Recently I had the good fortune of meeting the inspirational and highly motivated winner of the reality show, The Biggest Loser, Ali Vincent. At the recent Chat, Chew & Chocolate retreat, Ali shares her compelling story through her lens of fear, doubt and deep shame. Along her path she summons the courage and strength to challenge her greatest beliefs about herself. Ali pushes through her pain and loss and emerges not only the winner of The Biggest Loser, but fully embraces the empowered woman that she has become.
How did she find the motivation? How did she dare to stare her demons down? What lessons can we derive from her excruciating journey from self-loathing to self-love?
Somewhere along the line, Ali, once a champion synchronized swimmer, let her dreams of doing something great in life slip away. Her mother was okay with her own obesity and ‘being fat’ became normalized within the complexities of this mother-daughter relationship. Along with gradual and persistent weight gain, came the loss of her determination, hope and dreams.
Periodically Ali summoned the willpower to experiment with a new diet. “This time it will work.” Inevitably she end up sabotaging herself and giving up on her attempt to lose weight. For years the motivation for Ali was extrinsic. That is, the motivation came from the outside. She tried to lose weight to please others, to fit in and to feel more lovable.
When Ali began to align her motivation with her internal values and beliefs things began to change. Her journey to success began with the regular maintaining of her journal. She kept writing down her thoughts, feelings, and mood shifts to raise her level of self-awareness.
She started to tell herself throughout the day that, “I know that I was put here to make a difference in the world.” “Why can’t I be powerful enough to have balance, love and success?” “I can create my own destiny.” “I can do anything for a minute.” This led her to believe she could do anything for two minutes… Ali added “I had to fake it until I made it.” Eventually her journaling, self-talk and faking it wove its way into her unconscious mind and she began to authentically believe in herself.
Ali chose to step into her life and embarked upon an emotional and spiritual journey. She incorporated visualizations into everyday of her preparation for The Biggest Loser. Ali visualized feeling great about herself from the inside out. She pictured what she would wear when she won the contest. As she told her story she exuded strength and power mixed with moments of self-doubt and fear. “I kept choosing to know my fear. I kept choosing to own my fear. That was the way I emerged from my fear.”
Ali visualized her outfit as she graciously accepted the big win. She imagined the confetti falling all around her and her audience, as she held her arms high in triumph. Ali chose to push past her fears and step into her greatness.
What can you do to step into your greatness?