DenaApril 1, 2011

Welcome to the very first day of the SPRING FITNESS CHALLENGE!

I am so excited about the response that I received after announcing the challenge earlier this week. We have an incredible group of participants & I know that we’re going to accomplish great things together.

To kick off the challenge, I want to share a bit about my own history with health. Back in 2006, I was about seventy pounds overweight. I was suffering from severe depression & anxiety. There was nothing healthy about me—not my body, not my mind, not my spirit. Then one day, I made a decision to change. I took a journey, as we all do, and I ended up on a path to peace.

I started practicing Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which is just a fancy way of saying: Change your thoughts, change your life. And that is what I did, I changed my life.

When I tell people that I lost 70 pounds over the course of two years their gut reaction is almost always the same, How did you do it? They look at me with wide eyes full of wonder. They are looking for an easy explanation. A pill, a surgery, a miracle trainer?

Of course, the answer is none of those things. In my mind, the answer is simple but to others I know it is complicated. The answer, in short, is: I found harmony within myself and within the Universe. Which is not quite as easy to explain as a pill or a surgery.

To understand my journey, you must first understand why I was overweight to begin with.

  1. I was severely anxious and depressed.
  2. I was an emotional eater.
  3. I was addicted to food, it filled a void in my spirit.
  4. I was mentally unhealthy and therefore physically unhealthy.
  5. Depression led to inactivity, a lower metabolism.
  6. I continually gained weight.
  7. Gaining weight made me more depressed.
  8. The cycle was vicious and seemingly unending.

Unbalance (anxiety/depression) was at the core of the problem. CBT taught me first, that my thought processes were negative/irrational; and second, how to change my negative/irrational thoughts into positive/rational ones. As I learned to change my thought process, everything else in my life began to change.

Most people have no idea what an enormous role our thoughts play in our lives. In fact, our thoughts are actually our entire existences.

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” —Dale Carnegie

Negative thinking is devastating to the human soul. There is no place for health, happiness, peace, or love in a mind full of negative thoughts. When I found happiness, I lost weight. It was not because I was vain or obsessed with my external appearance. It was not a miracle diet or a perfect gym membership. It was because I changed the way that I thought (think).

Once I learned how to change my thought process, the weight came off like magic. As I grew happier, it got easier. As my anxiety lessened, so did my depression. As my depression lessened, positivity and love filled the void in my spirit. I became more active, my metabolism increased. Without the sadness and emptiness, I had no cause to turn to food constantly.

This is not a fairy tale. I had bad days. I have bad days. I give in to temptation. I get sad and eat too much ice cream or far too many potato chips. In fact, the past several months have been sort of a downward spiral for me. I’ve gained back some of the weight that I lost back in 2006 and my body is not what I want it to be right now. That is a big reason why I started this challenge. I need to get back on track and I need your help! Let’s do this together.

For those of you who have joined the SPRING FITNESS CHALLENGE, you are taking the first step toward creating happiness, health, and balance in your own life. I am so very proud of you and so grateful that you are joining me in this journey. I hope that something in my story will resonate with you and bring you one step closer to reaching your own goals!

Stay tuned for Monday’s post where I will announce our Week 1: Fitness Goals & post my first set of “Accountability Photos.” In the meantime, head over to the the forum and post your introduction and your personal goals for the next 60 days! Just log-in, go to SPRING FITNESS CHALLENGE > Introductions/Goals/Progress and share your goals. I’ll see you over there.

In love & light,

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