By VANESSA HAMPTON

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend who was telling me about her achievements with
healthy habits.

She is someone like many of us who has had her fair share of struggles with eating, exercise, and (most importantly) a healthy perspective on taking care of herself.

She and I have had many conversations about strategies to help keep her moving forward. Each day she continues to make strides toward it, but during this particular conversation, she made one of the most powerful statements that I have ever heard her make. She told me that she had made the choice to no longer be a victim inside her own body.

What a profound statement. Ultimately, she has realized that this is truly the only thing that can help
someone move forward in their fitness journey and stick with it. If each of us that struggles can reach
this place in our headspace … if we can truly realize that we are not powerless … we all can and will
achieve changes for life.

The problem is that so many of us get caught up in the mentality of things happening TO us. We like
to think that we lack willpower or that we are limited in how much effort we can make because we
are busy. If we are trying to lose weight, but it’s not coming off consistently or quickly enough in our
view, we like to think that there is something wrong with our body. If we experience a personal crisis
or have more on our plate than normal, we often use that as a reason to quit trying.

If you lined up 100 people that have made big changes in their lifestyle and have hit their stride with
healthy living, you will find that at the heart of every one of their stories they made this very choice.

They took control of their life and refused to be a victim inside their body any longer. Sometimes it
may have taken hitting rock bottom in life to make this choice, but sometimes it may have just been
the realization that they are not powerless and that the choice is theirs alone to make. This choice is
yours alone to make as well.

Every day that you wake up, you have an opportunity to make healthy choices for yourself; mind,
body, and spirit. You have a choice about everything you put in your mouth that day. You have a
choice about moving your body or not that day. You have a choice about the love and respect that
you show yourself in each moment, and only you choose what to believe about who you are and
your abilities in this life.

The most valuable perspective that I can offer you is that each day is not about achieving perfection
or finding some magic solution where suddenly everything is easy. Healthy living and taking care of
yourself is not a destination. There is no end point and it won’t always be easy or ideal. It is only a
journey, and it’s all about being a little better today than you were yesterday. Today is your new
baseline, which means that next week there is another new one and another new opportunity. No
turning back. Just moving forward and navigating the turns along the way.

I encourage you to start today. Refuse to be a victim. Let go of blaming others in your life or your
circumstances for where you are.

Recognize that every single one of us wakes up every day to the same choices for ourselves. The cool thing is that it’s a cumulative effect. Once you begin, the choices get easier and you grow stronger from the inside out. The only thing you need to do is make the choice.

Who will you choose to be today?

xxoo,
V