For about a month, I've been thinking a lot about the things I've been allowing into my life that hold me down from where I want to be. And then I realized the two things I'm struggling with the most are pretty much the same problem - they are both self-discipline motivated burdens. Struggles that no one else can get me out of but myself.
My mom shared this quote with me and I had to make it into a poster so I could hang it up as a reminder of the process and what my eternal goal is.
Since Brock will be starting work soon, we've been thinking so much about the next step in our lives of where we want to live. And finances have a lot to do with that. A sweet friend of mine wrote in her blog (Thanks, Janalee!) about "living today like no one so I can live later like no one" and I've thought a lot about that. I want to learn to be more wise with our finances and be able to say "no" to things that we "want" today so we can be better prepared for later. But that's definitely a struggle. Especially as a photographer and tech geek. There's always something newer and better! Not to mention with kids, I would love to give them everything! But it's all something I would like to learn how to control a little better for many reasons.
The other self-discipline struggle I've had that has been ongoing now is needing to lose weight. There are so many reasons for this. I would be lying if I didn't say the first reason is that I just plain want to be skinny. I'm sick of the way I look, especially since as a kid and teenager, I was always so in shape. The second and more important reason is obviously for my health. It took me 2 1/2 years EACH TIME to get pregnant with my boys. And BOTH times I finally got pregnant were after I had started to exercise consistently and intensely which obviously resulted in me losing weight. With my PCOS issues, being a healthy weight is obviously needed if I want to have another baby (which of course I do!).
I read an article in LDS Living about a missionary who lost weight by living the Word of Wisdom. Of course I read it, initially with the thought of "this is going to be an easy thing to do!" And then I realized, just as with every diet, that nothing is easy! It all takes work and self-discipline. But I thought the article was so inspiring. I guess I had never thought about the Word of Wisdom as a "diet to lose weight," but it was so true what the girl wrote. The Word of Wisdom is straight from God which means that HE requires me to be healthy. I will be judged for how I treated this body He blessed me with. And taking care of it, or NOT taking care of it, is directly associated with my willingness to follow His counsel.
There is a sentence in my Patriarchal Blessing that never made sense to me until a few years ago. It says "During your life, you will shape your physical body and its desires to match your spirit body." Clearly when I got my blessing at 14, I didn't understand this. I was not just fit, but in better shape than most of my peers. I was able to push myself and had a lot more determination. But a few years ago, when I really started getting down about my weight, that line finally made sense to me. And it hit hard. There is ABSOLUTELY a direct association in my life with the way I'm spiritually living and the way I physically live. And it completely makes sense. When I am striving to make good spiritual decisions in my life like reading my scriptures, talking with my Heavenly Father, encouraging my family to do these things, and attending my meetings with purpose, I am living a more routine driven life. When I'm more in a spiritual routine, it's SO MUCH EASIER to be in a physical routine, too! And I've noticed this so many times as I've gone through the cycle of doing it or not doing it. So truly as I'm spiritually feeding my body, it's easier to take care of my body physically, too. And I know that's because of the blessings that come from doing the spiritual things I need to.
I just started reading The Book of Mormon the other day again. I always get more from my daily study when I study with a purpose. And as having self-discipline long term is what I'm struggling with, I decided to read it this time around looking for help with this. It's amazing what is found when we look! In last night's reading, I found helpful inspiration. I read in 1 Nephi 16. In it, Nephi talks about feeling like "hard things" were required of them. He teaches that if we have guilt, than what we need to do will be too hard for us. But if we are righteous, willing, and humble, we can accomplish that which is before us. (1 Nephi 16:1-5).
This was in just one night of reading - I've found so much more too! But I love this lesson because those three words really are what is required of me to accomplish these goals. Righteous, Willing, & Humble.
I have started on this road so many times, and many times got pretty far down it. But because of my lack of self-discipline, I've yet to be able to go all the way and stay there. My hope is that if I can continually work on both my spiritual and physical goals, that I can rely on the strength of my Savior to help me keep going. I wanted to write about this on my blog since it is our family journal because I want my kids to know about the struggles that we face and how we can use the gospel to overcome them!
Here's my little chart I made to help me accomplish my weight loss goal. Although I don't always want to have "incentives," I know I need them right now as I start to really work on having more self-discipline in my life. Plus, who doesn't want a reason to take a girl's trip?! I'm doing things a little different this time, too. The scale is a motivator for me - it just is. But I'm only going to do one weigh-in a week now instead of weigh every morning and see how that goes. For now, Brock has hidden the scale from me so I don't cheat! :)
BTW - if I can lose weight while living at Mel's where there is always a full pantry of oreos, popcorn, chips, cookies, and everything else yummy, I think I'll be set for good!