I find it difficult to talk about the courage to start over without first talking about falling. Do you remember the last time you tripped and fell? Was it embarrassing? Did you feel like everyone was laughing at you? Did you suffer any bruises? If you’re anything like me, you probably tried to play it off as if nothing happened.
That’s what my “fall” felt like. For those of you who don’t know my story, about eight years ago I celebrated a 144-pound weight loss, only to gain all of it back—yes, I became “that guy”. You know, the one they call a “yo-yo” dieter. So this topic of starting over and going after your goals is very close to my heart.
Throughout my journey of reclaiming the dream of a healthier me, I had to face my biggest fear. “What if I never lose the weight?” I learned that in order for me to start over, I had to first confront my fear and let the dream die. What I mean by this is, I had to find comfort and contentment with the person I saw in the mirror “today” even if I didn’t get my perfect body tomorrow. This is where the courage lies.
Jesus once said, ”For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it,” Matthew 16:25. Letting go my life (or dream) was a very scary thing to do. I constructed my identity on top of my dream coming true, when it should have been constructed firmly on Christ. I challenged the fear and accepted myself as perfect in Christ whether I achieved that goal or not. Doing this made it much easier for me to get off the ground.
I also felt like people judged me because of my mistake. Yet, I quickly realized that the people I was too ashamed to face, were the same ones who pulled me up. You’ll be amazed at how few people actually laugh at you when you fall.
Lastly, I took my eyes off of myself. When I decided to promote my book I had a moment of panic—was I really going to share the ugly details of my failure?! My mentor reminded me that my testimony is not for me. There were many people who would be encouraged by my story—and will be encouraged by yours too. Going after my dream again soon became an act of service to others and a way to glorify God. This is what keeps me from having several pity parties a day (okay, maybe I still have one every now and then, but you get my drift).
As you consider going after your goals for 2016, remember this: you are a rock star whether you achieve those goals or not because of Christ; He will send you people to help you; and, your dream is not for you, but for others. So, are you ready? Let’s go!
LeeAnn Sims has been featured in SHAPE magazine, Essence, and on the Today Show for naturally losing half her size. Like most yo-yo dieters, she gained back the weight. LeeAnn shares her journey in her new book The Weight Loss D.I.V.A: Discovering the Discipine, Inspiration, Victory, and Acceptance within You! LeeAnn recently married Michael and they live in Maryland where she works as a Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager. Follow LeeAnn’s wellness journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or her website www.theweightlossdiva.com.
Want to hear more? Follow @AWomansBusiness and join LeeAnn for a Twitter chat on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 1 p.m. EST using #AWBTalkbackTuesday.