I LOVE this word - it flows on superbly from my first two choices.... Forgiveness and Courage... but it comes power-packed with a bunch of emotions too, and just as my previous two choices, there's a whole pattern that emerges here with this one aswell!
Respect is an attribute that resonates quite highly with me - it's something that's always come quite naturally - to respect those around me, those in authority, my environment, etc. I was brought up with the belief to "treat others as you'd like to be treated." Unfortunately, life doesn't always deal you a fair playing field...
Whilst I was off being 'respectful' of everyone else, the favour wasn't always returned.... and it was far easier to lose respect in MYSELF than it was to dish it back to those that threw it in my face. They didn't actually NEED to undermine me - again, I did that quite well on my own!! I put everyone else up on pedestals and left myself flailing down below...
"Self-respect" has been one of my biggest issues. At my lowest point, I was an "empty shell" - with no respect for myself... I didn't care about my body or my place in the world - and I (regretfully) knew fully well that's what I was doing. How could I find a level of self-respect (as an entity) when I clearly didn't care about what I was doing to myself... That was the 'catch 22' - I didn't respect myself, so why bother trying to fix it - but without fixing it, how can you possibly change it... ohhhhhh it just boggles my mind - it manifests on itself, and just leaves a really icky feeling in the pit of my stomach....
How do you break that cycle?! Considering I would go out of my way to treat others how I "wanted to be treated" - WHY would I then treat myself SO POORLY in comparison?!! I was simply DISRESPECTFUL of myself...
SO, here we go with my pattern again - and now it's really starting to take shape...!!
1: Forgive myself and what's already passed and cannot be changed
2: Find the courage to create the change you want
3: Learn to respect the essential elements of change.... DISCUSS!
Irrespective of how much you hate it, despise what it looks like, fault it within an inch of your life... your body is an intricate and magnificent machine - and deserves to be treated with a level of respect that ALL magnificent machines deserve!
Think of it like a steam train - you want that beautiful train to stay on the tracks and take you through to your destination, so you need to fuel it properly, maintain the engine, and drive that train in the direction you need it to go... (the three essential elements!) ... again, indulge me here with my analogy!!!
Three years ago, I became a "train driver." First and foremost, I had to change what FUELS I was putting into this machine. I couldn't mistreat the engine anymore - I needed it to drive me home.... Out with the crap, and in with the good, a train can't run on junk!!
I learnt how to choose healthy foods, modify my eating behaviours, make proactive choices about when and how I fueled this engine... I proactively chose to treat my body with the respect it deserves, and it responded accordingly!
Where before, I treated my body like a walking trashcan (disrespectful and harmful), now I was eating foods that HELPED me initiate change, gave me the nutrition and energy that my 'machine' required on a daily basis, and very much helped keep me moving forward...
In doing that, I also learnt to respect food as the fuel source that it is - it stopped being a 'hateful indulgence'; a cause of my issues; and the shame, fear, love-hate malicious relationship I had going on with food (in general) started to wane. It's taken the better part of three years to make sustained change here, but I'm now IN LOVE WITH FOOD, have a brilliant relationship with it, no longer fear what I put into my mouth - all because I learnt to RESPECT it for what it truly is...
RESPECT YOUR FUEL!
Now, I'm no 'certified mechanic' over here - but while we're on the subject of engines - you have to understand that any good piece of machinery only works at its best WHEN IT'S MOVING! SO, here comes your essential element number two!
Maintaining that engine - or getting up off your butt and MOVING... Yes, I'm talking about exercise!! Now, like most people, when I was the size I used to be, movement and exercise were nothing short of uncomfortable and entirely too shameful - and made me feel even worse about what I was trying to do!
.... but you can't expect change if you're not willing to put in the work?! I wouldn't want to walk away with the credit and kudos of a "job well done" if it wasn't actually ME who'd put in the effort... you can't respect that!! SO, it was time to get up off my butt, start moving and EARN my changes!
I learnt to move this crazy machine slowly - bit by bit - this crazy 'train' started to move. If I fueled it well, she'd move... and then we really started to get somewhere!! We were definitely on track now!!
Learning to trust that the human body (your 'magnificent machine') IS actually BUILT TO MOVE, and knowing full well that it's capable of a hell of alot more than we're often willing to try - I had to acknowledge that my body deserved to be traveling those tracks - it didn't deserve to be prematurely sidelined, stationary and rusting away... there's nothing respectful in that! It was time to move, have faith that my body COULD move and be willing to move it in a way that helped create forward momentum....
RESPECT YOUR BODY!
So are you seeing what I'm getting at here?! We've got two essential elements there that initiate and create change... but they don't work without this last one: the driver.
YOU are the driver - you're the one with the map - the one who knows where they want to go... You drive that magnificent machine in the direction you want to go, and you'll get there... This is the MOST powerful element - the one that demands the most respect.
In order to drive your own success, create your own change, foster your own worth... it all comes down to YOU! You're the one who has to do the work - you're the one who has to make the proactive decisions - you're the one fueling the tank, moving the machine... - you're the one wearing the consequences... that's YOU!
Without YOU there is no forward momentum... there is no change... there is no success...
Knowing how essential YOU are then, in that process, you've BECOME the authority, you ARE that power, it's YOU that resonates and demands respect.... THEREFORE...
It took me a really long time to acknowledge that it was ME at the heart of all my changes - and even longer to recognise that I'd actually EARNT my own power (hello self-respect!!!). That's the beauty of hindsight and experience talking here - and why I was so inclined to include this word in my challenge...
Most people fail to recognise their own power in the process - they let themselves fall into the trap of believing in gimmicks, or relying on crutches or fleeting "motivation" to pull them through.... when all the while, that power they hold in themselves is just waiting to be acknowledged - it's the PUSH when you sometimes slow down, and the reason why you get moving again when you fall off-track... Being able to find and acknowledge your own self-respect and self-worth is a catalyst for forward momentum!
YOU MUST RESPECT YOURSELF - as a worthwhile person, as an individual, as an entity within a wider circle.... Your place in the world IS deserved - YOU deserve to be respected... YOU create and you resonate your own respect.
... which leads me to a sub-word for the night... (and indulge me slightly for upping the word count here!!!)
I really wanted to include this one within this topic - because one works intrinsically with the other, and is something that's become quite meaningful within the last few weeks for me....
In learning to respect myself, my body and my mind (the HUGE transition of my last few years)... I've had to acknowledge that my behaviours and actions have changed accordingly.
Defining INTEGRITY (courtesy of a quick google search!!!) - I found this! "Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty; the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished."
My actions these days hinge around the fact that I'm bursting full of self-respect (and my success shows it)... I'm NOW living my life fueled and filled with integrity.
I am PASSIONATE about the message I'm promoting with my weightloss - I'm honest, I'm candid, I'm ethical and I'm real... I conduct my actions with integrity - and I'm really proud of myself for that. I've earnt the respect of my peers, my colleagues, my mentors - because my passion and sincerity on this subject is REAL. My story IS helping others, and in doing that, it's helped me discover a whole new level of self-respect as a result...
Learn to respect yourself and live your life with integrity - and you've won the battle! You've just taken your steam train and turned it into a freaking jet plane!!
Forgiveness leads to courage, which creates respect and integrity... "From weakness you create great strength... "
.... and you open up a world of opportunities in the process... and that just leads into tomorrow's word for the day.... ;)