Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more. - Oscar Wilde
Eventually, after we spend enough time eating and working out like we should, we start to see some small but encouraging signs of progress - we don't get winded walking to the mailbox, it's easier to bend to tie our shoes, our pants are looser. This should be exciting for us so why do we find ourselves thinking that what we have done isn't good enough? Too often we shrug our shoulders in dismissal at the things we have done because we don’t think they are so great. We dwell on the fact that even though we have lost 3 pounds, we still have 47 more pounds to lose to meet our goal. We wait for others to be our champions and give validity to our actions when we should do that for ourselves. We become our own worst enemy and harshest critic. I'm guilty of this. I find it very hard to accept praise or compliments from others. I find it difficult to give MYSELF kudos for my achievements and victories so I find it hard to believe that anyone else would do otherwise but - no more. I promised to be kinder to myself and that is a promise I intend to keep. There is no reason why we shouldn't pat ourselves on the back if we just walked 2 miles for the first time or if the lettering on the front of our favorite t-shirt isn't stretched out anymore - those are big deals! Enjoy the feeling!! Celebrate it!!
I think back to all of the races I have done and the praise I received for doing them. The only person that didn't praise me was ME. All I could think of was that I wasn't fast enough, my strides were too choppy and that I got passed up by a lot of people. Even though only a few short months earlier I wasn’t able to run far, I didn't allow myself to enjoy my victories (and in my mind, finishing a race IS a victory). I couldn't give myself credit for the remarkable progress I had made and I found it unfathomable that anyone else would find what I had done to be impressive. That is now in the past. That's why I post my daily mileage for all the world to see. I am proud of the miles I am racking up no matter how small they may be because each of the miles represents progress - progress of action and progress of thought. All of the miles are significant because they are miles that are getting me closer to my ultimate goal of running a 50-mile race (yep, I'm a bit of a masochist). Each mile represents my choice to not sit around and be unhealthy. Each mile symbolizes my decision to do something rather than nothing. Each mile is a step in the right direction and we are all about moving forward, right?
So this week, say a big “hell yeah” when you do something you didn’t think you could do. Smile and accept praise or compliments that are given to you and know that you are worthy of the accolades you receive. But most importantly, believe in yourself. Be proud of yourself and your decision to stay on the path to a healthier you. Now, lace up your shoes and get out there to show the world what amazing things you can do.