Do you ever find yourself revisiting goals that you haven't achieved? You started working on that goal, but somehow along the way you got derailed and had to start over? Well you're not alone. My struggle has always been with my body, particularly weight loss. Every few months I find myself setting the goal of having a nice six pack. I work hard in the gym for a few weeks. I begin to see results, so I get excited and "treat myself". After all, I've been working so hard, what harm would some Popeyes chicken and biscuits do? I've noticed that my cheat days become cheat weeks and eventually a cheat month. Then I'm back at square one trying to accomplish the goal of having a lean six pack.
All it takes is ONE moment of temporary satisfaction to kick off a season of long-term unfulfillment. Queens, it's time for us to stop letting short term pleasure affect our long term progress.
In "Journey to the Crown", I announced that I would be an official contestant for the upcoming Miss Illinois USA 2016 pageant. For the past few weeks I've been training hard to be in the best shape possible for the pageant. I recently decided to give up breads, pastas, and rice for lent, as well as do the 10 day master cleanse detox. For those who aren't familiar with the master cleanse, it's a liquid diet where you only can have this spicy lemonade concoction (mix lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water) or water. No food or juices. During the cleanse, I remember thinking, "Why can't I just eat all the Popeyes biscuits and chicken I want and have a nice lean set of washboard abs!!!" But then a word popped in my head: sacrifice.
Too often, we want the blessings without putting in any work or sacrifice. I wanted the nice set of washboard abs, but I didn't want to give up the fried chicken and biscuits. You want a King, yet you don't want to give up the peasant that's been taking up space on your throne for too many months/years. You want to become a wife, yet you keep allowing yourself to be The New Side Chick or maybe the Original Side Piece. You want that promotion on the job, yet you don't want to put in extra work. You want to have an extraordinary life, but you don't want to have extraordinary faith. I think you get the point I'm trying to make.
We've become lazy and victims of instant gratification. However, we must realize that nothing worth having will come quick and easy--the temptations, seasons of discomfort, extreme amount of work comes with the journey to success. God is not your genie in a bottle. Faith without work is dead.
Some of you may be thinking, "KING, I put in so much work and I'm STILL waiting to see the fruits of my labor." I can totally relate. I know what it's like working out hard and still not having your dream body. I know what it's like striving to be a virtuous woman and still remaining single. I know what it's like to submit job application after application and still remain unemployed.
But remember, patience is a virtue in all that you do. I still have to remind myself that my body won't transform overnight, and whatever you are wishing to attain won't either. Don't get discouraged by what the eyes can only see. True change and progress first shows within, underneath the surface. Sometimes I just want to quit and go back to my comfort zone. But I then remind myself that a Queen never quits, she just works harder.
We have to learn to stop focusing solely on the extrinsic reward (weight loss, a husband, employment, etc), and start embracing the intrinsic gains (resilience, unbreakable faith, discipline, self-control, etc). If you're internally motivated, you will have a greater chance fighting the external temptations Satan likes to give.
I was recently faced with the ultimate temptation when I had to meet my family at one of my favorite soul food restaurants, while still on the master cleanse. I had to watch them savor chicken, waffles, catfish, greens, and Mac and cheese, while I sipped on my spicy lemonade drink. Leaving that restaurant without a dab of food touching my lips was a powerful moment for me. Here I am, a huge food lover at one of my favorite restaurants, and was not weakened by the presence of temptation.
Queens, you are more powerful than you think you are. Stop letting your temptations, obstacles, and insecurities derail you. Have will power! Have determination! Have strength! I promise it's worth it! So far I've lost 15 pounds and 2% body fat in 5 weeks. I'm learning that consistency in the gym and kitchen is key to living a healthy lifestyle. I will not say that I'll never eat another Popeyes biscuit and chicken ever again because that would be a lie. However, my desire to indulge in that food has decreased significantly. Portion control and moderation are key for long term success.
You are the master of your fate and captain of your soul. Regain control of yourself--mind, body, and spirit. Stop finding excuses as to why you can't and start finding reasons as to why you can. Don't let the "chicken and biscuits" (temptation/obstacles) stop you from getting your "abs" (reward). We don't have time to revisit any goals because we're too busy checking them off as "achieved"! I'm rooting and praying for you along the way! Fight those temptations!