Sometimes we use excuses as reasons not to try something. Maybe we are “too afraid, too poor, too lazy, too old, too out of shape, or too clumsy.”
I want to share two stories about women who amazed me this week. They both had a “YES!” attitude despite their doubts. They showed many people, including themselves, that positive thinking and action can make you transcend limitations.
Transcending a Fear of Water
Like having a fear of heights, having a fear of being submerged under water is paralyzing for some people.
Renee has had an intense fear of being submerged in water for as long as she can remember. At Fit Code, our members have had the opportunity to have their body fat tested with the most accurate way you can do it; hydrostatic body fat testing (underwater). Renee has worked very hard for the last year, practically never missing a workout and sacrificing much of the time she used to spend baking sweet treats. It is clear to all of us she’s changed her body in the last year but she missed three separate opportunities to track her success because she was scared. She was dying to know her results, and how she changed over time, but her fear got the best of her.
Instead of using measurements in our current Lean Jeans body transformation program, our participants are expected to do the underwater weighing before and after the 9-week program. It’s the best way to see how much body fat, lean mass, and body fat percentage changes. Renee participates in every challenge, so many of us were wondering if she would do it.
I saw her a few days before the underwater testing and she told me she would do it. She must have spent some time talking herself into it, because at this point she seemed pleased with herself (with perhaps a touch of fear). She had talked herself into believing she could overcome her fear. She turned this into an opportunity to overcome challenge, to grow outside of her comfort zone.
I was there the morning she did it. She came out of the Body Fat truck with her hair wet and a giant smile on her face. She conquered her fear and she was both thrilled and extremely proud of herself.
“Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to break the rules. And we have to discover the sensuality of fear. We need to face it, challenge it, dance with it.”
It is remarkable to do anything uncomfortable in the spirit of growth. I think what’s notable about this situation is that Renee is in her 60’s. (Low 60’s, just for the record.) She transcended this self-imposed limitation she had for decades.
To Renee: I am very proud of you. You are so inspiring. Thank you for allowing me to share your courageous story.
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Transcending Age Limitations
Have you felt you are too old to change your body? Have you thought you need to work significantly harder than someone 10, 15, 20 years younger than yourself? Can you only change so much as you get older?
As I noted in my last post, there are things that everyone has to do to improve their body composition: eat the right way consistently and do regular strength training. Some people have a genetic tendency to put on lean mass easier. Some have to work even harder. There are other factors too: lifestyle, family obligations, social support, stress eating, and emotional dependance on food and more.
We all have self-perceived limitations. Even myself. For YEARS, I believed I would not get smaller than a size 8, and get lower than 150 pounds. Turns out that was an irrational, imaginary thing in my head. I surpassed those barriers over a year ago.
If any of you readers out there think you are too old to make change, take this to heart:
Jean is a little over 60 years old and this week she proved she can do better than women half her age!
Jean has been a member at Fit Code for about a year and she’s lost several jeans sizes. (Go Jean!) She was one of about 20 people who completed the hydrostatic body fat testing last spring as well as this past week. She did significantly better than most people, even women in their 30’s, compared to their past numbers. Jean gained several pounds of muscle mass and dropped a couple pounds of body fat in 4 1/2 months. Amazing.
What I love about Jean and her story is this: She has the same obstacles as many people… she enjoys a drink on a regular basis, the bootcamp classes are just as difficult (some exercises may even be harder for her), and it’s an effort to make the right choices consistently. Jean said to me at one point during her transformation that she feels like a new woman. I think that is a priceless reward for stepping outside of her comfort zone. Congratulations, Jean!
What do you want to accomplish? Do you truly believe you can accomplish it?