This latest and last blog entry has been a tough one to write, thus the reason it is just being posted now. Cassandra asked me to dive deep on this one and ker-pow – writer’s block. Every time I went to write, I hit the delete button more than the keys on the keyboard.

But just now. Right now. Inspiration.

Today has been a tough day. It’s a holiday and I’m alone. On a day like this day people are grilling, gathering, and gabbing. I’m in a hotel, alone.

The first day of The 21-Day Challenge brought me a never before experienced event. (That massive water leak in my house and resulting massive water damage.)

Now 21+ days later I’m just settling in to a hotel because I cannot live at home while the damage is repaired. Floors are being removed and replaced. More sheetrock is being ripped out and replaced as well. And new trim, new moulding, new paint, new fixtures, and a new toilet (the culprit of the water leak) are all on their way.

I am truly grateful I have a place to stay, the work is in progress and the house is being repaired. I’m grateful for having an insurance policy that is covering the damage, the repair, and the hotel.

Truthfully I am grateful. But also truthfully, I feel like as much of a mess as my house. I don’t know if the mess I feel like right now has to do with the upheaval of my home, the ups and downs of The 21-Day Challenge, or that I’m just in a season of ups, downs and upheavals.

Looking back at the last 21-days I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve seen again how well I handle challenges and situations, and I’ve also seen how poorly I’ve handled them.

In week 1 I excelled and lost weight and gained fitness even while facing a challenge within The Challenge (aka The Water Leak). Week 2 found me failing in the midst of a conference, and as a result gaining back most of the weight I lost all while a lot of respect for myself. And in week 3, I got back on track I lost it again and then some.

Now not in the midst of The Challenge, and alone in a hotel, I wonder, “What’s next?” I’ve been wondering this all day, until now when inspiration hit.

Inspiration hit in the form of two Facebook posts. Two very much needed to hear Facebook posts. One from One Fit Widow that said this, “This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t waste it.” And another from Brendon Burchard (Brendon Burchard – Live. Love. Matter.) wrapping up with saying this, “ Please, my friends, believe in your heart and your voice and your mission no matter what, no matter how small it all feels now. Growth and greatness often come from those seemingly endless, fruitless days of discipline. Keep working, keep at it, believe.”

Both of these posts hit me hard. Yes, with inspiration, but really more with conviction. It was just two years ago today that my mother passed away, and only five months before when my father passed away. I have seen life expire from both of my beloved parents, as I was holding their hands. I know without a doubt that I will not live forever because I have seen death. Their deaths are etched in my heart and my mind.

But here I am whining away about my challenges. Here I am allowing myself to continue to share my sob story. Here I am allowing the ups and downs and upheavals of life distract me from what I believe in my heart to be my mission which is to be a fit, responsible, respected, respectful woman who continues to be given day after day to make a difference, to serve people, to help people, to do good, to be good. And here I am continuing to waste this life in so many ways.

On Day 3 I wrote this:

“Something that Tom wrote in The 21-Day Challenge guidelines has been popping into my thoughts often since the Kick Start meeting this past Friday night…it was something about allowing this 21-Day Challenge be an opportunity for self-discovery.

I think Tom might have known a little something when he just quietly put that thought out there…”

On Day 3 I wrote about the things I had learned at that point. Reading back I feel they were surface discoveries.

Today on Day 21+, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever expected and hopefully what I’ve learned goes a little deeper (Thank you Tom…). What I’ve learned is this:

We are given one life. We are given one body. We are given a zillion chances to use that life and that body to do good. Many of us choose to use those chances for bad. Why? Because something deep down tells us we are not worth it even when we hear the voice telling us that we want “growth and greatness.”

I am that person. And I’m not sure why (and must continue to dive deeper to find out why – and let that limiting belief go once and for all). However, I am sure about this:

I’m tired of using those chances for bad. I’m tired of allowing myself to believe – or even listen to – that I’m not worth it. I’m tired of putting myself in situations that don’t help me be that woman who is responsible. I’m tired of wasting my life by making some of the choices I make. I’m tired of not being more disciplined to achieve my mission.

And today, I choose to change.

As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I know that I’m not going to change spontaneously. Heck I only slightly changed in 21-days. But I did change a little. And a little change in the right direction ends up with big changes in the right direction.

I just have to keep at it, for the next 21-Days, and every day there after. It’s a daily choice to change, and to use that life and that body for good. Today I choose to change. Today I choose to make good choices. And tomorrow I’ll make the choice to choose to do the same.

-Your Body3 Fitness 21-day Challenge Friend, Christy Stratton

A note to Tom and Cassandra – Thank you to both of you for allowing me to journal my experience of The 21-Day Challenge.  It has truly been a gift to me on the greatest level. Being allowed to share my triumphs and struggles honestly and openly has given me greater insight into and strength to become the person I want to be. Being given the gift of The 21-Day Challenge has helped me to improve physically, mentally and emotionally. I am grateful for the gift and for your willingness, support and care.