My Weight Loss Motivation Mantra

One of my favorite quotes is from Marcus Aurelius: “Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself.” I love this so much I have it written on the wall of my office and in a note in my iPhone. These simple two sentences have been one of my greatest motivators during my weight loss journey.

I’m sure the words mean very different things to different people but I want to share with you the impression they have made on me.

At the time I first came upon this quote I was working in a management role. I had a fantastic team and though I was being pulled in a million different directions, I tried hard to set a good example for them. I wanted them to see my hard work, initiative, problem solving and tenacity.  When I read this quote I thought, “How can I inspire my team if I can’t inspire myself?”

It starts with me. “Rule over yourself.”

I thought about my marriage. I was encouraging my husband to quit chewing tobacco and this quote hit me hard – how can I expect him to listen to me or be encouraged by me if I’m not living a healthy, disciplined life?

It starts with me. “Rule over yourself.”

I thought about the family I might have one day. How hypocritical I would be to lead my kids in ANY way if I’m unable to lead MYSELF! If I’m not compelled to follow the wisdom of my own mind, how in the world could I expect my children to be?

It starts with me. “Rule over yourself.”

I remember thinking at the time, “I want so many big things. I want to be debt free. I want to lose over 100  pounds. I want to be strong, fit and confident.” I became instantly aware that an unrefutable requirement for all of those things is to become an effective leader of ME.

Does anyone read this quote the same way? It just is so powerful to me – if I’m not able to instruct, lead and inspire myself then I have no business trying to do it for anyone else.

I can’t tell you how many times a day this simple phrase runs through my head. If I’ve told myself I’ll go for an hour leisure walk and I start listing all the reasons I should stop at 40 minutes, I’ll hear in my head “Rule over yourself”.  When I’ve finished dinner and I’m tempted to do a kitchen-walkthrough just to see what might look yummy I hear it: “Rule over yourself”. When my alarm goes off in the morning and I consider hitting snooze instead of getting to work, there it is: “Rule over yourself”.

Spend some time looking at the gap between what you expect of others and what you expect of yourself.

Spend some time considering if you are able to reach any of your goals without mastering the art of following your own guidance.

Maybe it’s not these words that fuel you but I’m sure there are others. Find something that reminds you of what is most important and keep it front of mind. Put it on an index card on the dash of your car or write it on the mirror in your bathroom. Encourage yourself daily – there’s no question that you’ll need it!


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