How Far Have You Come

By: Faith Pearce

(5 min read)

Something I have been doing a lot of recently is reflecting. It’s funny when we are in the thick of things or when life is chaotic or off balance, how hard it is to imagine how things could ever be different.

 Looking back to 18 months ago I was a very different person. We were in the middle of a pandemic and everything that once was normal was no longer was. We couldn’t see friends or family, and the looming threat of a deadly virus hung in the air at every corner.

 I was miserable, overweight and I found little joy in anything. Drinking became a distraction, and coupled with the pandemic, I drew internally more and more. My sleep was negatively affected and moving about became more difficult. I had back spasms, knee pain, night sweats and suffered from IBS daily. Is this how I wanted my life to continue? I could continue to numb out from the pain and unhappiness, or I could stop and be present with myself. I got to a breaking point and knew I had to make changes. I decided I wanted a better life. I wanted more, but sometimes when you are so far down the rabbit hole it isn’t always clear where to take the next step.

 The first for me was to stop drinking in the evening and start exercising again. I started by setting small goals I knew I could stick with. I decided I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin again. This was my stake in the ground.

 I would love to say I turned things around right away, but in reality, after spending two years isolated from the world, it becomes your new norm, and the world feels like a scary place. Even the basics like making conversation or visiting a place you haven’t been to before felt so uncomfortable.

 But I kept trying. I was determined to keep taking baby steps. Sometimes my steps were sideways, but I kept on going. One year ago, I completed a 12-week transformation docuseries which pushed me further out of my comfort zone and more into the public eye than I had ever been before. It was a “real-time” health and wellness transformation program that was videotaped and aired on social media the following week. I hated even having my picture taken in “normal” life and forget about airing live video shoots. But I pushed through.

 By nature I am more of an introvert. The pandemic had not helped my confidence. Stepping outside my comfort zone was not easy and airing my personal struggles publicly was challenging. There were two other cast members so technically I wasn’t alone. It was frightening, but I knew I needed a big change, and the accountability would be helpful. The new relationships were amazing, and I learned about many new tools and strategies to help me set reasonable goals based on what has and hasn’t worked for me in the past.

 I lost weight and my confidence grew. An unexpected improvement in my life was in the area of organization. I became extremely organized which also culminated in donating to charity shops 14 bags of clothes I had never worn. I also cleared and emptied my carport. One of the tools I learned during the docuseries helped me do this. It is the SAMS-10  which stands for Spark + Action + Motivation = Success based on 10 Rules. It teaches you to base goals based on a true desire – a true spark. And when you go into action you use your personal learning styles, circadian sleep cycle, primary love languages and left and right brain thinking styles. Your goals are based on “you” and how you will accomplish them. The goals no matter how big or small also have to be planned out including the resources needed such as how many hours a week you will dedicate to them.

 All while I was transforming, so was my spare room. It had always been used as a dumping ground Instead of what I had always wanted for a craft room, relaxation space and office. I set mini goals when different tasks needed to be completed, and I had an accountability team. The room was completely emptied, stripped back, replastered and painted. I laid new flooring and skirting boards and finally had a clean working space. And I completed it all by my goal date. I also started to draw and paint again after 20 years. I learned that creativity and learning are a part of health and wellness. They are not just hobbies. Movement became a fun activity not something I dreaded. I built in multiple classes including kickboxing, I attended yoga twice a week and Zumba. I began connecting with myself again and started creating the life I wanted to live. And I also quit smoking.

 As I look back all of the baby steps led to the next steps and to the next steps. I never lost sight of wanting a higher quality life, and finding a large platform to connect me to my goals and to others, then led me to share my writing. I have been a writer for years but hadn’t shared my thoughts publicly. I started blogging for All Things Wellness, and I have continued to put myself out there. This summer, I will become a published author. I participated in a multi-author book with dozens of other authors, and my circle has grown exponentially yet again.

 During the last several months, I also have had a job change. After leaving a previous position I held for 11 years, I decided to completely change careers, and have expanded my interactions. I look forward to leaving the house and working with my new team.

 Why the trip down memory lane? Because if you are going through lots of change, I want you to know I understand. None of this was easy for me. But you can do it. You can make big changes by making little changes. There were many times when it felt like I was walking through treacle. Times when it felt like I hadn’t made any progress at all. Life is great at throwing curve balls. Times when I felt like giving up, shutting my door and shouting at the world to leave me alone. But I kept going.

 When I look back, I see the lessons and growth. But honestly, I am not the same person I was.

 So often we get caught up in our own story, and it is easy to forget just how far we have come. I hate blowing my own trumpet. It usually feels really yucky to do so, but today, it feels good. I am going to give myself a pat on the back for perseverance, for not giving up and for listening to that voice inside that said just keep going. I now know that things can change and get better.

 Life isn’t an end destination. It is a constant work in progress. And although I may not yet be where I want to be, I am so much happier now than I was. Wellness, inside and out, is continual and requires consistency! I continue to choose me and take those small steps which will continue to lead me closer and closer to where I want to go. And sometimes it takes you in directions you never knew existed.

 Is there one thing in your life where you can make a commitment to yourself this week? A small step.

 Maybe it is making sure you eat three meals per day, no caffeine after 12 noon or a nice bath. Maybe it is time to read that book you bought three months ago or look into that course you have always been interested in. What is a small goal you can set for today or even this week, and what one step can you take to move toward it? Perhaps you will look back in two years and realize each of your baby steps turned into leaps and bounds like mine did. I was worth it, and you are worth it, too.

Faith Pearce 
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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