Have the Desire, Be Mindful, Be Determined, and Endure

….this is my mantra.

Friend,…..can I call you friend? Let me tell you a little about my journey.

Putting it out there makes me feel terribly vulnerable, so please be kind, if just for a moment. But maybe there’s someone out there like me who needs a little push, a few ideas. If so, this for you.

I’ve been overweight my entire life (well, since the age of 9 probably). It bugged me, but it didn’t stop me from living my life. A couple of years ago, I went through something very traumatic, and didn’t feel like eating…ever. This was a first for me. But it put me in a place where suddenly things clicked in my head and I started to lose weight. And exercise was a release and I started to enjoy doing it, and I started to lose weight.  I lost a lot of weight. 115 lbs, to be exact. And I loved it. I have never felt better in my body than I did then. And the “weight-height” indicators would tell you that I was still 70-90 lbs overweight, but I felt awesome. I felt free. I felt unstoppable.

And then life ramped up in the super stressful department. Planning and executing a wedding by myself (and with the help of a couple of amazing friends and family), all the “should-be-doing’s” and the list of never-ending needs and expectations, and so much more. Not to mention beginning a lifestyle of very little processed food, and a blog that required an increased amount of time in the kitchen, cooking and testing and cooking some more. And some off-handed and surely well meaning comments by someone I adore that cut to the core and made everything I had accomplished feel like “not good enough.” I fell right off the back of the wagon, and I’ve been dragged under it for about a year. I’ve gone through periods of not wanting to leave the house, of having no confidence, of feeling so much worse than I ever did before, because now I know how great I CAN feel. It’s been rough.

I am so ready to get back on. But your head has to be just right for things to stick, ya? Anybody with me?

I’ve given a lot of thought to how to get going again and make things work and here is the formula I’ve come up with:

TEH-mantra As far as I can see, that’s the only way to accomplish what I want. Let me break it down…

Have the Desire: you have to want it more than you want anything else. More than the m&m’s, or french bread, or potato chips, or whatever else it is that sets you off. If you don’t want it, then it won’t happen. Pray for the righteous desires of your heart. You’re not the only one invested in your success.

Be Mindful:

  • Have you ever been cooking and taken a little taste here and a little taste there, to check flavor balance, or texture, or whether something is done or not. Me, too. But it adds up and fast. One of the tricks that I’ve found works for me is to eat carrots and celery before I start cooking, drink a big glass of water, and chew gum. It keeps my mouth busy.
  • Here’s another one….have you ever been super duper stressed and before you know it you’ve eaten a whole bowl of chips or bag of crackers or something else? Crunching down on something reduces stress for me.There, I’ve said it. Part of being mindful for me is making sure that I’m either crunching on something that I’m not going to be tempted to overeat/forget I’m eating, or to chew gum.
  • Or how about trying to understand why you eat the way you do, like with my sudden understanding that crunching relieves stress. Are you an emotional eater, a bored eater, a stress eater, etc. Understanding why is the beginning of making changes to help it work for you instead of against you.
  • Make menus and snack ideas so you’re not rifling through the cabinets and refrigerator at the point that you’re starving and will grab whatever you can find first.
  • And a big part of being mindful for me is remembering to pray and ask for help. ‘Cause I can’t do it alone.

Be Determined: You’re going to have to start over five, ten or two dozen times. Maybe more. That’s just the way it is. Being determined means that you’re able to start again, any time you’ve messed up, and not assume that a mess up means failure. You might have to start again every single day for a while, but determination keeps you starting. Oh, and prayer again…I have to pray for strength to keep wanting to effect change. To not give up and sink into a pile of pathetic self pity.

Endure: It’s gonna be a lifetime of change. It’s not a temporary thing. You may be going along fine, and then one day find yourself in the middle of a huge setback. Pick yourself up, be determined and go on. And then do it again the next time. Pray for the ability to endure, and do it well.

The epiphany continues….these steps aren’t only for my physical health. They apply to almost any thing I can think of.

  • Acquiring a skill
  • Personal growth
  • Spiritual growth
  • Parenting
  • Relationships

…..Pretty much anything positive and worth doing that you can think of, you can apply these four principles to, and achieve success. YOU can change YOUR world. And I can change MINE. Are you with me? Wanna give it a try?

Leave me a comment, telling me you’re with me. Here’s a little free printable for you to print out. Hang it on your bathroom mirror or kitchen cupboard and look at it every day…maybe all day.  Look at it until you get to a place where you have the desire, are mindful, are determined and are enduring. I know I will.

MantraTEH14printable link (right click and save to your computer)

P.S. I might have to add a new one….my finger is hovering over the “publish” button and I’m scared to death to put this out there. I might need to add “fearless” to my mantra…..anyway……here goes……

10 thoughts on “Have the Desire, Be Mindful, Be Determined, and Endure

  1. I look up to you in so many ways! This is beautiful. I love the idea of asking for help for righteous desires. I’ve never thought about it like that. Thanks for your bravery, you bless so many people by being you!


  2. Awesome post – thank you for the courage to hit that “publish” button!! Not sure if I’m in a place to join in on your journey (yet). But will certainly cheer you on with gusto!!


  3. Jenn, I am so glad you posted this! I have been struggling with these things, too. Reading this today was inspiring for me and gives me courage to keep trying…even if it means starting over every day.


  4. You Inspire me! I’m on a similar quest so I am with you. Love your tips and tricks. I find planning to be very important. I know exactly what I am going to eat at the beginning of most every day. I also allow myself the occasional cheat day. I highly recommend a little app called My Fitness Pal that helps track calories and exercise. Best wishes in your quest.


  5. Love this! For me it really is about starting and starting again. If I was single maybe it would be one starting point and constantly moving forward to success, but right now it is balancing a lot of different things and people. I don’t mind restarting.
    I loved your eating carrots or celery cooking suggestion! Good luck with your journey. I am with you on my own similar journey.


  6. Jennifer…you are awesome! And I love you! And you inspire me! And….did I mention you are awesome and that you inspire me?!?! You always have! You have taught me that positive thoughts and believing in myself make a difference….no…let me rephrase that…make ALL THE DIFFERENCE! Thank you for reminding me to include the Lord in my journey! I’m just so dang proud of you! Keep on trucking lady!


  7. P.S. LOVE the print out. I’m going to post it on my mirror right next to my “Jennifer inspired” “I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loves me” print out.


  8. Jenn, I love it. This is something that I am still working on but discovered about myself many years ago. I realized that I was in a lifetime battle for ideal health and the need to overcome all of my bad habits. Once I realized that, it became easier. There was not longer, the ideal body or weight even though that is the goal. It was realizing that this was a lifetime work and commitment with no end or vacations. Of course there are periods where I fail or mess but because I realized it was a lifetime thing then there is no other option but to pick myself up again and do it again. Thanks for your inspiration. You are one of my heroes.


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