By Wendolynn L. Allen
"The only advice I have for you is to not allow life to dictate how you live, but you must dictate your life."
That is the advice I gave to Margie (the single mom I have featured in my last couple of articles). Just after Thanksgiving, Margie and I discussed her progress and time management as it pertains to her lifestyle goal of overall fitness. Much of the conversation concerned details of everything that was not working in Margie’s favor to allow her to set aside time for herself. The above statement was the best I had to offer her at the time. After a few weeks of pondering, I asked Margie to write a response to that statement to you – my readers who may also find it difficult and seemingly impossible to make life “stop so they can get off”.
. . . That has been a very tall order for me. I don't know how to do this. Being a single mom working full-time it seems there are not enough hours in the day. I told Wendolynn that after putting in a full days work, walking the dog, making dinner, helping with homework, laundry, grocery shopping, baseball games and practice, networking events, taking kids to the doctor, I don't have the motivation to work out. I feel really good when I do and started seeing my waist and face get thinner. I don't know how to make my mind connect with my body and energy. This is where I am at this point in my workout regimen. Wendolynn has been so encouraging and my wonderful chiropractor Dr. O'Harrow has been so helpful. I have gained valuable insight as to why I am struggling. Wendolynn says, "something is better than nothing".
That is right, I am a firm believer that zero plus zero will always equal zero but one plus one always adds up to two. Again, as I have mentioned in previous articles, “if you want something you have never had, you must do something you have never done to get it because what you have now is the direct result of what you have been doing.”
Faced with the realization that life was life and it will always pose different challenges and never stop for you to catch your breath, Margie, as well as myself, has been forced to place a ‘pricetag’ on fitness.
The pricetag of fitness is the same as the one you see pinned to the outfit of your dreams in your favorite clothing store. Its simple purpose is to inform you of the sacrifice you will need to make in order to possess that which your heart desires.
What is the sacrifice? The sacrifice is a valued item that you must lay beside your desired possession and come to a reasonable conclusion of which one will offer the greatest rewards. (I don’t mean to belittle anybody’s responsibility to any obligation, I am just trying to make a point.) If we allow too many things to make our decisions for us rather than us deciding that those things do not control us but rather we control the things, we will find ourselves in a situation of unclear priorities.
Time Management is a process that cannot and must not be taken lightly. There are many opportunities available to us and it is exciting to be able to take advantage of them all. However, at some point, we must draw the line and sometimes that line must go through some of the things we enjoy the most in order that we be able to go through the door of greater opportunity. In this we can have a joyful expectancy that, once we go through that door, we will once again be able to resume what we were required to sacrifice and enjoy it on an even higher level.
I didn’t have much contact with Margie during the holidays, but we were able to connect immediately afterwards. At first glance, I was astounded. I didn’t mention anything about my reaction until halfway through our session. As Margie expounded on her holiday endeavors, she informed me that she really began seeking places in her schedule where she could institute change, even if only a minute one. She was really conscious of her eating habits at parties and always tried to ensure that her and her son had at least a well-rounded dinner. “Wow” was my reaction when I first saw her that day. I told her that I hadn’t seen her in about 8 weeks and I could really tell that she now possessed a much leaner appearance. Margie was unable to attest to a drastic reduction in weight, nor was she at the conclusion of her goal, but it was a start. Margie confided in me that many of her old clothes were fitting very loosely and she has even purchased a scale for herself (when we first begun, Margie admitted to dodging scales and refusing to know her weight). No, the holidays were not a gracious host to Margie where relaxation and reflection were concerned, but Margie made a decision that she would do whatever it took to purchase for herself that outfit she saw in her favorite store. What store? – The storehouse of her mind and heart. The image that Margie has of herself in the future is the outfit she is striving now to obtain. She is determined to pay the “Purchase Price”.