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Resolve + Enthusiasm = Power

Think for a moment about the highest mountain you ever climbed, the deepest valley you ever crossed, or the longest river you ever had to swim. Perhaps it was healing a relationship with an estranged loved one, closing a big deal at work, overcoming an addiction, surviving an illness, succeeding against the odds or making what seemed like an impossible dream come true. I imagine that there were moments in the process when you felt weak, became convinced you could go no further, and wanted to turn back and give up.

A few years ago I decided to walk in an 18-mile marathon. At about the 10-milke mark, I hit the proverbial wall. Every muscle in my body ached, and I hurt in places that doctor's don't even have names for. I was tempted to sit down in the middle of the road and ask the medics to carry me away on a stretcher. I thought there was no way I could make it to the finish line. But I didn't give in to my negative thoughts. What kept me going? How was I able to summon the strength I needed to forge ahead? I focused my mind on how good I was going to feel when I finished what I started. And I reflected on the other times in my life when I thought I had reached the end of my rope, only to find the strength to "tie a knot" and move on. I finished the marathon - and the experience of almost giving up taught me that the deeper we have to reach inside ourselves to succeed, the greater our sense of accomplishment.

Losing weight or living a healthy life is not easy. It may very well be the hardest thing you ever attempt to do. And it may require you to bring for every ounce of your inner strength and personal power. The same wall we encounter during other challenges in life will invariably rear its ugly head in our journey to lose or manage our weight. There will be days when it will seem as if the universe is conspiring to ensure our failure, to force us to give up on the goals we set in January by throwing cold water on our enthusiasm.

But don't fall into the enticing trap of negativity. You have the capacity to face the invariable challenges that lie ahead. You have the strength to endure setbacks and disappointments. You have the energy to persevere. You have succeeded in other areas of your life, and you can reach the goal you have set to live a healthier life.

Jackie Stanley is the creator of a series of personal wellness and weight loss journals titled "Lettuce Is Not Enough." She can be reached at 336.854.8667 or at


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