How to Sharpen your Sword and Win the Battle

Sharpen your sword first and prepare yourself to win the battle.

Losing weight and getting fit is hard.  All along the journey I have worked hard, experimented, learned from mistakes, acquired skills, and changed habits that will continue for the rest of my life.  As I worked through the maintenance phase of my journey I realized that all the skills I acquired along the way still come into play.

I have come to think of all the effort I’ve put into the journey as “Honing my Sword”.  I have created a sharp edged sword, used it in battle, won the battle, and I am continuing to keep my sword sharp and I still need to use it now and then.  It may not seem as daunting as when I first started the journey, but it still takes effort to keep my blade sharp.

The Various Tools

For some the tool that needs to be sharpened is the mental mindset against emotional eating.  For others it is consistency at the gym or even getting to the gym. For others it is using motivational tools and learning to find an easier way to think about food.

For everyone it is about setting up your environment for success.

The whole journey requires a lot of patience and even more so in maintenance since progress is much slower. Early in the process you tend to lose fat relatively quickly but you still have frustrating plateaus and life stresses that slow you down.

Even if you do everything right you will have plateaus. The body seems to make progress in “chunks” that are not linear. During these times I like to focus on the victories and “ride one victory to the next”; setting a positive mindset and tuning out negative thoughts.

Everyone has a victory to remember:

  • It could be friends or family noticing your weight loss or fitting into some new clothes (or some old clothes).
  • It could be reaching a goal you had set for yourself.
  • It could be completing a 24 hour fast or even skipping a meal.
  • It could be you getting compliments on how you look or a new personal best at the gym.
  • It could simply be you getting to the gym consistently for a period of time.
  • It could be someone in the gym noticing how hard you work out.

In maintenance you still have victories and the same positive mindset can be applied. One of the biggest victories that you should always remember is how far you have come; how much you have succeeded since you started the journey. Always be kind to yourself and reward yourself in ways that do not involve food. Items you need for the gym or new clothing are nice rewards.

Capture ways to remember your victories to help focus on them throughout your journey.

My Battle

The first picture is from 2005 and the second is from this year’s fitness photoshoot.

For me it was simply finally having the knowledge to eat less.  Getting to the gym and enjoying exercise was and still is integrated into my life as much as tying my shoes or brushing my teeth.

The Venus Index is still my all-time favorite workout and I believe it gave me the shape I now have.  It also helped me to belong to a support community and to have the support of family and friends in my life.

But after experiencing success I find I still need to put in effort to keep my mindset sharp and focus on the positive.  I still have to put effort into eating the right amount for me.  I still use every tool I have acquired and developed and honed and I now realize these will be what I continue to use for the rest of my life.

It’s Not Wasted Effort

What you do now will continue to benefit you for the rest of your life.

It is not wasted effort!

Do not be discouraged or think the effort only helps you get through the day today.  Not only are you resolving the specific situation you currently deal with, but as you succeed you are honing your sword and keeping it sharp for all future battles.

Sharpen your sword and win the battle,

– Ro

About Roberta Saum

Roberta is a 56 year young Elite Trainer at 1st Phorm. She achieved her fitness dream at age 50 here at The Venus Factor. She is a Fitness Consultant/Motivator for Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, Venus Factor Coach, Product Developer, Brand Ambassador, Contest Administrator, Author, Editor in Chief for the Venus Factor, and 1st Phorm Ambassador.

More about Coach Roberta

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  1. Really loved the analogy of the sword — maintenance has always been a frustrating place for me to be, longing for it yet hating it when I got there! (multiple times, after each baby) Aaagh! But the picture of the sword…now that is something I can and will definitely use! Thank you Roberta, as always VERY good to read your stuff!

  2. Well said Roberta! Every bit of it. We struggle for maintenance to not be considered the forgotten part of the journey and you have combated that so well. Without it, people fall back into the same old habits that started the journey in the first place. Maintenance is life and we must all live it at some point. Bless you for living it well!

  3. Thanks Roberta! That was great, and just what I needed today. I needed to hear that “its not wasted effort”. I love the analogy of sharpening a sword. You are inspiring inside and out!

  4. I too, have gotten a lot of good info from Eat Stop Eat. Brad Pilon has some good things to say. I weighed over 260 pounds a year ago, and cut down my calories quite a bit, while increasing my activity level and my gum time. I went down to about 158 pounds and started on increasing my muscle mass through weight lifting. I have gained about 10 pounds of muscle in the last year or so and am still increasing my efforts to lose fat around the middle and gain pure muscle. The last 5 pounds or so around the middle is the hardest to get rid of, and I am still working on that, but my look absolutely 100% better than I did a year ago. I practice intermittent fasting and sometimes go 24 hours without eating anything at all. I usually have several fast days each week for anywhere from 12 to 18 hours and have cut my sugar intake way down and my carbs down by about 80%. I am still not perfect by a long shot, and with my arthritis, at 58 years old, I sometimes have significant pain in my knees, but I keep trying. More exercise and even accupuncture seems to help with that. I am making progress, arthritis or not… and I will keep doing that until I keel over dead.

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