just hit the gym every day. And, I am assuming, it is even harder still to do these things when you have the added obstacles that come with being significantly overweight (such as the frustrating athletic ware issues you have written about). So yes, I am seriously inspired by your hard work and dedication! It makes me think, if she can stick with it and achieve her goals, then I can stick with it and achieve my own goals.

  2. Thanks so much. It means a lot that I can do a little something with this blog to inspire others. It honestly motivates me to keep going. I don’t want to let everyone down (or myself down). I’ve worked too hard to turn back now!

    How do you approach advice? Do you try to be real with people or stick to the positive? I find giving advice to be difficult.

  3. I try to do both, if that makes any sense?! I try to be realistic, but to emphasize the positive that comes from the hard work. I run. When people ask me for advice on training for a big race, or even in just getting started in the sport, I tell them about how I used to be just like them and how hard it was to get to where I am now, but that it has been so worth the time and effort! I tell them that it hurt so bad and I hated it so much in the beginning that my only goal was to learn to like running, “to stick to the task until it stuck to me” (as my mom would always say). And then I tell them that along the way I learned to LOVE running, and that now I can’t live without it. How positive is that?! I also tell them that if I (someone who could barely run a nine something mile…and felt like I was coughing up blood in the process…when I was in jr. high/high school) could come as far as I have (running marathons and a sub 7 minute mile…and actually enjoy doing it!…with three kids along for the ride, by the way) then who knows what they are capable of?! I tell them that, sure, it hurts sometimes to really push ourselves, but that’s part of the learning & loving process of it all…pushing through the pain and sticking it out when it’s tough in order to feel the joy of finding out that we are capable of so much more than we ever thought possible. I tell them that it’s totally worth it, and that it really does get easier…or at least if feels easier, both because we simply work ourselves into better shape physically and because we become so much stronger mentally in the process.

    1. Thanks. It totally makes sense. My friend was telling me that she has actually learned to like the feeling of being sore. I’m not there yet but I’m on my way!
      I like what you say about the joy of being capable of so much more. I have already felt that rush. Especially surfing in Hawaii I felt the surge of accomplishment and empowerment worth any sacrifice! It was worth a million painful workouts to be on that board. Same thing with my race.

  4. I’m so glad that you are finding joy in your accomplishments. You really have accomplished A LOT…you should feel good about it! Both surfing and your swim are totally cool things and huge accomplishments (neither of which I have ever done, by the way)! Confession: I, too, kind of like that sore feeling…hee hee.

    1. I know that’s my new goal- to like the sore feeling. Seems impossible but if you and Erin can do it maybe I can to. I will try!

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