A long time friend of mine is about to train for a 5k starting Thursday. She just admitted to me that she is a bit discouraged by the fact that she is getting back to it after a 3 year hiatus. She just had a baby a few months ago and has just gone back to work. Not easy to juggle. I know what she is feeling. The fact is, starting over is discouraging. You feel all that work is gone. Here's what I have recently come to grips with. When I was convincing myself that I didn't have enough time to work out or was too stressed to take time and decide what I was going to eat, I would remember how it only took me a few months to get back into shape in the past so I can wait until the timing in better. Seriously, I would convince myself it wasn't a good time to take care of myself. I would never treat those I love that way, but I was willing to treat myself as not good enough to care for. It's easy to say, I'm being a good Mom or spouse or daughter and life is getting in the way. Excuses and feeling sorry for myself was really what was going on. It starts with a decision and then every decision for the rest of your life. That's what life is. Turn left or right. Stay on this path or change the scenery. As a hairdresser I learned quite a bit about jumping in and being challenged. You see, when you first start working, you see that beautiful work that seasoned, skilled hairdressers do and know that after about a year and a half of working on family and a doll head in school should be enough to reproduce what that older stylist is doing. I mean, they make it look so easy. Fortunately, I learned very young to surround myself with those that are successful to learn from their mistakes. I listened to cds by great artists. Listening to those cds, he shared that as a hairdresser, you have to sell yourself first in the consultation. If there is no trust and you have not listened to what the guest is really wanting you are setting yourself up for failure. You see, when a guest wants her hair cut but keep the length, showing you ten different pictures of various length and textured hair, you have to interpret that. You need to listen, find out what it is she likes about those pictures and be honest. You need to use your expertise to ask enough questions and come to a mutual understanding before even touching her hair. Another great hairdresser I learned from was, taught us young interns that she did not get to where she is today without making mistakes and messing up people's hair. So, watching these seasoned professionals make it look easy, because they are so skilled and no not to make the same mistakes as before. They still make mistakes of course, but it is so slight like a weight line was a little too heavy. What I realized is, when you first build your clientele, you are not working on your regular clients, adding a new dimension to their highlight or trimming their bangs, these new clients were usually walk in or referrals who are trying the salon for the first time. They usually have had a bad experience somewhere else, possibly a wreck on their hair, and you have to perform nothing short of a miracle, with little to no experience! Getting started is hard. But surrounding yourself with those that have and are still doing it is invaluable. That support system is there, even if you are working on this client by yourself, you have everyone there to help you through. They too are working on their client, with new challenges. Those regulars, don't want to have just a trim or a touch up. They want to feel fresh and complemented when they leave. Their expectations are the same as day one. You need to step up your game even more. Fortunately, you now have more skill and confidence. So that's what I have as I started my fitness journey again. I realized, I am not starting over, I'm continuing. The week I had to stop working out because my knees where killing me, didn't discourage me from pressing pause and wait for a better time to start again. I allowed my body to rest, focused on what I ate and still lost weight. The best part is when I pressed play again, I listened to my body and it responded well. I eased back into it. It's a long process but everyday I am better at it. I am glad I was so heavy when I started again. You know what it gave me? Strength. Today, my lungs were giving out before my muscles were. Good thing my body is made up of more than just my mind. I was huffing and puffing through the last 10 minutes but loved it. If I wasn't 211 pounds when I started again, I wouldn't have all that resistance to give me the strength I have now. I'm smarter about my nutrition and workouts because I have all these experiences. So friends, we're not starting over, we're getting back at it. You're smarter now.