Eat. Live. Be. #4: Your Biggest Challenge

by Cate on January 24, 2011

ELB logo - largeThis week, the Eat. Live. Be. crew is addressing challenges.  What ours are.  How we deal with them.  Challenges. I have a few.  Yesterday I told a personal trainer that one of my challenges is working out with the kids during the Winter.  I don’t want to drag them out in the cold more than I have to, but with nobody else at home to watch them, I also need to be able to strike a reasonable balance to get work-outs during my least favorite of the four seasons.

During yesterday morning’s Zumba class, the instructor shouted in my direction, “You can move your hips better than that – you HAVE BABIES!” She might peg that as my biggest challenge.  During the body roll segment of the song, it totally was.

So you see, it depends on who you ask when.  Challenges, I have a few.  But what do I think?  My greatest challenge?  The first step.

I have a bit of a, um, compulsive personality.  A friend and I were debating the merits of the right word today.  He said addictive, in defining his own similar trait.  We settled on “committed,” because that sounds awesome, right?  My thing is this … one I make the decision to do something, anything, I am in it 150%.  Whether it’s recycling.  Working out.  Or reorganizing my entire closet.  I jump in, feet first, eyes closed and don’t look back.  Heck, most of the time I don’t even look forward.  I just commit wholeheartedly with every ounce of my being.  But the challenge is in taking that first step. Dipping that little toe in the water down the shore on the first day of full-out sunshine to see if the water is cold enough.  It takes a lot to muster up the courage to do that.  To turn that corner.  To make that decision.  Therein lies my challenge.

Along my journey, many people have asked how they could get started on a similar path.  How I could help them.  See, the thing is, I can’t. Once you’re on the road, I am right there with you, ready to give you all the encouragement, tips and advice you need.  iVillage asked me for ten tips to help someone with weight loss and I spouted them off in nothing flat.  But that first step?  I can’t do it for you.  Your husband can’t.  Your family can’t.  NO ONE can do it except you.  Which is why it’s such a challenge.

The last time I got serious about losing weight was right before my wedding.  That was in 1998.  I fell off the wagon, so to speak, the next year.  Folks, this is 2011.  It took me nearly 13 years to take that first step again.  I wasn’t kidding when I said it was my biggest challenge.  Now some 13 months after the first step, it is a way of life.  For the most part, it doesn’t require thought.  It just is.

What I can tell you is this.  Once you get serious and take an honest hard look at yourself, your goals and how you will accomplish them, you will find a way to get from here to there.  I know you will. Because that’s when it changed for me. I had several half-hearted attempts at losing weight and finding my way back to healthy, but I wasn’t fooling anyone.  They lasted for awhile (my sister’s wedding some six years ago was probably the last serious stab), but I just wasn’t there yet.  Once you cross that threshold, take that first step, it’s all golden from there.  I promise.

Now for other inspirational ways to get through all sorts of different challenges, pop on in to the other Eat. Live Be. bloggers (below) and see what trips them up and how they’re working through it.  Would love to have you join the conversation and share your own challenge, and how you triumphed it in the comment section.  Don’t be shy.  Share with the class.

Project 365
January 24, 2011, Photo #24

Good Morning MondayAs Nick raced to catch the bus this morning by the skin of his teeth, I was eternally grateful that he didn’t have to wait out in the cold for it.  Three degrees, folks.  I thought that was bad until one of our employees called this morning from Canada, and reported his weather was -36.  Suddenly 3 degrees felt positively balmy.  55 days until Spring.

P.S.  Wanna read more?  Head on over to The Voice of Mom and discover my picks for Five Fabulous Bloggers.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

FireMom January 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm

That first step is so freaking hard, isn’t it? Great, encouraging post. :)


Sarah Caron January 24, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Great post — and you are so right. No one can make you start on the journey. You have to do that yourself and for yourself. Only then can you succeed.


patsyk January 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm

You are so right… the 1st step is often the hardest part of getting started on the path to a healthier life!

Can’t believe the freezing cold we are dealing with right now… bring on SPRING!


allison January 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

Inspiring! You are so right we have to do it for ourselves. I am hoping I get into the swing of it. I am two steps forward and one step back right now but, the elb crew is helping me look at so many aspects of healthy living and I am gaining inspiration from all.


Joanne January 25, 2011 at 7:18 am

That first step is definitely one of the hardest to take and is probably also something that has been holding me back for a while. The first week is easy but really diving in for the long haul – that’s rough. I’ve had some slip ups in the past week but coming here has again inspired me to really get to it again. I want to make you guys proud!

(Also, I think you may have forgotten me in the links above.)


paula January 25, 2011 at 9:43 am

Taking the first step has never been a problem for me. I’ve taken that first step thousands of times. Take a look around the gym this time of year and there are plenty of people taking the first step. But most people don’t tend to go full-steam ahead once they do. They get stalled. They backslide. It is not typical to take that first step and never look back.

I’ve succeeded and I failed and I would never say that my answer is everyone’s answer but here’s my take on eating and weight loss. We all know how lose weight and be healthy, technically. We learned it in school, we read it in magazines, we see it on television, we read it on the internet. You’d have to be pretty clueless these days not to know you need to eat less, exercise more, and choose nutritional foods (and of those things eating less is the absolute most important which is the hardest pill for most of us to swallow). For most people it is really that simple, physiologically speaking.

The challenge is in our heads. Our emotional issues. Most of us are overeating for a reason whether we know it or not. That part is not easy to fix but I have never lost weight and kept it off by focusing on the technical aspect of weight loss. My only true success has come when I dealt with my emotional well-being first. If you overeat for emotional reasons, it won’t happen the other way around – don’t expect to lose weight and then have the rest of your life magically fall into place. Face your issues!


Ramona January 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

That’s cold……


paula January 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

What’s cold, Ramona? Hope you weren’t referring to my comments since they weren’t meant to be cold. Although re-reading them, I want to clear up that I’m not talking to Cate – my advice is for anyone who eats for emotional reasons and I don’t see anything cold about my advice. She asked for what challenges we had to overcome and that is the major challenge I have always faced – dealing with the reasons why I overeat. When I don’t do that, I can lose weight but it’s a struggle and it never sticks.


Christy January 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

ha…I think she was probably referring to the temperature…3 degrees? :)


Betsy January 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I’m on Weight Watchers. Oh, and as I sit here, I’ve just finished what 5 -6 cookies. Hmmm.

Cate, fantastic job on all you accomplished. I’ve started and stopped many a time on weight loss. Great for a week, or two then fall off.

Did you do anything different this time. Or what made it click — or did it just click this time, that it was the time to jump in full force and just do it?



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