For the past few months I’ve intended to write a post with this title here at (in)courage, but other ideas kept pushing it aside. I’d planned to share testimonials from friends and family who’ve experienced real, long-term change in their lives, change that impressed and encouraged me. As it turns out, apparently I wasn’t supposed to write until I’d also experienced radical change firsthand.
Major changes can be difficult to make and to maintain, just ask anyone who’s tried to lose weight, stop smoking, or quit a bad habit. We’ve all heard the stories; however, there are successes, too, and that’s what I’m interested in examining.
What does it take to make a radical change stick?
Believe in the Need for Change
I visited my doctor in early January for my regular check up and we discussed problems I was having, mostly from being out of shape. She recommend that I start walking or some other form of exercise, which lead me to attempt the 30 Day Shred workout (read my story here).
I took my doctor’s warnings seriously, therefore I believed in the need for change and started exercising the next day.
Commit to Making the Change
My friend, Kathryn, decided that she wanted to change from being a night owl to a morning person and made the change in one day! She went to bed early one night, got up earlier the next morning, and never looked back. She feels better now and has maintained her new schedule for two years. I’m a night owl who sees the benefits in changing, but have I really tried? No.
You probably won’t experience change if you don’t make a commitment.
See a Benefit from the Change
When I first started my new exercise program, my husband asked if I wanted to take a before picture and I said no: first, I was embarrassed by the condition I was in, and second, I couldn’t imagine that my results would be very dramatic.
Boy, was I wrong.
I’ve currently completed 38 days of the 30 Day Shred; I also walk and jog a bit now that the weather is nice. Day 31 meant the most because I completed the challenge and then I kept on going.
I haven’t dieted or lost much weight, but this is the best physical condition I’ve been in in years. Honestly, I’d take this over a 10 pound weight loss. I feel younger, healthier, and maybe a little sassier; the problems I experienced before are almost nonexistent.
The physical and mental benefits of exercising far outweigh the time and effort it requires. I’m managing to jog a hill that usually overwhelmed me to walk. This rediscovered strength and resolve seems to make me braver in other areas of my life.
I see benefits from the change and I’ll fight to keep them.
What about you? Have you or someone you know attempted radical change in your life? Did it stick?
by Dawn Camp, My Home Sweet HomeLeave a Comment
Lisa H says
I have had a personal radical change in my life. I’ve been overweight/obese according to my BMI for a few years now. I blamed it all on stress, my divorce, single parenthood, etc etc etc. Food was my friend and my comfort. In December a friend from work said she was going to try a diet plan she had heard about from a friend and I told her I would look into it also. I was skeptical. I’m a nurse. There are no diets out there that can work so miraculously like they were saying. So I went online, I read about it. Thought about it and in theory it made sense how and why it would work. So I went on board with her and together we started this diet. I started on December 26th, 2011. I was 3 # lighter that day from my previous all time high weight but I had crossed the 200# threshold. I figured what did I have to lose if it didn’t work??? I’m happy to say that after 2rounds of the diet and now 2 months of maintenance I have shed and kept off 32 pounds!!!!! I still have another 15 -20 # to go to get to my ideal weight for my frame but I’m okay right now. I’m maintaining. I FEEL a huge difference in my outlook, my joints, etc. People take a double take now when they’ve not seen me in so long because I’m no longer a stuffed sausage in my clothes! Whoo hoo! I did take before, during, and after pictures and the transformation was incredible!
Radical change is awesome! Well, especially if its a good change.
Dawn Camp says
Lisa, I think 32 lb. since the end of December is awesome! If you’ve managed to stick to it and lose that much, I believe you’ll make it to your goal. Congratulations!
i am in the middle of making the radical change right now
diagnosed in late february with type 2 diabetes and overweight
i am learning the new way of eating and listening to my body
next up…getting that walking in.
wish me luck. i am down 13 pounds thus far!
Dawn Camp says
Mary, those doctor’s visits push us, don’t they? My husband is a type 2 diabetic, too. He said he was going to work out harder since I was starting to (although I told him he could do nothing for a year and I still wouldn’t end up in as good of shape as him – he’s a runner). He now weighs less than he has in years, the same as in high school.
I think I am constantly in a state of change 🙂 I am learning more and more about food and what works for my body, and my family. I am committed to achieving the life that I want for my family, and it is taking baby steps, but we will eventually get there! Great post!
Good for you! Dr ordered me to exercise 30 min a day a cut carbs/sugar. That was a tall order, but since it really was for a good purpose, I did it. I love it & can’t go a day without it!
God knows I have more radical changing to do…but I’m rejoice in this first obstacle!
Thanks for your words!
Tracey Padgett says
I started my radical change in March. My change was prompted by health as well. I’m 34 years old and had gotten to the point that I could hardly get out of bed. I felt like I never got enough rest. After doing some major reflecting during Lent I realized that I was neglecting my temple. So I gradually started changing things. And I think what helped it stick for me was that I had made a promise to God. So I felt like I was doing it as an act of service to Him and not just doing it for myself or for vain reasons. So I started with walking, then started using the couch to 5K app. Then I cut out coffee which turned out to be the cause of my stomach issues. Then I cut out soda…then the biggie….sugar. I also started eating breakfast and drinking more water. But all this was a slow process not overnight. I went from no breakfast…soda for my lunch….then supper to healthy breakfast…making myself eat lunch and supper. I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel!!!
Thanks for putting the things I’ve been going through into such beautiful words. I love to hear about others that are walking the same path as me.
Dawn Camp says
Great changes! It sounds like your focus on doing it as a promise to God instead of just for yourself is making is stick.
I need to lose a few pounds, but that isn’t “radical” by definition. I’ve found that in order to achieve success, I have to almost recommit daily. It has to be a constant thought and decision.
And good for you on that 30 shred, that is a tough workout. I never pushed myself over level 2. I HATE the mountain climber. Just sayin’
Dawn Camp says
There’s a whole lot of the shred I don’t love. It’s the getting through it in 25 minutes that works for me. 😉
Radical change….I’ve been through it, still in it, but it wasn’t any of my choosing. But my radical God has carried me through each and every step 🙂
Congrats on sticking to the Shred. It’s brutal! I bought Power 90 and really love it. The Shred killed my knees so I had to stop doing it. Power 90 is like an easy version of P90x!
Dawn Camp says
I’m so thankful it doesn’t bother my knees. I had a shoulder issue when I started and sometimes it aggravated it, but ultimately it seems to have strengthened it and eliminated the problem for now. P90X scares me. My husband does it sometimes. I’m addicted to the short workout. How long is Power 90?
Linda Russell says
My most important radical change has been on-going since I surrendered my self-indulgent life to God, though it is not a once and done deal. It is a daily, sometimes moment-by-moment surrender.
But, it seems the changes discussed here concern health because it is a major issue for so many of us. I can speak to that too! I have had serious digestive issues all my life. I thought I was the well of wisdom people should come to for health advice because I had read everything and tried everything. Fifteen years ago, I became a vegetarian, and even though my issues got progressively worse, I refused to believe my “healthy” vegetarian diet had anything to do with it. I ate organic, lots of fruits and veggies, got adequate protein, blah, blah, blah.
Then, last March, we visited our son and daughter-in-law for a month. They were on a Paleo diet. To accommodate them, I set aside my long-standing diet. Amazingly, I started feeling better. When we returned home, I continued the Paleo diet because I had never felt better! No more no-I’m-not-pregnant bloating or clear the room gas! What was “blowing” (sorry I couldn’t resist that one!) me away now was the outcome. It was incredible! Even though I was consuming plenty of healthy fats, I was losing weight.
I have since reintroduced rice into my diet, but otherwise, I have happily and healthfully stayed with it. The moments I do falter, my system drastically reminds me, lest I forget, why I am doing this.
So, being physically healthy can be likened to being spiritually healthy. When I revert back to my false-self (as, admittedly, I often do), instead of pains in my stomach, I experience pain in my heart. Instead of my system sending me reminders, it is God who reminds me of who I am! How AWESOME is that?!
Dawn Camp says
Linda, it sounds like you’ve done a great job of figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s nice that your body sends you a loud and clear signal to keep you on track! 🙂
I think radical change is not only possible but necessary! I went from a couple of long time relationships where I was the babysitter, childpicker upper, dog walker, weeder, helper, listener, encourager, caregiver where my own needs where ignored and it could be verbally or physically abusive to myself – and ended it. Being healthy means setting boundaries so that one can rest and do a good job at being what we are called to do with love and respectfullness, being a doormat just encourages bad behaviors.
Radical changes: in ourselves and our relationships, in how we care for ourselves and how we care for others, for society – all worth working and praying for!
Dawn Camp says
Well said, Liz!
Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) says
Yes, radical change is possible. I was engaging in unhealthy eating disorder behaviors and praise GOD I am now fully recovered. It took making up my mind that I needed to change and taking one baby step at a time to get there. It is hard but change can happen!
Dawn Camp says
Brittnie, it wonderful if you are fully recovered. Sometimes women carry aspects of eating disorders with them for years. Be vigilant and yes, change can happen!
I’m in the beginning stages of radical Changes. My radical change that I completed is taking no more medications or cigarettes. In November I took 10 medications for Fibromyalgia. Now I only take natural supplements. I am doing better than great. Now I just have to lose weight. I have changed my diet by eating healthier. Now I am exercising to go from the couch to marathon. I don’t care how long it takes. I am determined.
Dawn Camp says
Melinda, I’m so impressed with the positive steps you’ve taken. Keep that determination!
michelle s. says
I joined a triathlon club in January. I started attending the “Coached Swims” and what do you know, I’m swimming freestyle like a pro! (Well, maybe not a pro, but people who watch me swim now wouldn’t know that I started at ZERO 5 months ago). I’m also running my first half marathon on Saturday.
Like you, I believed I needed to make a change. I joined a group that I knew would support and push me in that change and I’ve committed to daily progress. It’s amazing! 🙂
Good job on the 30 Day Shred. I had a near throw up experience on the first day of it, too. LOVE it though. Gotta go dust it off and start it up again. 🙂
Dawn Camp says
Woo hoo! Dust off that copy of the Shred! 🙂 I’m a lousy swimmer, but I want to be better. Your story is encouraging!
Beth Wiliams says
After seeing the health issues of my mother–due to poor eating & not exercising–I decided in January to “get & stay in great shape”. We brought a core ball and a step, have dumbbell weights at the house.
I walk about 5+ miles daily overall. In March I found the “Revolution” on ABC. They show great exercises and eating plans. Now we’re working on 20 days to swimsuits. Love all the exercises Harley Pasternak shows & also the way I feel.
I’m committed to doing some sort of exercise daily as long as I live.
Dawn Camp says
I’ve never heard of the Revolution, but it sounds like a great source of motivation and encouragement. Five plus miles a day is great! Our neighborhood is very hilly and we’re a mile from the entrance to the subdivision, so I’ve been doing a 2 mile walk/job combo a lot of days.
Everyday I come more and more to the the truth that we women and mothers need to be deeply rooted in community for encouragement and fellowship. Thank you for providing encouragement and a glimpse into breaking through to changes that bring wonderful freedom and more of the abundant life He wants for us.
Stepping off the curb and taking baby steps is a good place for that radical change to start.
Bless you in this new place for your life. May you enjoy that extra spring in your step. Amazing how change in one area can morph into good change in other areas.
Dawn Camp says
Elizabeth, you’re so right: we need each other. I’ve been so blessed by the comments here today.
Jenny @ Sugar Pie Blessings says
I think radical change can be a wonderful thing. Mine came unexpectedly and shocked me to my very core. However, my life is so much better for it. I’m a better wife, mother and woman for it. Radical change can definitely equal blessings.
Dawn- I am inspired by what you wrote. I don’t need to make a dramatic change, just a few small changes that I keep putting off.
Thank you for the much-needed motivation!
Modupe @ Hephzibah Bride says
So, I’m a day late, but God knows I’m in need of radical change in EVERY aspect of my life. I’m hanging on to ‘I can do all things through Christ’…
A lot of areas in my life need radical change. It’s so much easier just to coast through, isn’t it?
The hard part comes when you actually start trying to change yourself.
Risé Brown says
Lisa H … I’d love to know this diet plan you’re on. I have yo-yoed in weight for years. Food has always been my comfort and anxiety is often the trigger. I hate it. I’d love to look into this plan.
Liz ~ I hear ya. My husband and I with our family and my mother-in-law just moved into a new house and even though I am still in the midst of unpacking, painting, decorating and organizing … I am so pumped at changing my lifestyle. We have moved into a much larger home and, can you believe we’ve been blessed by having an off-leash dog park right across the street (literally)?? I have managed to find time to walk through there only once (we’ve lived here about a month now) and its beautiful and a workout walk – very hilly. I finally have my very own writing room too which is a blessing that brings my to tears really.
So many women struggle with weight – and with me living with MS and not always having the energy to get a lot done or do a lot of things, really puts a kibosh on my wanting the life I have written in my head.
I want to get up early in the mornings and go for a good walk through the ravine – in front of my house that has a beautiful stream and squirrels and birds and butterflies. I heard from a neighbour we even have coyotes! Mallard ducks set up home along the creek bed. How great it would be to start my days like that. And to get myself to bed at a decent hour too.
I have overcome a lot in my life – but I seem to sabotage myself still in other areas of my life. It’s so stupid. And its exhausting.
Amy Hunt says
As someone who lived years with body image issues (and still struggles if I get off kilter, and by that I mean going to food for comfort and not my Father), choosing a rhythm to the life I wanted to live with this body was crucial. I’ve always been a runner and appreciated physical fitness, healthy eating and making good choices for our body. So much so that I’d get obsessed about it all. For the past few years I’ve decided that denying my body a certain food isn’t an option. But, in the process of deciding not to deny, I’ve been making deliberate choices that lead me to say “no thank you” and simply just not imbibe. Sugar socks the energy out of me and learning my body’s reaction to certain foods was key, though not as monumental as realizing I was making food or working out or my body an idol. This was radical change that has made a tremendous difference for me. My body shape has changed just slightly but that wasn’t the goal as much as personal peace for who I am.
Lauren | Hippie Dog Company says
i have made radical change in a couple of areas. After getting some disappointing news at my physical last June, I decided to make some good changes and have lost 70 lbs. I am committed to keeping that off now. I am also trying to make changes with regard to deepening my faith. 🙂
Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home says
Lauren, 70 pounds is something to shout about!
The radical change I am working on is giving up my perfectionism and my people pleasing. I find myself having to lie, to give up parts of myself to try to keep others happy and I find that I can’t make anyone else happy, that what I give is never enough, there is always more wanted so when I enter that game, I lose, every time. I am giving up on being “perfect” and trying to please those around me. It is hard and I am not always able to do it, but I have to. That behavior is taking me away from my true self and making me a person that I don’t even know.
Thanks for talking about this topic. We can change, radically, but we also need to be gentile with ourselves and to celebrate small accomplishments as well as big ones.