Discipline After the Win… Part 2
So what exactly is a “healthy state of mind?” The # 1 thing to understand about a “healthy state of mind” is that it is dynamic. You don’t just wake up one day and determine “I am amazing, and healthy, and all things rock!” Boy, wouldn’t that be fun!! It would be like being your own personal unicorn 24/7. A healthy state of mind must accompany a healthy habit of fighting back from what tries to derail you from embracing you, your journey, and the fact that your imperfections make you exactly who God created.
I spent my middle to late 20s establishing my career in healthcare administration, completing my Master’s degree, and working towards being an expert in my field. When I finally reached my goal of being a healthcare coach/consultant… I knew I had finally reached the pinnacle of my success, my ultimate career goal! In 2014, I began working as a traveling healthcare coach/consultant. If anyone has ever traveled for a living, you may know that a travel lifestyle does not necessarily promote the healthiest habits. I spent a lot of time eating over-priced airport food, sleeping odd hours, and convincing myself that a sprint through the airport only to miss my flight totally counts as exercise.
My career goal consumed my life, and I was proud of it… to be clear I am still proud of my career accomplishments… here is the thing… my career is not everything. I began to lose focus on the woman God created me to be beyond my career. I found myself obsessed and focused with being the best in my field… I found myself becoming extra sensitive to anything and everything for fear that I would mess up. (This is a lot of transparency, but well, welcome to fearlesslymadeyou!) For 2.5 years, I would find any and every excuse to just be the best, strive for the best, and my career became my high. By 2016, my physical state was matching my “unhealthy state of mind.”
Enter the fabulous Nicole. When I met Nicole, she was in the middle of competing, and God bless her she was going through her own struggles. This stuff is hard! I wholeheartedly believe God brought us together to help mend each other’s brokenness. I knew I wanted to get in shape, but I knew I had to identify a reason why I wanted to get in shape beyond training for yet another competition (flashback to my pageant days!). Nicole became more than my trainer, she became my mentor, and dare I say now one of my closest friends. Another mentor and dear friend in my life Amy (yes you Amy!) had recently trained and competed very successfully in a bodybuilding bikini competition, and she helped me reach my turning point. She told me something very important. The competition was about her spiritual focus. Where was God leading her and how was God using her ministry in that moment? What was God teaching her through this journey?
It was far from a light bulb moment because what would follow was 4 months of self-inflicted torture, lots of asparagus and 4am workouts! The end result was far greater than the transformation you see in this picture. Yes, physically my entire body changed… do I still look like the scantily clad lassie in the green competition suit… ummm, no wine and cheesecake have seen to destroying those abs however… what is my “healthy state of mind” now? Has it transformed since that competition and if so why or better yet how?
Shortly after competing my career “high” would soon become a career confusion. I was stuck and not understanding where God was leading me, but instead of being defined by my career, I was realizing exactly what God was leading me towards with this competition. The competition helped me cleanse myself emotionally, mentally, spiritually and even within my own career of the judgement (from others and from myself) that was not healthy for me to lead a life spiritually focused on God. I was forcing myself to strip down bare and find my Discipline After the Win.
In order for my faith to grow, there had to be more than just winning a competition or reaching my career goals… I had to be more than a thing or a trophy or a body… I had to be a woman who is imperfectly embracing her journey by listening to God’s leading and living her messy, ridiculous , open-book ministry. I have to be ok with the mess, but allow the mess to teach me something new about who God has created in me. The Discipline After the Win takes time, and it is not static. You will find that discipline to be a struggle and sometimes what seems like an impossible journey, however… each day that journey will shed light on your own path and your own journey. Don’t live a life focused on anything, anyone or any goal other than your own ministry.