Challenges

Challenges come at us in all types of ways.  Everybody has obstacles. But what matters most is how you react. We all get knocked down sometimes, but the first step is always getting right back up!

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My last blog post I talked about taking a break from “gym challenges”. Buttt, after the Biggest Loser Finale, the talk of the next edge challenge was too tempting for me not to join. I really benefited from the accountability, support, and inspiration from the last challenge. And hey, I lost 30.8 pounds! I didn’t want to set myself backwards, so I decided to join the next Edge challenge. And with good reason, during the two day “cheat” binge after the finale, I gained 5 pounds! I  mean it was my birthday weekend, and coming off from 90 day challenge, but still 5 pounds in two days is pretty impressive. (It must have been the beer, Mexican food, ice cream cake,  Mcdonalds, my entire body weight in pizza, pasta, ect but I can’t be too sure 😉 ) I did not feel good Monday morning, that’s for sure. My workout was terrible and I just did not feel good overall. Not wanting to continue down this slippery slope, I was ready to take on the next challenge. It’s only 8 weeks this time so have to really get in gear and stay strong. We had to announce our goals in the weigh in, again for the accountability factor, so I will share mine. My goal for for the next 8 weeks is 15 pounds. I know I am aiming high, but you never underestimate yourself.

I was really pumped to begin. I got all my food ready, my workout in, and my supplements. And then on the first day of the challenge,  I faced my first pretty big obstacle. I got in a car accident on my way to work. Thankfully everyone was okay, but my car ended up being totaled. I spent the day in the ER, and have some minor injuries. I’m thankful to be okay, and that it wasn’t much worse.

While I was starving all day at the hospital, I spent probably more time than I should have  thinking about my lunch that I had brought to work (grilled chicken and Brussels sprouts) that was still in the car, or potentially on the side of the highway. My first instinct, fueled by hunger and self pity, was telling myself that as soon as I was out of here I am going to just go get Mcdonalds or something bad for dinner. (I mean, I earned it right?). After being thankful that I was alive and no one was seriously hurt, my second emotion was anger.  I was mad at myself, mad about the accident, and mad at about the timing. I had just had a great workout in the morning and was so pumped about improving my strength and crushing my workouts, and now with these new injuries, I knew my workouts would have to be put on hold, and modified for a bit.

In the past, I would have used this accident as an excuse to eat whatever I want, and do as little physical activity as possible.But this time it was different. I overcame my demons. My first question before I was discharged was, “when can I workout again?” I couldn’t believe I was disappointed that I needed to rest until I was feeling better, and was getting anxiety about missing workouts. Who is this person?

I also didn’t go home and wallow in my sorrows, with ice cream or french fries, like the devil on my shoulder was pining for, but instead I had a healthy meal and stayed on track with my food plan. I went for a little walk, and kept with my water intake. It wasn’t easy, but for this journey you need to have tunnel vision and not let anything get in your way. Even when you get knocked down, or are thrown a curve ball, these are the times you really see what you are made of.  And even if you slip up, you can always choose to make the next choice you make a better one.

May Goals

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So, 5 months ago already, I made a a list of  goals in January when I began my new year “resolutions” and took on a bunch of challenges to get me motivated, including my gym’s 90 day Biggest Loser Competition. I was very unhappy, but I was ready to do something about it and make changes.  I told my trainer at my initial BL session that I wanted to be 165 by my birthday, was my first “short term” goal or objective.

My last challenge begins on January 27, I am participating in the Edge Biggest Loser competition for a chance to win 5,000. I would love the money, but I would love to lose 40-50 pounds just as much, so I hope this is going to motivate me!

He told me it was a great goal, but it would be very difficult to reach in that short amount of time. Well, Wednesday was my birthday and I’m happy to announce I nailed my goal, by two pounds! With the competition ending tomorrow, I am over 30 pounds down so far. I can’t believe its been 90 days already.

In addition to the Biggest Loser Competition, I’ve also competed on three online Dietbet challenges. A Dietbet is an online game where you bet a certain dollar amount, ($35, $50, $150, ect) and you have 28 days to lose 4% of your body weight. Winners get their bet back, plus split the remaining pot of those who do not meet their goal. I’m a gambling girl, so I after I won my first one, I joined two more games, and upped my ante to the high stakes games. While these were fun, and definitely kept me motivated while providing incentive, I think I am going take a little break for the diet bets. While I do think they are good, I was starting to push myself a little extreme to meet the goal.

Reflecting back, I always had made goals in the past, but I never stuck with anything long enough to achieve results.  This time, even during the hard times and the times where I wasn’t seeing the results from my hard work, I kept going and proved to myself that if you don’t give up, hard work eventually pays off! I’ve been able to keep at this for 5 months now, and I feel better than ever.

With that being said, I have some different goals to announce for May. I want to shake things up a bit and re-direct my focus. While I am still going to be exercising and eating clean, my new goals aren’t going to be for money or Dietbets or competitions. I am going to focus less on the numbers on the scale and losing a certain number of pounds in a certain number of days, and focus more on getting stronger at the gym and non scale victories. I am going to train extra hard for the Spartan in June and work, getting some PR’s in the gym, and going down a few sizes for my trip to Florida in June.

While I still have a long term goal to lose 30 more pounds, I am not giving myself a deadline. I know  Can do it this time, and just wanting it bad enough is going to get me to the finish line.

Weekend Warrior

As I often take Monday’s to reflect on the weekend..since its a pretty common Monday morning question at the office, I’ve realized my responses are changing. Typically I would spend Sunday’s as a day of regret, and marking Monday as my day of retaliation against the weekend, back to the grind, and renewal of promises I have made to my self. But lately, these Monday’s are happening less often, and my Sundays are more dedicated to preparing for the week to come, rather than mourning my fallen battles. And while some might say its because I’m becoming more boring, I’d like to think its because I’m dedicated.
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As my Timehop so often likes to remind me… especially in my college days, I used to refer to myself as a “weekend warrior”. In case you re unsure about what Timehop is, its an awful, terrible, app that reminds you everyday how you made an ass of yourself (okay at least in my case) on every single  social media outlet you are on, on each given day in history. Unfortunately, my Timehop goes back as far as 7 years, so you can only imagine. But it is fun to look at.

So anyways, “Weekend Warrior”  My self -given title, meaning, when the weekend came (or Thursday)I would almost take pride in drinking as much as humanely possibly to allow myself to eat as much as possible, until Sunday morning in which I awoke hungover, tired, sluggish, ect.  I commended myself for surviving the weekend, and for all my “accomplishments”. It would take me hours to get anywhere near productive, and then I’d then slowly start to function as a human being by consuming endless amounts of coffee and  eating  greasy “hangover” food like a bacon, egg, and cheese or my leftover Chinese food, before cramming in all the work I was supposed to do over the weekend.

This tradition kinda overflowed post graduation, but on a smaller scale. I now find myself calling myself a”Weekend Warrior” for the complete opposite reason. Trying to maintain a social life as a 23 year old, (almost 24, *begin panic mode* ) while avoiding alcohol and food temptations over the weekend, is extremely difficult. It’s not always easy being the one drinking water at the bar (disguised with limes of course), or passing on dessert at a family party (when in my family there is one at least every weekend, as no birthday goes un-celebrated) when everyone around you is indulging, and hey, why shouldn’t they its the weekend, nothing wrong with that.

For me personally, the the difference is I am finally committed to changing my life and these things don’t work if I consistently put my efforts on hold to enjoy the weekend. I’m not saying I never give in or treat myself, because I certainly do but I’ve definitely seen what happens when I  put in my best efforts all week only to derail over the weekend, and its not a fun feeling.

So as much as this journey is about consistency, which is one of the most important aspects, it is also about balance. I have definitely learned how to say no, but I am also not so tunnel visioned that I will not give in if I really want something. The difference is I am in control now, and I make decisions based on how I’m feeling, as opposed to being based on peer pressure or guilt. So no, its not good to over indulge every weekend, but it is okay to treat yourself every once in a while too.  For example, at a family  event this weekend somebody asked me “How do you stay on your diet during occasions like this?” At that exact moment, I was holding a huge plate of food that I definitely didn’t  log into MyFitnesspal. But I passed on the roll, and dessert, so I marked that battle as a win. You just got to keep fighting, and accept the losses along with the wins.  So here’s to being a weekend warrior, fighting my inner demons one cupcake, or slice of pizza, and one battle at a time.

Words are powerful…am I right?

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Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotions for me. First, I was ecstatic, because when I woke up and weighed in I was at my goal weight for my March Dietbet. With $150 on the line, and not the easiest time dropping numbers this month, it was really surprising to me that I won. Then, I went to my 6 am crossfit class, and coming off the high from the morning, I was brought back down again by a terrible “R & R” WOD of running and rowing, which reminded me why the title of my blog is “Forever Last in Gym Class”. I struggled through the runs, and may have been behind everyone else, BUT I’m pretty sure (at least in my mind’s eye) the gap between me and everyone else..is closing every so slightly.

I then went to work and received a text message from an old friend who has been following my posts and she told me how much I was inspiring her. It really was an awesome thing to hear, especially because I still feel hesitant being so open about my journey and posting so much. But to hear that I actually am inspiring people, is pretty amazing and in turn inspires me and makes me want to keep going.

Followed by another incident at work that really brought me down. I was washing my hands in the bathroom when a woman who works across the hall smiled at me, and asked me if I was “expecting?” I was so caught off guard that it didn’t register right away that she thought I was pregnant. My immediate reaction was “expecting what?” When it hit me what she meant,  I’m pretty sure my face turned as red as a tomato from embarrassment. When I politely told her no, she continued by asking me, “Are you sure, because it looks like you are working on a baby” She didn’t apologize nor seem like it was a rude, or potentially hurtful comment to make. I honestly don’t think she meant to insult me or meant any harm, but people rarely realize the impact of their words. At first I was angry, insulted, and well, a little hurt. I thought about how hard I’ve been working and then for a complete stranger to accuse me of having a beach ball under my shirt, (okay, she said baby) is pretty discouraging. But then I realized, that’s all she was, a complete stranger who just didn’t know. She didn’t know I’ve struggled with my weight and self esteem my whole life. She didn’t know I have already lost 60 pounds, and she didn’t know that I’m in the process of working on bettering myself. So I can’t be angry, and though I’m not going to lie and say my feelings weren’t a little bruised.

Instead of harping on this, I’m going to do my best to not only shrug it off but to turn this negative experience into a positive one. We all needed to be grounded sometimes. That woman made me realize how much we have an impact on others, and how our words and actions not only affect ourselves, but those around us.  So instead of beating myself up, I am going to continue to use my words and actions to inspire others, and in the meantime make myself better. I won’t let her words affect me, instead I’ll use them as fuel to keep working harder!

And yeah, I’ve officially signed up for the April Dietbet. I may have a gambling problem. Lets bring it April!

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These are just a few of the nice comments I’ve received. Thank you thank you all so much for the support! you have no idea what it means to me!

Forever ..Sometimes.. not always last in Gym class.

Wow, it has been 9 months since I created this blog! It all started with my first and favorite post:

Call me the little engine that could of Crossfit, or the underdog, or lost and misguided, but no matter what you call me I am proud to call myself a Crosffiter. I have drank the “Kool-Aid” if you will, and boy do I love Kool Aid. Being overweight my whole life, I have constantly tried different methods for losing weight. I’d go through yo-yo periods of weight loss and gain. When college came, I had almost admitted defeat and accepted my pleasantly plump physique.

After I graduated college in may I was at my heaviest-230 pounds. I thought about doing the old gym and diet routine I had tried and failed throughout the years but my sister presented me with an idea that changed my life. We were sitting down one day and she asked if I’d consider doing Crossfit with her.

Cross-what? I was completely turned off already. Still she persisted so I looked at videos online to see what it was all about. Then I had almost completely shut the door. Seeing fit, in shape looking people, lifting heavy weights and doing crazy, impossible looking movements did not exactly motivate me. All I could think was “I can’t do that”Not giving up my sister forced me to go for a consult at the gym, or as I’d later come to find out it was called a box, just to see for ourselves. I met the owner, Kevin, and he would be an amazing car salesman because after a short meeting I was sold.

He convinced me that anybody could do Crossfit, and movements could always be scaled to individual ability. Though skeptical I fit into the “anybody” category still, I decided to give it a whirl. I began foundations class with my sister, a beginners class to prepare you for the real thing. After my first foundations class I thought many things: This is an intro class? I am severely out of shape, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse pain in my life, and lastly I think I can do this.

I may be the girl tripping over the box during box jumps, or the last one to finish a 400 meter run, or the one whos crab walk looks like they are missing a leg, but I show up and finish my workout just like everyone else. I have never felt so welcomed or comfortable in a gym before. The coaches and trainers all work with me and push me to my limits and to always do my best. The people in my class cheer me on and always greet me with a smile. In October, after only being at the gym a few months, I found myself being titled Member of the Month, an accomplishment I am truly proud of no matter how cheesy it sounds.

That was August of last year and I’m still staying strong, meanwhile getting stronger. I completely fell in love and for the first time in my life have enjoyed exercise and found something I can stick with. I am now 40 pounds lighter, stronger, and inspired. In the time I’ve been Crossfiting, I’ve completed a 50,000 meter Rowathon, completed the Whole Life Challenge, ran in 5 5k races, one 5 mile race, gave up carbs, said no to cheese, and many other things I never thought possible. However my fitness goals are far from completed and my fitness journey is just beginning. If you ever thought you couldn’t do it, or if you were like me, and always last in gym, class, or if you genuinely enjoy a good laugh then feel free to follow my blog and see where it takes me.

I am still the girl who is forever last in gym class, but at least this time in the Crossfit world being last means everyone cheering for you the loudest.

Continue reading “Forever ..Sometimes.. not always last in Gym class.”

When the scale just wont moveeeee: KEEP GOING.

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I’ve been having such issues with that damn box lately. My diet has been on point, my exercise game has been stepped up, and I’ve been drinking my gallon of water a day. I even overcame my weekend temptations even though this past weekend was a very difficult one! But alas, the scale just won’t go down. I mean, it’s not going up either which I guess is a victory in itself.

I know many people can share my frustrations. It is very discouraging to put in so much time, effort, and exert so much willpower and then not see results on the scale. Its easy to lose hope or to “give up.” I know this has been my mentality and excuse in the past. “It’s just not working,” and then I’d go a-wol. But I’ve learned through this process that there are many other things to look at besides the number on a scale to gauge process.

Ask yourself these questions..Do you feel more energy?, are  you happier ?, do your clothes fit a little looser ?, are you down a size?, are your workouts are easier?, do you feel stronger?(ect), these are all victories! Even if the number doesn’t reflect your hard work, these things are all signs pointing in the right direction. This is a big flashing billboard saying “KEEP GOING” you are doing something right! Results will follow; it’s a marathon not a sprint.  If you are answering no to these questions, don’t worry just re-asses what you are doing and make changes. You will find what works for you! This is a big game of trial and error and everybody is different and has their own formulas for success. The trick is finding yours.

Another thing that’s helpful: progress pics. Who doesn’t love to see results in photos right? Sometimes I don’t think I’ve made any progress than I look back to photos of me from months, even years ago. Woof! Take pictures of yourself weekly, even if they are just for yourself, and trust me you will see the gradual progress, and that my friends is a wonderful feeling! Scale may read one way, but a picture is worth 1,000 words, for better or for worse. Don’t lose faith, and remember you’ve come a long way. And if you haven’t yet, you will!

I’m not saying its all rainbows and butterflies because some days I really just want to take a hammer to that thing, but the key is to stay positive and enjoy the journey! Even if you are not at your goal destination just stop and reflect on how far you’ve come. The little things all add it. And remember it is just a stupid number! It doesn’t mean anything. If you look and feel better, who really cares about a number.

It took me 23 years to create a body I hate, so I need to remember it may take more than a few months or weeks to transform it to a body I love. So any of y’all struggling out there, there is a light at the end of this long, treacherous tunnel. I do have lose these pounds though, I’m in it to win it for this Dietbet and Biggest Loser Challenge. Money is a beautiful incentive! I have a few weeks left to get in gear and knock of these 5 pesky pounds.(for the Dietbet, 11 more for the Biggest Loser to reach my goal) I’ve kind of been teetering along these past few weeks but it’s time to sprint to the finish line! Wish me luck….

Failure to plan is planning to fail…

My biggest issue lately has been failing to plan… my meals. Therefore, I am going hungry which is not a good thing. Because nothing good comes from being haaangry. I don’t prepare for the day or week, then when I’m hungry I don’t have anything I am “allowing’ myself or choosing to eat so I choose not to eat until I can buy or make something I want.. Now, before you go and thinking I’m starving myself, trust me I’m not.I love food way too much to every get to a point where I feel really starving, and I’m thankful I am blessed enough to never be in that situation. But regardless, i haven’t been making the best choices.

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There are some solutions. I’ve tried ordering food for a week from a Paleo delivery place. Let me tell you, nothing against Paleo because I do enjoy the food offered, but  I wasted a whole bunch of money and food that week because I couldn’t stomach it. Let’s just say it looked and sounded better on my computer screen than it tasted. I also see so many people on Instagram and other forms of social media “meal prepping” where they spend a whole day, usually a Sunday or Monday where they cook up their chicken and veggies, measure it, and put it in their Tupperware and they are set till Friday. Now, this is pretty key, and pretty brilliant. But its not something that excites me in any way, shape, or form. First of all, you have to set aside the time and money, which isn’t the hard part. The hard part that really makes me nervous is the thought of eating the same thing every day alll week. I know it works for many people but this is just not something I think is sustainable for me. I’m on a lifestyle journey here, so I’m trying to figure out something that works for me.

But I need to do something or start somewhere. Eating out all the time is too hard to remain compliant and too easy to be tempted or over do it calories wise so I’m going to just try and do it my own variation of meal prep. So I’m going to start with picking a day to go grocery shopping once a week and making lists of things to keep on hand so I’m always ready. Or by making a list of the week and try and figure out what I am going to make or eat on each day, and by looking up recipes ahead of time. I love t make lists so hopefully I can stick with it. Small steps, right?

Anyone who has other ideas or tricks, please feel free to share!

March Motivation

So the day was pretty much over by the time I realized it was March 1st. Maybe it was the 5 inches of snow in what feels like the longest winter ever (I probably say this every winter) or maybe it’s because I just don’t pay attention to things.(You can decide, but i’m going with the snowstorm.) I noticed something though tonight, so I do pay attention sometimes. Typically, I get the “Sunday night blues” because Sunday is my least favorite night of the week and I get the Monday dread. The anxiety for the coming week and the sadness that the weekend is over usually is enough to put a damper on my evening. But this Sunday, I felt something different. I wasn’t dreading this week but instead ready to kick this week’s….butt. Annd its snowing. The old me would see this snowstorm as an excuse or a get out jail free card from my work out in the morning. But tonight I find myself feeling anxious for the opposite reason,  that I will miss it. “Should I set my alarm earlier so I can shovel it out..?” “Ehh, maybe I should  just skip…no wait it’s front squats..I have to go.” Wait what?? Who am I? Where are these thoughts coming from?Totally a new speed for me but I think its best to just roll with it and not question it.

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Which lead me to my next new Sunday night ritual. Setting goals for the week. While on Instagram today I saw lots of posts about “March Goals” and thought it was a cool idea. Love finding new ways to hold myself accountable so I decided to make my own list and share it…so maybe that will help? Well, here goes mine–

1. Run a 5k once a week. I’ve been really negligent about running even though I’ve signed up for all these races already this year and would like to finish a little faster than a snail’s pace. So I am going to try and run at least one day every week.

2. Chug Chug Chug. Water (unfortunately). I want to drink a gallon of water everyday this month. I have had some good results from this before but have a hard time staying consistent so I want to see what happens if  I do for an entire month.

3.No drinking. I’ve been lax on this during my biggest loser challenge but I need to stick with it and hold out until this competition is over. I have one built in exception though, my best friends birthday which just so happens to fall on St. Patricks Day 😉 (I know this is cheating and I didn’t even start yet but the point of this blog is to be completely honest right?)I chose March because its a month before my birthday..see what I did there.

4.Lower carbs… (this one hurts me as I write it).  My trainer yelled at me for eating so many carbs when I showed him my food logs. (Strictly because of the competition….)This is going to be the hardest one but if I’ve done Paleo for 3 months I can certainly do this.Thank god for cheese.

5. Put effort into my Crossfit goals. I will have been doing Crossfit for almost two years now and there are some things that I “wish” i could do, ie: double unders, hand stand pushups, pull ups.. but hardly ever attempt or try. Well wishing I could do it is never going to get me there so I’ve faced the facts..I actually need to practice. I may never be able to do some or all things in Crosffit but I will never get there if I don’t try. I think I am going to start with double unders.

Okay so I only have 5 but I would say these are 5 mighty large goals, and not going to be easy but I am going to try try try. It’s all anybody can do right? Now if only this snow would go away. I wish there was a counter dance I could do that would deflect the snow dance that people must be still doing for no school tommorow. I got things to do, places to see, and goals to be conquered. This girl aint got no time for snow anymore.

If you don’t hashtag did it even happen?

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It’s no secret that I’ve been trying to lose weight, (Hence this blog) but for me the biggest thing is accountability. If I open up about my journey and announce to the world my plans…..well hey now I have to do it right? I found when I have more people to be “accountable to” I tend to do better.. Not saying that I am doing this for any other person besides myself because I am doingit for me, but it does help when you put yourself out there.

So in addition to this blog, the Biggest loser challenge at the edge, the Spartan races I have signed up for, I also have an Instagram account. I have found myself on Instagram being inspired by so many people who have been successful with their own weightless journeys. All you have to do is search “weight loss” hashtags and prepare to be amazed. When I was feeling down or having an off day I would go to these pages and become inspired and hopeful again.  It’s like a secret underground world of supportive people cheering each other on and supporting each other. Feeling a little  bit jealous and left out  I decided that if they can do it, so can, so I joined in. I wanted to document my story too so hopefully I can look back one day at all the progress I made. (dreams right?) I made a separate one because I want it to be different from my day to day personal postings. Also, let’s be honest I didn’t want to be annoying or humiliate myself. There are a lot of haters out there and people quick to judge,  but I’ve decided another thing I need to work on is not caring so much about what other people think, (and some people have found it already anyways) so if you’d like to follow me here it is—–>foreverlastingymclass.

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I don’t want to shove my story down anyone’s throats or post constantly to brag. It’s not about bragging its about accountability. So if you want to follow me go ahead, and if you don’t that’s more than fine too! Just keep it positive. Don’t want to have to shake shake shake any haters off. My goal is to get myself healthy and in shape, and to feel comfortable in my own skin. But hey if I inspire a few people a long the way too, that would be awesome!

“Trust the Process”

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Throughout this weight-loss journey, I have learned this as a valuable lesson… I now am beginning “Trust the process.” When I finally gave up the word diet and starting looking at this as a lifestyle change, I’ve found I’ve been staying more consistent and seeing better results.

In my past weight loss attempts I would be super strict and  restrict myself on all different kinds of foods. I promised myself “when I finish this diet” in x amount of days I am going to have so much pizza (or bread, or ice cream or whatever I gave up). Or during the weekends when I’d decide ..”On Monday I’ll start my diet” , so until Monday comes  I am going to eat as much and as unhealthily as I possibly can” And then I’d wonder why it would backfire, or why I couldn’t produce consistent results.

With this new year and my new frame of mind I have found that this isn’t a diet a I am waiting to finish or feel like I am starving or restricting myself. If I have a “cheat” (even though I hate that phrase) meal because I woke up that morning and really needed pancakes from Chips (which happens more than you would think) instead of wishing I could have it or dreaming about it or promising myself endless pancakes when I lose the (10, 15, 20, 50, 100) pounds that I wanted, I just eat it! I don’t feel guilty and just do it. The differences is, in the past I would say “oh well I already blew it for today” so might as well let it all go and start fresh tomorrow. Instead,  I just make my next choice a better one. Whether its eating a salad for lunch, or getting in a workout after, I don’t throw in the towel of all my hard work because I gave into one craving.

Another thing that would deter me is the “results are coming fast enough” so maybe I should just give up. I would workout everyday, track my food all week, and then hop on the scale at the end of the week and not be down significantly or sometimes even at all. I would feel hopeless and just want to give up.  I expected my body to be where I want it to be after a little bit of effort, when it took 23 years to get this way in the first place. I’ve definitely learned patience and that if the scale isn’t moving but my pants feel a little loser and I feel more energized, than hey ! I’m doing something right.

I’m no where near where I want to be but I feel like I am finally in the right state of mind and feeling happier and healthier, so I’m hoping that if I continue to “trust the process” the results will follow.