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*MARIE’S NOTE: today I welcome guest blogger Raven, a life coach whose words had touched me on the internet. I wanted her to share a bit of her story and motivation to hopefully inspire at least one of you! Please keep reading and show some love to Raven*
Finding Motivation in the Strangest Places
I’ve struggled with my weight since college, but I finally found the best diet plan ever: choosing not struggling with my weight. Forget the diet, pills, workouts…all of the above; my best weight loss success came when I wasn’t even trying.
Two years ago, I began a journey to start a business and at the same time become a better version of myself spiritually and emotionally. I didn’t get a lot of support from my family and friends. In fact, I found haters in the most unsuspecting places.
It all started with me getting laid off from my cushy job as a Marketing Executive. I decided that I was not going to search for another job that would make me pledge my allegiance to another random CEO – one whose vision I didn’t believe in. Instead of falling into the same destructive loop again, I decided to become my own CEO.
Facing Adversity Head-On
Starting a business looks a crazy from the outside. Since mine was an internet-based business, I looked crazy AND lazy. Family conversations would inevitably come around to ways I could “fix” my business or make quick money doing something more “realistic”. Nobody asked how my business was going or even what my plan was. They just assumed was failing because I wasn’t balling after a few months; or if I wasn’t failing yet, then I would be soon.
All that doubt and negativity only made me work harder. I started to grind. My day-to-day life was: eat, sit behind my computer and work, eat some more and repeat. As a result, my business grew; and so did my waistline. I was about to pass that “If I get over X number of pounds I know that I’m in trouble” weight. By the end of the year, I had a mini meltdown.
I could write a whole book about what caused the meltdown. For now, I’ll just say that two people I’ve known all my life and hoped would be my biggest supporters…weren’t.
It’s heartbreaking to make the biggest and boldest move of your life and not have your family’s support. Not only was I building a business, but as part of the process of becoming a life coach, I was working to become a better person all around. So here I am teaching myself and others to treat people with compassion and unconditional love, and I was getting the shade of the century from my loved ones.
One night, I packed my bags in the middle of the night and drove two hours to a yoga retreat in the Shenandoah Mountains. For seven days I watched some of the most beautiful sunrises, I hiked, I meditated, and ate the most delicious vegetarian food I’d ever had. It was exactly what I needed: a reboot.
I found myself surrounded by people who similarly had come to this sacred place for a moment of peace. There was no judgment, no deceit, no nagging me about “When are you gonna give up and get a regular job.”
This positive energy caused an epiphany: You shouldn’t have to drive to the mountains and surround yourself with strangers to be accepted for who you are. The people I met there were the type of people I should have had around me every single day. I left with a renewed sense of purpose and determination and (since it was December) three New Year’s resolutions for 2013.
Starting the year off right
The best way to start anything is to define a clear path to the finish line. After my meltdown and going into year two of my business, I chose three resolutions:
- Take care of myself better than I do anyone else. I mean really put myself first for once.
- Only spend time with people who think the best of me. Stop surrounding myself with folks who find it their duty to put me down or discourage me.
- Stop being afraid to ask for help when I need it; and furthermore, start giving help when it is asked for.
Doing these things meant that I had to let go of some very important people in my life. This was essential to me growing as a person – and in the case of my weight…shrinking. I didn’t tell people to “beat it”. I simply stated my goals clearly and publicly. Like magic, the haters faded to black on their own.
Walking the Path
In the first year of walking my new path I met more amazing and supportive people than I even knew existed – women who supported my vision because they had big dreams of their own. As a result my business began to take off; when it was all said and done I found that I had lost 30 pounds in six months.
No diet. No pills. No exercise. I attribute the weight loss to my increased overall happiness that came from decreasing the negativity in my life. In addition to being less depressed, more active and holding myself in higher esteem, I also stopped stress eating! Because there was no stress. I ate more healthy foods because I cared more about feeling better, but I still indulged in all my favorites: soul food, dessert(s) and bacon.
I was building a business so things were challenging, but minus the shade, it was doable. I’m still a curvy girl but now I embrace that along with all my other characteristics, then move on to the business of living my life.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Let your haters be your motivators.” Done and done.
How have you found Motivation? What have you let fuel you into a positive change? Let me know, I wanna hear from you!
Raven Delana is the life coach and project manager for young professionals and entrepreneurs who want to plan a big leap in life. If you have a leap you’ve been wanting to take, you can start today with her FREE planner, T Minus:30 – From Lost to Launched in 30 minutes or less. verandalane.com/project/tminus-30/