Weaknesses. We all have them regardless if we are willing to admit it or not. They come in all shapes and sizes whether it is managing a budget, running behind all the time, hitting the gym regularly or donuts. Regardless of where in your life your weakness shows up, these words of wisdom will make you better tomorrow: “Turn your weakness into strength.” Before you stop reading, let me tell you one thing, “Yes. It. Is. Possible.”
2012 Weakness: Not cooking
2013 Strength: Cooking everything!
Here is an interesting fact about myself—I never really learned how to cook until after I was married. Sure, I knew how to heat up frozen vegetables, boil pasta and where to find the rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but preparing menus from scratch was a whole other ballgame. My husband and I both felt that something was off in our diets so we decided to do the Whole30 challenge early on in our marriage. This is a month long commitment that encourages you to cut out all processed foods and places an emphasis on cooking all of your meals from scratch. Even though it completely pushed me out of my comfort zone, I couldn’t be happier with the result…I became a cook! I learned how to cook fish, chicken and a variety of meats. My spice cabinet doubled in volume and I introduced a wide variety of new vegetables into our eating habits. Even though this challenge was almost 4 years ago, I continue to cook all of our meals from scratch. Doing this saves us $$$ from not going out to eat and increases our nutrient intake.
2012 Weakness: Ego
2016 Strength: Listening to my body
This month at the gym, I hit a 143 lb. power clean and can now proudly squat more than my body weight. These are weights I have been chasing after for over two years but being plagued by back and neck injuries, I was never able to push my lifts to the next level. One of the main reasons I was repeatedly injuring myself was that I was not listening to my body. I would try to give 110% with lifting when my body was only feeling 80% healthy. My coaches would always remind me to “leave my ego at the door” but that sucker had a permanent hang-out spot right on my shoulder. Like a lot of you, I also tend to be very impatient with healing/recovery time. If I was injured, I would often rush back into things too quickly.
Learning to back off when my body wasn’t feeling at its best was a very hard challenge for me and it certainly didn’t happen overnight. I slowly became more aware of what movements triggered pain and how to listen to my body more closely when performing certain exercises. I became more comfortable with modifying workouts (even if it was for a week or two straight) to make them more adaptive to my body’s needs. Instead of going for a max lift, I would work on form and use a lighter weight. Doing regular accessory work has also been a great value to my back health. Many people think physical therapy or even chiropractic care is something you do just to rehab an injury. Keeping up with your exercises, stretches and check-ups (long after your injuries have healed) is one of the reasons you won’t have to be referred back to PT! It has taken several years of injuries, tears, frustration and headaches, but I can finally say today that I am much smarter about the way I work out and being more in tuned with my body. Let me tell you that the patience and perseverance is certainly paying off!
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You see, I was able to turn two major weaknesses that impacted my health into strengths. Some changes were easier to make than others, but with determination and the right amount of dedication, it is possible! Regardless of how major you feel your weakness is, there is always opportunity and growth to turn that weakness into strength!