J-Journey {ABCs of Health}

Alright we’re back with the ABC’s of health today is J for journey. I love this one! There are many things that I could have put on the letter J, but I had to go with journey because I just want to remind you, and we’ve talked about this a few times, that your health is not a finish line, your health is not a point in the horizon that you’re going to reach and sit there. Your health is a journey, your health is part of your life and your health is what determines how you live your life and what you do with your days. Anyone with a chronic illness, anyone with chronic pain will tell you that their health dictates what it is that they are capable of doing, how they are capable of being with others, and what they can do.

I would like to be a whisper in your journey to help you move from seeing that weight or that fitness goal, or that look, or that size or whatever it is in your health that you see as the endpoint, I would like to help you to start looking at that differently and to see that as a marker. When you look back on your story you’ve left markers in your journey and you can certainly tell me… at about this age or in that year this happened, and this affected me, and this changed how I do this, and this changed how I do that, with this is when I started using or experimenting or eating or drinking xyz, or this is when this big thing happened and this is how I started using food to deal with it, and so on. You have markers in your life that are part of your health, and some of these things were so big that that felt like your whole world. In that moment, whatever health issue was front and centre, that felt like your whole world and now when you look back that is a marker that is part of your story, that is part of the story that you tell. Now some of these markers are amazing, some of these markers are wins, some of these markers are things that you are proud of that you conquered, and that you won, and that you went forward, and some of these markers are painful. Some of these markers are regrets, some of these markers are things that you wish had never happened, that you had never chosen, that you had never done, but they are markers and I want to challenge you just stop looking at your health goals as the end. Stop looking at them as the as the finish line, stop looking at them as the place that you’re going to go and everything is fine and you’re just gonna sit in that place and live there.

That is not how our health works. Our health is a succession of wins, a succession of trials, a succession of markers. If you think of an actual road, if you think of an actual journey, you know there are signs, there are landscape markers, there are things in your journey that you know that’s not where you’re going, it’s wonderful but you’re still in the journey. The same thing happens with your health. There is no finish line in health, and so many health issues come back, and come back, and come back and so much frustration in our health comes because we want to quickly get to what should be a marker, but we’re mentally and emotionally treating it as a finish line, and so when we reach that we just say “I’m done”. But that’s not how health works. You’ll reach a marker and you keep on your journey. You reach that marker and you celebrate, you enjoy it, you sit it in the pocket of that feeling and you embrace it and then you keep going – because there is no finish line in health. When you achieve something good in your health you have to sustain it, you have to keep moving into that, you have to keep pouring into it, you have to keep doing the work so that you keep having the benefit. Health is not money in the bank, health is rent due and it’s due every single day.

Our health is a succession of markers.

Our bodies are working so hard, our bodies love us so much, and they’re doing their best to keep us functioning well, and you can’t just reach a goal and then say “ok, I’m done”. No, that was a marker, so I really want to today just ask you to take a moment to look at your health journey and if you’re super happy with where you are, congratulations! That’s amazing for you. My challenge to you is to look back on your journey and see how far you’ve come, look back on your journey and see those habits that you had to put into place, those hard choices that you had to make, those no’s that you had to say that were difficult, those yeses that weren’t easy that you had to fight for that yes but you did, and you pushed through, and you got to a place where you are happy with your health. I applaud you. That is amazing. Now you set a new marker and you keep investing in yourself, and you remember that you were not meant to stand still. Whatever you achieved, you are meant to keep going and to keep finding new markers.

And to you that you look at your health right now and you say, “oh this isn’t where I want it to be, I’m not feeling great with myself, I’m not at the health that I wish I could be”, I still want you to look back into your journey and find your markers. Find the good markers and celebrate how far you’ve come, find the difficult markers and look at them sit in that marker for a little bit and say: “OK, what happened here? How can I invest in myself in this point? How can I pour into myself a little bit so that I can improve this?”, and then go on your journey and don’t don’t don’t set a finish line. Don’t set a finish line. Set markers and go towards them.

The last thing I want to say about our journey is that it is so easy, especially in health, especially when you start going into fitness and you start exercising, start enjoying it, and you it’s so easy to get into the comparison trap. It’s so easy to look at someone else who seems to have what you want and what you think would be perfect and amazing and fantastic.

They are on their journey, and they are on their road, and the one thing that is guaranteed to lead you astray is to try to walk someone else’s journey, because here’s the thing: your destination, where you want to go, where you are meant to go, the body you have, the mind you have, your soul, your thoughts, your unique combination of your history with your body with your mind with your thoughts with your experience… all this unique package cannot walk down someone else’s road. It will lead to disaster because you are not meant to reach their markers, you are not meant to reach their destination, you are not meant to leave their legacy, so when you are looking at your markers, when you’re looking at your story that you tell, and when you are looking to your future, when you are looking to where you want to go… stay on your lane.

I’m not saying this as in don’t interfere with somebody else’s life, that’s not what I’m talking about, I’m saying that you can appreciate someone else’s wins, you can appreciate someone else’s journey and someone else’s markers, but you have to live your own. So invest in yourself like we said last week, invest in yourself so you have something to pour out of, but invest in yourself so that you can find YOUR journey, and then walk your journey. It is so frustrating to try to walk someone else’s path, it is so frustrating to try to walk someone else’s journey, be at their nutrition journey, their fitness journey, their emotional journey, their educational journey, their relational journey. Their story is not yours.

Remember, there’s so much to learn from somebody else’s wins and somebody else’s mistakes, but don’t confuse learning from them with walking your path. Part of investing in yourself is that you’re going to listen to others, you’re going to read their stories, you’re going to do things like this where you are hearing me talk from my experience, all of this serves to nourish you, all of this serves to help you grow, all of this serves to inspire you, to motivate you, but you still need your own journey. Remember that there is no finish line. You are in this for life, so when there is a difficult time, that is not a reason to give up. When you have a difficult season, when you have a stressful season, when you feel like you just can’t give everything that you wish you could give, when you just can’t eat the way you wish you could eat, or the way you want to, or you’re just not moving your body the way that you wish you could, or your more stressed than you would like to be, remember. Bring to mind, get that thought and take it captive: this is a marker, and this is a moment. You are on a journey and you are growing and you are learning, and this too shall pass because again, this isn’t the end, this isn’t the goal. This is a moment, this is a marker, this is part of your story and in your journey sometimes your best is going to be amazing by anybody’s standards, sometimes your best will be barely making it through, but it’s your journey and in your journey these markers help you become who you are, help you become who you were meant to be, help you become the best version of yourself, so remember that wherever you are in your journey you have a story to tell, and you have already come far

It is never too late, you are never too old, you are never too out of shape, you’re never too far gone in your health that you can’t improve something, that you can’t invest something in yourself.

Today I just want to encourage you with my whole heart to set those markers, set those markers and understand that this journey is for life. You are in it and you are rocking it, and you don’t have to be perfect every day, you just have to show up for the person that you want to become. You just have to show up, yes, show up for the person you wanna be and one day you’re gonna look at back at your journey and you’re gonna say… I became that person, and you’re gonna find that you’re going towards another marker because you stopped thinking that there was an end. You stopped thinking that you would be done, and you just decided to live your journey every step to the best of your ability. Sometimes it’s tumbling, sometimes it’s walking, sometimes a crawl, sometimes it’s running, sometimes it’s even pausing to look back see how far you’ve come, look ahead see how far you want to go. Just don’t leave your journey, don’t compromise your journey to try to become someone else. Your journey is where you are meant to walk.

Keeping it simple,