Mindset & Motivation: Focusing On What Matters To Achieve Your Goals (Faster)


 

Our Fall Low Carb Challenge has finally come to an end. It’s time for the Final Weigh-In! Are you HAPPY with your progress, or DISCOURAGED with your results?

Don’t Let Your Mind Steer You In The Wrong Direction

How you FEEL – pleased with yourself, discouraged, etc – can play such a big role in how you approach life, and your goals. That’s why your mindset, and getting your head straight on things, is SO important.

Mindset and Motivation

My mindset hasn’t exactly been in the right place lately.

While I’ve continued to consistently eat low carb and stay on track with my keto diet & macros, that’s not all there is to life. Or to our weight loss goals and health journey.

I’ve really struggled with motivation and have been working through some serious hurdles to get back on track with my goals.

I love sharing the process (and the solutions!) along the way with you here, and so many of you have thanked me for the help and the inspiration & motivation to pick up and carry on – or power through.

You have helped ME more than you can ever know, just by being here for and with me through the journey, so thank YOU. A great example is the comments on my Facebook post yesterday about my hike:

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ = Rotten Results! πŸ˜›

PscyhologyToday.com defines it like this, “Stinking Thinking language fosters a bad way of thinking that makes you believe you will fail, that bad things will happen to you, or that you are not a very good person.

In usual form, when I’m struggling with something I like to look it up – so yes, I researched “stinkin thinkin” πŸ™‚ lol.

Which lead me to a string of articles on “irrational thinking” which is something we’ve discussed here before. Such as “rewarding yourself” when in reality you’re actually punishing yourself. Or thinking you DESERVE a “treat” – knowing full well you’ll feel miserable, defeated, discouraged and frustrated.

Nice treat, hey? Is that REALLY what you DESERVE? πŸ˜›

The mind can argue anything in it’s favor.

Even when it’s WRONG.

Retraining your brain, or getting CONTROL of your mindset, is (in my opinion) the biggest key to making a positive lifestyle change. It’s the ONLY way to take a goal or a wish, and turn it into your reality.

It takes a lot of practice to master mindfulness, but it’s SO worth it! The difference is amazing as it takes you from a place of “victim of circumstance & surroundings” to… total empowerment.

Let’s say for example that you go to the local fair or carnival. Are you focused on the food, or on the FUN?

Most people associate fairs & carnivals with all the food vendors and allow themselves to be totally consumed with thoughts of ___ and ___ instead of the JOY and beauty of a ferris wheel ride. Or the FUN with friends & family.

All you have to do is switch your focus. Easier said than done, I know – it does take practice, but it IS possible and it’s SO worth it.

The result: you start ENJOYING life more!

What about holiday parties and catered social events? Most of those revolve around food. But they don’t have to!

Instead, consider the reason for the event. It’s to bring people together, it’s for human interaction, it can be to feed the soul – instead of feed the face.

One thing I’ve found that helps is to zero in on the youngest and oldest people in the room. Find a baby or toddler for example, and offer to hold or play with them while the mom eats.

Do you have any idea how grateful a mom would be to enjoy a meal with both hands?!:)

There’s something beautiful about sleeping babies and giggling toddlers. πŸ™‚

The oldest people in the room are the ones with the stories, the wisdom, and the ability to impart wisdom on you that will stick with you for a lifetime.

My point: make it about the experiences – not the food.

Offer to help serve plates, or to clean up. You’ll end up having FUN and having much more social time, and feel GOOD about helping out! That’s a heck of a lot better than stuffing yourself with everything in sight, missing out on any real fellowship or memorable moments, and going home feeling disgusted.

That is NOT the point of holidays or social events. πŸ˜‰ Right?!

Holding Yourself Back

(Or: Getting Sucked Into The Mind Madness)

It’s so easy to focus on what you have NOT achieved, instead of what you WANT to achieve. Or to be discouraged for not reaching a goal, instead of THRILLED at how far you’ve come so far.

Likewise, it’s easy to find yourself focused on what you can’t have – instead of all the wonderful results of choosing not to have those things.

As long as you’re focused on the negative, you’ll find it hard to summon the motivation to move forward. It can suck you in, and it’s a slippery slope with a downward spiral that leads into a VERY dark hole.

These are those “irrational thoughts” or stinkin’ thinkin’ I referred to earlier – and we all have them. Me included. I get sucked in more often than I care to admit.

Put Yourself In My Hiking Boots…

A Peak Inside My Messy Mind

I think I should walk you through this with a photo tour of my hike on Sunday, with my thoughts along the way – so you can really get a FEEL for where I’m going with this.

I hesitate about just how much I should share here, honestly. I almost shot a video at one point in my hike to tell you a story, then chose not to. I decided I needed to “sit on it all” awhile yet – you know: process the madness in my mind. πŸ˜‰

I decided to go hiking on Sunday because the weather was beautiful here in Tennessee for an early December day, and one of my BIG goals is to get back to my exercise goals – and to find my JOY again with my adventurous hikes and outdoor adventures.

I live in the valley of the South Cumberland Plateau, which is culturally considered part of the Appalachian Mountains but not geologically so. Anyway, it takes me close to an hour to get up on the mountain – where I most like to hike and explore.

I was focused on the mountain ahead of me the entire time, and even said out loud:

“I’m on my way, mountain. It’s you and me today. We’re going to master each other.”

Low Carb Road Trip

I’m not a trail hiker, I’m a nature lover.

I have this thing once I get outdoors where I feel one with nature or something. I go in ready to master the landscape, excited about the adventure ahead, only to climb out mastered – with nature imparting some deep wisdom on me in the process.

Except lately there’s a total disconnect. πŸ™

You could say I’m in a spiritual funk, or just a personal funk. But the truth is: I’ve been focused inward, to the point of missing … the point.

Note: anytime you’re focused inward, on internal thoughts & feelings (mostly: irrational thoughts), instead of focusing forward on your goals and the life and reality around you – you are getting sucked into the dark hole.;)

This was my starting point for the hike on Sunday.

In the distance you can see Foster Falls. It’s massively beautiful when you get up close and personal with it, which I’ve done several times, from both the top and bottom.

Foster Falls Hiking

I stood there for a second and plotted my route.

My goal was to hike all the way out to Small Wild and back, hit the Climber’s Loop on the way back, then hike down to the bottom of the falls and back up.

All places I had been before, but I was ready for some fresh NEW memories of this beautiful area. Sometimes the best way to stop associating a place or a thing with a memory… is to overwrite it with a new experience.

I had VERY GOOD intentions for this hike.

I even added some positivity bling to my new day pack. I bought those on a date with Aaron last winter, the same day I bought my new KEEN hiking boots. πŸ™‚

Hiking Adventures

I hiked at a fast pace for the first bit, testing out my new day pack (10 pounds more than I’m used to hiking with) and getting my heart rate up.

I navigated around Foster Falls, over the river, and around to the other side – exchanging smiles and hellos with other happy hikers along the way. I assume they were happy anyway, as I imagine they assumed about me as well.

My first stop was a bluff overlooking Foster Falls from the opposite side.

Lynn Terry, aka Low Carb Traveler

Behind me the bluff drops off sharply, maybe 100 feet at the most. The waterfall itself is 60 feet. There’s a little ledge there overlooking the falls that I love to sit on so I very carefully made my way down there.

Hiking Foster Falls

That was a little sketchy with all the leaves and pine needles on the ground this time of year, which can throw your footing, but worth all the extra caution to sit in the sunshine and enjoy the amazing view from here!

Lynn Terry at Foster Falls

All I meant to do was create new memories and experience new moments, but I found myself sucked back into the last time I sat in this very spot.

Instead of living in the moment and FEELING and experiencing everything around me – I was FEELING a moment from the past.

I let that memory replay in my mind like an old VHS tape.

That was a great day, and a FUN hike, and remembering all the laughter and sharing of that day made me feel… very alone all of a sudden.

I shouldn’t have opened that door in my mind, one that had been closed for awhile, because it’s like pandora’s box – one thought lead to another all the way to the sad ending of that friendship.

I left my thoughts of Ricky there on that bluff and headed back on the trail to revisit another bluff. Which is when I passed this sign in the woods:

Hiking Caution

I took that sign more seriously than I normally would, because I didn’t exactly feel “one with nature” anymore. Being focused inward makes you less aware of your surroundings, and less able to enjoy them.

I did proceed with caution, both feet and mind, forcing myself back into the moment I was in – one foot in front of the other.

I listened to the leaves crunch beneath my boots, paid attention to my steps, focused on my heart pounding from my fast pace. I just kept reeling myself back into the NOW.

At my next planned stop, there was a curious piece of driftwood:

Fiery Gizzard Trail

This fellow sits there overlooking the valley on the edge of the bluff.

The only witness to a solo hiker’s fall? Silent witness to kisses and conversations on the flat rock overlooking the gorge?

I asked, but he didn’t answer.

I found the spot I had remembered from my last hike out to Small Wilds, a good place for a break and an amazing view.

Fiery Gizzard Trail, Hiking Foster Falls

Memories hit me again, like a time warp. I had forgotten about Dale. We went on exactly one hike (this one) through a local hiking group.

It was friendly enough until somewhere around this point, where he all of a sudden got awkward and weird – and the rest of the hike was anything but enjoyable. πŸ˜› At one point he ran off and left me, and I (very unfortunately) caught up to him, lol.

I have no idea what put him off that day, but whatever. And why did I even let that bother me – then or now?! At least hiking alone I can go at my own pace, choose my path, and ENJOY the day.

Which made me think about why I’m hiking alone (again) lately. *sigh* I decided to get back on the trail and NOT head to Small Wilds – where I had an awkward lunch with Dale.

Instead I cut off on the trail to the Climber’s Loop which always fascinates me. It’s VERY popular with the rock climbers and I love to sit and watch them “master the rock wall.” They’re the coolest people on the planet, in my mind. πŸ™‚

Unfortunately, I still hadn’t found my enthusiasm…

I searched for it. I stood still. Nope – nothing.

Mindset and Motivation - Getting Focused on Your Goals

I saw a big rock formation down in the woods below the trail, and a large dark spot that might be a cave – or at least a cool opening to explore.

Normally this would EXCITE me (I love to explore!!) but not today.

I decided to GET excited and go check it out – do something FUN.

It was a steep hill down to the bottom, and super slick with all the leaves on the ground, but I made my way down carefully then sat down to get my things situated – with the intention of climbing that rock behind me.

Hiking Alone

As I was messing with my pack, I thought of Joe and a big smile crossed my face. We used to joke about how dangerous we would be if we were more prepared. πŸ™‚

We were both “minimalist hikers” but very adventurous, limited only by our lack of rope and safety gear – which didn’t limit us much. πŸ˜›

I sat and took stock of the things in my brand new pack. I brought a headlamp and a flashlight, two extra power sources and extra batteries, a whistle, a fire starting kit, extra food and water, etc. You know, in case I got lost or injured and had to wait out help.

Weird. I’d never prepared for the worst like that before. But with the winter hours there’s less daylight, and you lose daylight even faster off in the woods or down in a gorge.

My lack of enthusiasm turned into totally deflated and I didn’t feel like climbing the rock behind me anymore. I thought about how excited I used to get about it. My eyes would light up and I’d say “I want to climb that!!”

Then I remembered one of the last times I said that out loud, on a crazy adventurous hike with my friend Caroline – and why we’re not friends anymore.

I grabbed my pack and climbed back up to the trail.

At that point even the Climber’s Loop had lost it’s appeal. There were pairs and groups of friends laughing and having a good time, and I hiked through and tried NOT to remember the last time I laughed on a trail (or at all).

I got to the sign that said: Trail — » and promptly turned « — left instead.

I have no idea why. It wasn’t a conscious decision but in hindsight I suppose I was avoiding the direction I knew THAT would take me – down yet another tun on memory lane. Besides, I had to pee.

All of a sudden I was on a steep incline, but it seemed like a pretty clear path so I figured it had to lead somewhere.

It did: way below the bluff I was sitting high up on earlier, lol.

Hiking for Exercise

I’m thinking that bluff overlook (and the trail!) had to be just up above. Right? Surely.

Could I climb it? I carefully considered my surroundings. I wasn’t so sure going back down the way I came was any safer than scaling this bluff above me.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Literally πŸ˜› lol. There looked to be plenty of hand and foot holds in the rock bluff, and behind me was a drop off that was hard enough to climb up – much less down – and would make for a helluva fall.

I decided to go for it.

It turned out there were THREE levels of straight up bluff to climb, but I did make it back up to the upper trail. πŸ™‚

And guess where I came out??

Right back where I was earlier…

I felt a brief sense of accomplishment, a good adrenaline rush, wet knees and a few stings from scrapes on my hands and arms – and a quick realization that I was losing daylight.

I hiked out at a fast pace, but I was famished by then. It was going on 4pm and all I’d had was eggs that morning for breakfast.

I decided to stop at the river that flows over Foster Falls and refuel on a big flat rock before I hiked out.

I brought lots of foods with me, but nothing really appealed. I just wanted something quick & filling. I chose the Organic Rosemary Walnuts and the Keto Shake I had gotten in a recent keto box.

The walnuts were good, even though I don’t like the flavor of Rosemary. When you’re famished and in the middle of nowhere though, food is food!

Old Dog Ranch Organic Walnuts

The Keto Shake though… DELICIOUS! πŸ™‚

It was thick, rich and SOOO good. Yum! It’s also zero net carbs, 300 calories and high fat – so it’s perfect for fueling up on a hike, and so portable!

Keto Shake

I’m definitely going to order more of the Keto Shake mix, in both chocolate and vanilla. I’d like to start using that in my coffee, and will definitely be using it on my hikes. You can’t beat zero net carbs and perfect LCHF macros. πŸ˜‰

Sadly (?) that shake was the highlight of my day in the woods. πŸ™„

The sun was starting to go down, the breeze was getting cooler by the minute, and I sat there on the cold rock lost in my thoughts… eating alone.

Hiking Alone

I thought of all the people I’d shared my healthy snacks with on the trails before this one. The picnics, the laughs, the conversations…all the experiences.

Funny how I could fit all of those experiences in a small shoulder bag or a fanny pack. I’m not sure what inspired me to buy a day pack or carry an extra 10 pounds of stuff hiking alone.

Alone – there was that word again.

Being alone never bothered me before. Or did it? There I went thinking back over past hikes again, recalling the feelings.

RE-calling the feelings. Like calling up an old friend. Or more like conjuring up the dead. πŸ˜›

Interestingly those three bracelets on my arm, they all hold meaning. I suppose I chose to wear them on this hike for a reason. One of them is a string of goofy little monkeys that I bought the day Molly died. The other two, memories from love and loss as well.

~

I figured I better hike out before I actually had to USE all the light gear I brought with me in that pack, lol – and so I did.

I barely made it out before dark fell. In fact, it was pitch dark by the time I pulled out of the parking area and started on the hour drive home.

Which is when I was faced with the big bright full moon…

Hello Chris. We always shared the full moon, in thought if not in words. How long had it been? He was a good friend, the good friend I never really had, just a chance meeting – twice – and otherwise just two random people under the same full moon many miles apart.

Just then a song came pouring through my speakers, the song Ricky proposed to me to while dancing I guess 2 1/2 years ago. That’s the first time I’ve heard that song in ages. Wow.

Why in the world is all of this swirling through my mind so heavy today, I asked myself. What was I supposed to learn on my hike today? Did nature even have a lesson for me this time, or did I totally miss it because I was consumed by my own thoughts?

I fought back tears, took a deep breath, and just drove home in silence.

And then YOU showed me what I missed.

I got home dirty, exhausted and emotionally spent. I shared a few pictures from my day online while I was unpacking and getting ready for bed. Including this one:

Without sharing my thoughts or my frame of mind, I asked:

“Alone, in the woods, on the edge of a bluff, in the middle of nowhere… put yourself in my hiking boots: what are you thinking?”

You said:

‘Life is pretty damn good’

‘How beautiful life really is when you actually look around and view it.’

‘Wow, that God is a great artist!’

Missing The Forest For The Trees

The meaning behind that idiom is simply that you are so focused on the little details that you miss the big picture altogether.

Or in my case, so focused on the past that I could not enjoy the present – or focus on the future.

Which brings us around to the whole point of this post…

Focusing On What Matters

There’s nothing wrong with revisiting your past and learning from it. There’s nothing wrong with mourning true losses in your life either. You just can’t STAY there. Not if you want to live your NOW, or move forward to a new and better place in your life.

Being stuck in my own head and allowing myself to get sucked into that dark hole of churning irrational thoughts is why I’ve been stuck – and why I’ve lost my JOY for hiking. Or one of the reasons, at least.

You Are Here.

I’m reminded of those maps in the mall, or on the hiking trail board, or in complex buildings. You know, the one with the big red X that reads “you are here” – so you can figure out where the heck you are, and where the nearest exit is, or at least the nearest starbucks. πŸ˜‰

Let’s all take a moment to plant our feet firmly on the ground we’re on, and define HERE. This is where I stand, right here, right now. This is my life, as it is today.

Just take a moment to FEEL that, and to EMBRACE it.

Here.

Now what?

That ^ is the next best question. Not “what if?” or “why that” – just: What next?

What is the next best step in YOUR life?

I’ve been feeling stuck on that red X for awhile now.

I realize that I’ve been holding myself back, for months on end actually. Not just with my exercise goals, but with many of my life goals.

Why?

I’m not sure. Maybe this was a necessary phase of processing, and of acceptance, with a bit of grieving layered in. Maybe I was waiting on something. Maybe I was afraid of moving forward, or what I might leave behind when I did. Maybe it’s just a funk. Whatever.

What I do know is this:

We are the only ones responsible for being held back, or not achieving our goals – or living up to our full potential.

It’s easy to blame others, or blame life or circumstances & situations. But at some point we have to accept responsibility for allowing those things to hold us back. We might use them as excuses or crutches, when the reality is that we choose to be swept along with life – instead of boldy blazing a trail ourselves.

β€œSet your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.” ― Napoleon Hill

We are either leading our life, or we are allowing it (or others) to lead us.

I say it’s time to take the lead. It doesn’t have to be in a way that spites or hurts anyone in your life – but at least in a way that no longer spites or hurts… yourself.

Every problem presents an Opportunity.

I’ve been in business now for more than 20 years, and one thing I’ve learned is that every problem or weakness or struggle presents an opportunity of some sort.

Otherwise I would have folded many years ago. πŸ˜‰

I’ve always used problems and changes in my business as leverage to get to the next step, or explored them for creative opportunities. That’s exactly what has kept my business thriving for two full decades.

I was reminded of that in a brainstorming session recently, and started considering how I could put that same logic to use in my personal life. How I could use my current “problem” to my advantage – and I did find opportunity in it.

It all goes back to mindset.

We’re either focused on the problem, or focused on the solution.

I’ve been focused on the latter for a little too long.

It’s time to get back to my goals…

On a positive note, I got a GREAT workout yesterday. I’m feeling it today too lol, I’m quite stiff and feeling some serious muscle tension – which is a GOOD feeling!

Using Fitbit for Exercise Goals and Fitness Motivation

My Fitbit syncs with my MyFitnessPal app, which is cool.

Here are how my macros & stats worked out for the day:

MyFitnessPal Diary - Low Carb Life

 

I didn’t have any dinner after my hike. You might have noticed I didn’t eat any dinner on Thanksgiving night either. I used to “fill the void” with food (binge eating). Now I tend to match the void physically, and just fall asleep to the emptiness.

I can’t say that’s any better. That’s the reason I don’t do Intermittent Fasting, by the way. People ask me about that all the time. First because I have a very fluid lifestyle (I don’t eat or sleep on a schedule). But more importantly because “going without” (intentionally, such as fasting) becomes as much a point of “food control” as binge eating was for me.

I prefer to eat for fuel, listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry, and not focus on food as a means of control – but rather healthy nourishment. I’m not saying fasting is a bad thing, it’s just that my history with food issues makes it… an issue for me.

I’m working on working this all out.

This is my journey.

My goal: to become the happiest, healthiest version of myself – inside and out, mentally/emotionally and physically.

I feel like I’m finally coming out of the woods. πŸ™‚

I have a thing for idioms lately, lol. I’ve always loved a good pun! The meaning: “past a critical phase, freed from a previous state of uncertainty or danger.”

Maybe that’s why I felt the need to go hiking deep into the forest of the South Cumberland Plateau again: so I could come out of the woods. πŸ™‚

This week I’m going to sit down with my Inner Guide Motivation & Success Planner and work out how I want to move forward from HERE (“x”). I absolutely LOVE this planner, for a DEEP look into your true goals – and how to get there.

Tales From The Trails

I love the life lessons I learn on my hikes. But this time… the lesson came from you, after I returned. Your comments really spoke to me, LOUD AND CLEAR, and made me realize that I need to get back to focusing on what matters – and stop allowing myself to focus on what doesn’t.

Thank you for that.

I love my new day pack, by the way. It’s super comfortable, even with ten pounds of extra weight to carry, and it’s nice to be able to pack up everything for a full day of exploration – internal and external. My journal and planner above slips right into the front compartment, and I carried it with me on my hike yesterday. πŸ™‚

Weight Loss Success

My new pack is part of the new me, and I’ll carry it with me on my adventures going forward. I think I’ll have fun with it, deciding what all to take with me while out exploring. πŸ™‚

I feel a turning point coming on, back to reality – back to my NOW. I’m ready to pull myself out of this funk and get back to creating my future.

Remember… You Are Here: X

It doesn’t matter how you got here, it doesn’t even matter where HERE is, all that matters is what direction you choose to go next.

Going back is not an option. Standing still is not an option. It’s time to take your next step, make your next move. What direction are you going?

Focus On What Matters

Don’t get consumed by thoughts that don’t serve you. Switch your focus to where you are now, and where you want to go next in your life.

Let go of hurt, disappointment, discouragement, or anything you THINK defines you – or all the things that brought you to the point you are (“X”). From now on, focus on the future – and on what you want to do, and how you want to BE… next.

That’s what matters: here, now and next.

Everything else is just slowing you down.

(Apologies, I’m ^ talking to myself there!)

Live with intention, and deliberate purpose.

xoxo

Best,
Lynn Terry
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. I’m not normally a Taylor Swift fan, but looking up “out of the woods” brought up this video. I like how she returns to herself in the end (spoiler, sorry). The very last scene really spoke to me:

 

If you read this far, I might owe you an apology. πŸ™‚ My thoughts are quite scattered lately, but hopefully something in all of this spoke to you… and helps you as much as it did me.

 

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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge

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16 Responses to Mindset & Motivation: Focusing On What Matters To Achieve Your Goals (Faster)

  1. Janet Adams says:

    Hi Lynn,
    This hike you took and the feelings you expressed made me sad along with you. I have a habit of looking back and reflecting on my past which for me, brings me into a place I no longer want to visit, but I visit it none the less. You are an incredible writer, you have a way with words that keeps the reader interested. Because of you and the 90 Day Challenge group, I’ve become healthier, happier with myself and I don’t visit my past as often. I started my WOE journey on January 1, 2017. I cant believe it’s almost a full year of eating this way. My husband joined me and we have both lost over 60 lbs. I have never in my 67 years of living, ever stuck with a plan this long. I look forward to continuing my journey and hopefully inspire others in the group to do the same. I wish you the very best life has to offer.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Wow Janet – what a great year, and KUDOS to you both for amazing results! I do love how easy it is to maintain a low carb lifestyle, and the results. Like you, I feel better than I ever have. πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I think sometimes it’s important to revisit those things, and those feelings. I’m not sure why, but it seems to be part of big turning points in my life – and I feel a positive shift coming on!

      Perhaps it’s the end of the year too, and reflecting back on the year and where it has brought me… as I get ready to put it to an end, and start fresh with the exciting new year ahead. πŸ™‚

  2. Cindi says:

    So many of us have these feelings, Lynn, but can’t express them eloquently like you do. As I read your musings, I found myself following you into the woods but then separating from you while dwelling on hurts, failures, and losses in my own past. Then I began comparing myself to you. You’re so brave and adventurous. I would never go hiking alone because I’d be worried about getting lost, falling, wild animals, snakes, dangerous strangers, etc. I think I’ve lived most of my life in the state of fear. Fear of failure, fear of others’ opinion of me, fear of being different, fear of disappointing those I love, fear of losing love or friendship if I disagree with others or assert myself. Basically, fear of letting anyone see the real me.

    Quite an eye-opener facing myself out there in the woods “with” you. Being a part of 90 Days has helped me overcome some of my fears and I thank you and group members for helping me along the path. I’ve reached goal and have become more active than ever before while maintaining for several years. I’ve actually come “out of the woods” in many areas of life. I have lost friends along the way perhaps due to losing weight, but more likely due to the changes in myself. I’m no longer afraid of being the real me. Yes, I slide back every now and then, but pull myself out of those dark places because I finally know I’m worth it.

    I don’t ever envision hiking in the woods like you do, Lynn, but I have overcome many other fears that imprisoned me far too long. Although I’m considered old by society and I have wrinkles, saggy skin, grey hair, and age spots, I’ve never felt better or healthier.

    Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts, Lynn, so we realize we aren’t alone on this journey called Life. Hugs!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I don’t think I’m so brave, Cindi. πŸ™‚ I started my “adventures” as a fear-facing exercise actually. I could relate to so many of the fears you shared, and how those affected my life for so long.

      It was just over 2 years ago that I had an incident that forced me to face my fears, and I went on a mission to face them all – just to SEE what would happen. Because fear counseling didn’t work. πŸ˜› lol

      I have struggled with fear of heights, claustrophobia, fear of water (especially shallow water of all things, lol), large parking lots, big cities, people – you name it.

      Facing those fears, and seeing that horrible things don’t happen as a result of a walk in the woods or a swim in the river (etc etc etc) has been SO freeing for me! It has made me more confident and less afraid/unsure, more bold – in so many ways. It’s been a good thing for me. πŸ™‚

      Imprisoned was a good word, I can relate to feeling imprisoned by my fears. And loss over making positive self change – more than once in my life, over different periods of major change. Those are sad, but revealing too.

      Thank you so much for your kind response. *hugs*

  3. Samantha says:

    You always have the right things to say at the right time! I have struggled with weight my whole life, I lost 96lbs about 4-5 years ago and maintained it for a while, I workout daily, ran 5k’s and stayed very active. Last October I got pregnant with my now 5 month old baby boy and completely lost track. I’ve been trying really hard to get my motivation that I use to have back. I’ll do so well with eating better for a while and then just fall right off. I want to get my gym membership back but feel like I just don’t have the time…. I know… I know… excuses!!! But this post has helped me see the light I guess you can say. It has made me look at all my excuses in another way!

    I am so glad that I found your blogs and your facebook page! They have really helped me seeing everyones stories more importantly seeing yours. I feel like everytime you write, you are talking to me and it touches home so close! I cant wait to see where my future takes me. I want to be that happy healthy person again!

    Thanks for your help!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That makes my day, Samantha! I love hearing you say, “I cant wait to see where my future takes me. I want to be that happy healthy person again!” πŸ™‚ because THAT is the key to making it happen!

      Sometimes life takes a detour, and we decide to LET it – or decide to let a part of ourselves go when it does.

      I find it very helpful to have at least ONE thing in my life that is mine, that I am in control of (my health and happiness) no matter what twists & turns life brings. Because it really helps to be your strongest and healthiest (both physically and mentally) – and because it’s a point of feeling grounded in *something* when life can otherwise feel like total chaos. Or even just less than “fun & exciting” sometimes. πŸ˜‰

      • Lynn Terry says:

        That’s why I’m SO bent on getting enthusiastic about my own goals again – and getting back to my “hiking happy” which is where I find my JOY and my strength. πŸ™‚

        Something about getting in such great shape on my hikes last year made me feel INNER strength, not just the awesome physical strength – which felt SO great!

  4. Amy says:

    This hits me deeply today…and although I have so much I’d like to write I’m just not sure I can make sense of it all. But I’ve been feeling so much of the same things your feeling…and I need to stop and just focus on the future. My past haunts me…but I have to focus on the future to slowly wash it away, holding the memories in a special place. Sometimes I just want them gone though…erase them w/ the Men In Black device. Thank you for sharing all of this. I’m having a day of holding back tears….and I feel right there w/ you in all your feelings. Ever Forward….we are Warriors not Worriers…..Ever Forward. Hugs to you Lynn.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I wish I could reach through this screen and give you a HUG, Amy. πŸ™‚ I felt the same way (about making sense of it all) and still feel like it came out all disjointed (lol) so thank you for understanding and feeling it – and responding.

      I wouldn’t want to erase any of it. Not a single thing. It has all made me who I am now, brought me where I am today, and shaped me in some amazing and beautiful ways. I have NO regrets. πŸ™‚

      I don’t know why some of those things have “bothered” me lately, or even come to mind. Well, I do – but I don’t know how they matter (now) really.

      I think sometimes when you are ready to make your next big move in life… life forces you to stop and feel or respect or embrace certain things you have put away. Maybe. I’m not sure.

      I feel good about all of the decisions I made in all of those situations, and about the direction of my life since – and what I’m working on going forward.

      I have wonderful people in my life right now, good friends and FUN things lined up. I suppose my only real hangup that is holding me back and bothering me so hard is… finding my JOY for fitness and hiking again.

      I miss seeing the beauty in every little leaf and mushroom and cloud – and feeling excited about FUN adventures!

      Maybe it’s the time of year, the change in temperature, the water being so cold, the leaves and color being gone.

      The time of year for sure is playing a part, with my Facebook Memories showing me daily reminders of different times – that give me mixed feelings. I don’t know πŸ™‚ still… lol.

      I do know that I’m ready to just let it BE and that I’m VERY excited about the New Year ahead – and all the SMILES it will bring!

  5. Robin Dillard says:

    Lynn,

    Thank you for sharing your very candid and honest thoughts. I needed to read this today ….

  6. Barb says:

    Honestly, I’m just speechless. This spoke to me in so many different ways. You really have a way with words. I’ve been stuck at the red X for far to long. Thank you

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much, Robin & Barb – I’m really glad it proved helpful for you. Somehow, it really helped ME to talk about it out loud, finally. πŸ™‚

      I’m ready to make some serious plans, set some ambitious goals, and TAKE ACTION – because I know that’s the *one* thing that will make me feel energized & amazing again! πŸ˜‰

  7. Anne says:

    Revisiting the past…Yes. Dwelling on the past….No. You did the right thing by revisiting the past without heart rending dwelling on things that can’t, and will never be, changed to a different outcome. I don’t know you personally, but I know you through your writing that shares your heartfelt emotions. You have a good grip on your emotions. Good for you! May I make a suggestion? Get Slim a friend, a younger and not too small active pooch that would be a great hiking buddy and protector, if needed. As you know, dogs are good company because they listen without judging and give their trust without emotional overlaid. Man’s best friend can be woman’s best friend, too.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Anne. πŸ™‚ I’m not one to “stay stuck” for long! It’s just NOT a fun place to be. πŸ˜›

      I have considered getting another puppy. That was such a *wonderful* year and really did add a lot of JOY to my life – until Molly died unexpectedly at just a year old.

      I’ve hesitated to start over with that, especially after losing a foster dane before her and after her – three in a row. So I’ve been taking a break from fostering or considering getting another puppy.

  8. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts Lynn. I love reading your posts of travel and self-exploration. They are gripping, an easy read and have deep lessons in them which apply to all I am sure.

    I do time travels from time to time. Some memories are sweet, some quite bitter, some outright sad. There was a period in my life (it lasted 18 years) when I felt desperately trapped by a very unhappy marriage. Now I realise that the only person who was holding me in that trapped position was myself. I have grown stronger, much stronger since the separation 10 years ago. But I sometimes wonder if I am completely free from the sadness I felt then.

    I look at that protracted period of my life as a long, hard lesson. There were things I needed to learn about myself – how strong I was without even realising it and how I needed to take responsibility for myself and my own life instead of feeling trapped and unhappy. When I start doubting myself I go back to where I was and think about the leap I have made. This is very encouraging.

    I wonder if you can even imagine what effect you have on people… Looking at you I believe that I too can do things that you are doing and be what you have become. I know you have had your share of grief and sadness, but you have kept going all the same, which makes you a real inspiration of a woman. A BIG thank you to you for that! <3

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much, Galina. πŸ™‚ It means a lot to me that you find inspiration in that, and encourages me to keep seeking and continue challenging myself – and keep sharing this journey.:)

      I can relate to much of what you said. There are times I *feel* the past, or feel how I felt then when I think back on it, but for the most part I see it for what it is (was): the stepping stones that got me where I am today. The life lessons required to grow into the person I am now… and am meant to become. πŸ˜‰

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