I asked Justine to write a piece about her journey, which in fact has been our journey, as she was appointed to be my replacement at work when I got promoted. I never imagined this person to become not only a kick ass coworker, but one of my best friends and ultimately, one of my BIGGEST inspirations. We have walked some dark roads together, but when you prefer spending life on a hood of a Jeep, you learn to see the dark roads as adventures too! Here is her story, in her own words and I promised her whatever we make from this post will go towards her wedding gown, so be generous guys 😋
Truth be told when Penny approached me to write a piece I was excited yes, but truly nervous. I believe that whatever you put out in the universe whether it be a thought, a verbal word or written one, that single action dictates what you attract and gives others a glimpse of who you are. I am by no means a writer less even a public speaker so please forgive the grammar … But here it goes.
Every great journey begins with a story so here is mine. 2016 was my break it year, 1 November 2016 I had enough, where I was, who I was and what I did was no longer for me. I sold everything gave up my corporate career, the fancy house packed my dog and the little belongings I had left in to the car and drove across country to start a new life. I planned it all, I would have the greatest new adventure of my life. In my younger years I made savvy investment choices and invested in 3 ventures of which the profits would sustain me while I was starting my brand-new life. 1 December 2016 I arrived and moved back in with my Dad just until I could find a little place to call my own. The possibilities were endless. Tipping the scale at 148 kg my first point of action was to lose the weight, you can’t be a surfer if you keep sinking the board so off I went on a smoothie/shake life style. Greatest two weeks of my life.
15 December 2016 life came crashing down, the day started like any other, went to the beach had my shakes, new life things all around when at 14:59 my phone rang… My big brother, my bear, our rock committed suicide. In that one call everything broke. Packing up and going back after less than a month of my new life I drove back across country to go and say goodbye. Fast-forward 2 months later, I was back to my old habits, the shakes stood there in the back of the cupboard gathering dust the days were everlasting loops of depression and survival. I was 29, unemployed, my family falling apart, living with my father and to top it off bankrupt, as the companies I invested in was my brothers and was now part of the estate. Where to now?
I found what at that time I thought, was just a job and started at PayGate on 01 March 2017. 19 May 2017 was to be my last day on earth. I decided the best way forward was a permanent way out. I said my goodbyes and came to work. It was a long day of self-pity and sadness, but I knew relief would come at 17:00 once I am at the beach, letters written instructions given I was ready. On my way to the beach I received a call from my Dad we spoke much about nothing really, but he kept me talking he kept me going on past 17:00 past the sunset and past the thoughts. I sat in the car and turned to YouTube for a sign to just go on. There one suggestion would change my life…. Searching instead for the “Will to go on”, I clicked on Will Smith and it was a speech he gave on fault and responsibility.
On Sunday the 21st of May I woke up and my life changed. I was done sitting on the side line smiling as others experience life while I was a mere onlooker.
None of us lacks inspiration we lack application. We all feel that burning desire for change when we watch that movie, read that book, see that life changing examples. For those 5 minutes we are truly inspired we have nothing, but inspiration and we build those castles in the sky even painting it our favorite color. What we lack however is the application, the application to turn that inspiration in to a reality.
How do you do it Justine, what’s the secret to losing 60kg in less than a year? I can tell you about the workouts I did and the food I ate but that will all be in vain if you do not take the first step. My answer… Your mind.
Fix your mind and all else will follow. There is no quick fix, no secret pill, no mask for what is broken. FIX YOUR MIND. The words that changed my life was spoken swiftly but hit a place of immense pain so much so that it sparked a fire in an empty room. “It might not be your fault, but it is for damn sure your responsibility. We want those who’s fault it is to pay, to fix it, to take responsibility, but that is not how life works especially if it comes to matters of your heart. It’s sucks but if something is not your fault it is your responsibility to handle how it affects your life and actions.”
You take a day or two, you re-evaluate, what you are, where you are that is all you, no one else made your discussions, no one took those actions, and no one stood by and did not act. Be a critic, your own critic, not a hater not a judge but a critic, for a critic speaks only with the intent of building up and bettering. No critic ever went in to a restaurant with the expectation of eating disgusting food, a critic is there to rate what was presented. Be your own critic and your own chef. For a chef acts upon the criticism received, he travels, he experiences new things and then returns to create a masterpiece. Never ever hate but criticize yourself, strip your mind, body and soul bare and own where you are. Take those few days evaluate what you want, where you are and then grieve, grieve for the ones you lost, the opportunities you let go and the relationships that was lost. This time will be tough but once you rise form the ashes you will be a canvas for extraordinary change. Right you have created your vision, your mission. Now apply, get up every day and apply the actions that will get you to your goal. You speak what you are and now you only speak positive uplifting things, you write down those bad negative thoughts and you reply to them like two lawyers in a closing court room argument, you counter all those bad negative points with positive thoughts. What the mind believes the body will become.
What I thought was once a job turned out to be my runway to a better life, I found confined behind the logo people who supported me, believed in me and uplifted me. Even from day one looking back, something as simple as an interview where 3 people sat behind a desk and decided I was good enough when I did not believe it myself, humbles me to this day and for that PayGate will forever be not only a job but a part of my life. I am thankful for the family, friends co-workers and love of my life daily for the support every step of the way.
I grieved for what I lost but realized over the past year, I was grieving in vain as what I lost was not what I wanted and taking that in to account I lost things that was never meant to be mine to begin with.
In closing, how did I do it… I changed my life by changing my mind. I decided to be the 5% who do what they say. I do not judge anybody not even myself but especially not others as they have a journey none of us knows. I live with the purpose of bettering myself and others and the more love I give the more I get. I grind 7 days a week, I eat clean healthy food and a make better choice, from friendships to food. I had my tools my biggest one being my mind. They say failing to plan is planning to fail I say bull dust. You can be the best planner and life will go wrong, failing to train your mind to handle tough situations is where you fail.
My secret: Work out… you will make mistakes, you will look silly at first, but you learn and you grow, eat smart do your homework and read, read everything, people will always tell you don’t this and do that, you won’t take financial advice from a homeless man so why take weight loss advice from someone who never had to lose weight, why take great life advice from an average person. Educate yourself. Find what works for you. For me it was working out 7 days a week, eating clean and tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal and starting an Instagram account where I lay my journey bare, where I found support and could be held accountable.