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For What It’s Worth

By Wendolynn L. Allen


I recently completed a journey.  It was a long and arduous task, but it was worth every moment of time and every bit of effort I invested into it.  After twenty months of training and making nutritional adjustments, I competed in my first ever all-natural bodybuilding competition.  It cost me almost two years of extreme focus and self-discipline, but I have never had so much fun in all my life nor have I ever been so satisfied with the results of a competition.  I was awarded second place and, of course, who wouldn’t be satisfied with a second place win on a first time try, but my extreme satisfaction goes way beyond the ranking that a panel of judges could give me.  The truth of the matter is that I would have been just as excited about a fifth place finish as I was about my second place victory.  The most important thing to me was not the value that others placed on my performance, but the new admiration I had for myself.




For me, it was worth seeing myself in a totally different light.


Last month, I highlighted “The Cost of Change,” a brief exhortation to take advantage of this technologically advancing society to use our free time as an opportunity for nourishing ourselves physically.  This month I would like to encourage everyone to place a value on his or her physical well being and translate that value into motivation for change.


I value quality of life and standard of living, and not just for myself, but I also enjoy seeing others prosper as well.  However, two years ago I found myself looking in the mirror very dissatisfied with what was looking back at me.  Out of shape, overweight, and sluggish.  At the time, I had been a certified personal trainer for almost three years, but I was far from practicing what I preached.  No wonder business wasn’t going so well (actually, it wasn’t going at all).  I began to realize that I was my own best advertisement, and I decided to start an unbeatable advertising campaign.  By February 2000 I was 100% committed to reintroducing physical activity into my daily life.  I have been a athlete for as long as I can remember, but the severity of a back injury I obtained while on the Track & Field team at the University of Texas forced me to halt all physical activities until I properly rehabilitated it.  After three years, I noted that my rehab program had been extensively procrastinated on and the quality of my life was very unpleasant.  I responded by jumping in with both feet and setting the goal to be in the best shape of my life, never to return to my current status.  The goal I set out to accomplish was not so much to win a competition against others, but to win a competition against (or within) myself.




Below, I have listed the stages-of-change model that will be useful in determining your current position of change and explain how you can move to the next level.

Precontemplation is the a stage where an individual has become aware of the need for change, but they are

very hesitant to make a definite decision to change.

Contemplation is the stage where an individual gives further consideration to change and begins to

thoroughly investigate the potential commitment.

Preparation is the stage where an individual has made the decision to initiate a change at a specified time.

Action is the stage where an individual is actually involved in the change process.

Maintenance is the stage where the individual has successfully completed the initial change process and

becomes involved in sustaining the modification.


Where do you fit in this model?


My challenge to you is to consider your current position in the stages-of-change model and define concrete modifications that must take place in order for you to move to the next level.  When you wake up in the morning, when you look at yourself in the mirror, when you go shopping for new clothes, what is it worth to you to be able to see yourself in a totally new light?  The value that we place on an object is very important because that value will determine our response.  Challenge yourself to respond to a goal to be more than you have ever been – WHAT IS IT WORTH?