18 September 2007

Lessons from Jillian

I saw a rerun on Bravo of an episode of Biggest Loser, a show that is Celebrity Fit Club without the celebrities. In it, Jillian, one of the team's coaches, is proud of her "tough" reputation. That's her in the "bully" shirt, there. In this episode, she gives each of the team members an assignment to do 500 push ups and 500 crunches and 500 lunges and their immediate reaction is "500?? That's insane. I can't do that."

She does this intentionally. She starts with what appears impossible and works with them and helps them to learn persistence and break down the goal until it's done. And it does get done. They do it. They are amazed that they find a way to do it but they do do it. She has pushed them to re-evaluate what is possible and doable.

That's what weight loss is all about. Changing "I can't do it." to "I will do it."

That's also what life is all about. We continue to face new challenges and our initial response to something new is almost always "I can't do it." or at least "I don't know if I can do it." And then, when there's no choice, when Jillian or someone or something equally as scary, is staring us down, we try. Most of the time we find that we can do it and, after the fact, we wonder what all that fear was about. Until the next challenge and it starts all over again.

What would it be like if, instead of looking at challenges with fear, we faced challenges as exciting opportunities to show that we can do this, even if "this" is entirely new and unknown? Not to operate with bravado but just to be open to our own potential. I guess the lesson from Jillian is that it's okay to be afraid, just don't let it stop you from believing you can do anything.

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