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Playing Small Won’t Cut It

by in Health & Fitness, Musings, Uncategorized May 20, 2013

I am a firm believer of ‘walking the talk’ as a personal trainer and nutrition coach.  I feel it is part of my job to model what I preach, and therefore I keep my physique trained and my diet clean on a daily basis.  I have been in this industry for a long time, and while I have not always been at the level of fitness that I am currently, it has always been important for me to model the behaviors I am teaching my clients.  Maybe this comes from being a school teacher for so long…knowing that in the classroom and at school, those kids are watching every move you make.  You are modeling with your own behaviors every minute of every day, and you are frequently the adult kids spend the most time with every day!  What pressure!  However, it goes back to the saying about character:  What do you do, how do you behave, what kind of person are you when no one is watching?

The reality is, there is always someone watching.  I remember driving to work every day along the same route when one day I saw a very overweight man slowly jogging on the side of the road.  He wasn’t very fast, and he certainly didn’t look like he was enjoying himself, but he was out there.  Day after day after day from that moment on, I saw that man running as I drove into work.  And I wasn’t the only one who noticed.  Commuters who were familiar with this sight started honking their encouragement as they drove by!  The man would wave and keep running.  Week after week, then month after month, and this man started getting smaller, and faster.  Soon, it was hard to remember the overweight man….now he was just known as the Running Man.  He had picked his goal, tied his shoes and headed out the door like clockwork for over six months…and people were there, complete strangers, watching him, monitoring his progress, even cheering him on, as he made the choice every day to improve his fitness.

Regardless of your job, whether or not you have kids, how old you are…someone out there is quietly watching you and the choices you make.  Not like voyeur watching…not necessarily creepy watching…but watching you because at some level they respect you (even if they don’t realize it).  Do you have those people in your life who seem to always be sabotaging your efforts to eat clean?  They bring the cupcakes in, or the breakfast tacos, or make fun of the salad you order at lunch as they pack away a basket of chips & salsa and follow it up with double cheese enchiladas??

The situation is this:  Every time you stick to your guns, every time you order your salad with grilled chicken, every time you say No, Thank You to the dessert tray – THOSE people are watching you.  You are modeling what it is to be a strong, willful character who is hell-bent on accomplishing a goal, full of self-worth and confidence.  And on top of that, there are others watching you who are gaining strength from your strength.  Confidence from your confidence.  Stick-to-it-iveness.  Belief in self.  YOU are the model for them on their journey, wherever that journey may lead for them.

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Marianne Williamson, and completely and thoroughly embraces the reality of being a model to others, being visible, being resilient, and believing in one’s self:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

YOU are powerful beyond measure.  Do you see that?  YOU will unconsciously give other people permission to shine their light JUST by shining your own!  By focusing on your goals, on your desires, on the changes you want to make in your life, not only are you empowering yourself, but you are also empowering others!

Stick to your guns, fulfill the commitment to yourself…you DESERVE to do that for YOU!  And know, regardless of your goals, there will always be someone out there who is going to challenge you, something that is going to test you.  Yes, it is a test!  But you are strong, you are driven, and you will overcome! And… someone out there is watching you do this battle, just as they will see you succeed, they will see you overcome the hurdles placed in front of you….and you will inspire them to do the same for themselves.  So, in essence…not only have you saved yourself…but you have also saved someone else.  THAT is what this world should be about.

Now get up and go do it again.  Someone is watching.