I can't tell you how many opportunities I've passed up because I've beaten myself down before I've even had a chance to go for the brass ring. In the past, instead of losing weight, I resigned myself to failure almost every time. I could not believe in myself or be brave enough to face the obstacles on the long road ahead.
I remember my first act of bravery. I went outside for a walk and passed a car wash, where all of the guys laughed and yelled. I was in tears. Didn't they know how much bravery it took for me to go out in the first place? I turned around and was headed home, when I decided that they could not determine my fate. I walked back to the gas station, tears in my eyes and told them exactly how I felt. It wasn't nice of them to make fun of me and make me cry when I was only trying to improve myself. They apologized. I went home and cried and quit walking. It was brave to confront them and I needed to do that in order to secure my place in the world, mentally.
Being brave isn't just about confrontation, though. It is about taking chances and doing new things. CRAZYMAMA46 always comes to mind when I think of bravery. She has lost more than 200 pounds and sky dives now!
I remember when I first started going to the gym and everything was new. It was scary putting on a bathing suit, and it was also scary trying the new machines. Little did I know that one day I would be able to do bigger and better machines and floor yoga! It came with a price of resting for days in between, but the mere act of doing it strengthened my resolve. Each time I tried and succeeded at something new physically, it felt as if doors and windows in my mind flung open and sunshine poured in, promising a whole new world.
Bravery can be much more subtle and personal. Have you given up on yourself because you are afraid to fail again? I had. I ended up at 460 pounds and was resolved to stay there, rather than suffer the slings and arrows of those who would see me fail another diet attempt. BE BRAVE! If you refuse to be brave, you are taking yourself out of the game before you ever have a chance to play. It's called avoidance. Been there, done that. It's a ticket to living in your house and gaining weight rapidly. You start becoming more private to avoid the pain of confrontation and start eating to avoid the pain of loneliness and stress.
SparkPeople is here for you! The people are here for you. If your old life isn't working, create a new one. I have. Many SparkPeople friends I've met in person spur me on to do great things. I minimize contact with the energy drainers. If you've ever tried making new friends as an adult and minimizing contact with people who drain you, you know the bravery that takes.
Be brave for yourself. You are worth everything. You are precious and valuable and worthy of this life granted to you. Be your own knight in shining armor, your own best friend, and your own advocate. Be brave.