BAGA: Part Three

More than an extra

Borrowed from "Asphyxia" on Squidoo dot com
For most of my life, I've lived as though I were simply an extra in the film of life. I showed up, I did my part, but I didn't make any decisions, I didn't have a voice of my own, and I sure didn't take (or get) any credit for my role. This is the fate that growing up in a dysfunctional home handed me.

For a while.

No matter what background I come from, I hold a powerful tool in my hands. It's called choice.

It's easy to sit in the same old and complain that life seems to be happening to me, and nothing ever seems to change.

Read that last sentence carefully. What's missing? ACTION! The only activity I was participating in was talk, and we all know what talk is....!

When I decided I wanted my future to look different from my past, I had to ACT to make a change happen. My kids couldn't wish me to lose weight, quit smoking, or be a healthier mother. I'm sure they prayed for it many nights. I know their prayers were heard. The only way to go from their wish to a change was for me to arrive at the same place and make an ACTIVE CHOICE to become something different.

I've been working on developing a life plan over the last week. It's been very challenging. You see, extras don't get to give input. They have a passive role, although they are necessary. What good is a scene at a sporting event within a movie if the seats in the arena are empty? It's when I stopped being part of the nameless crowd, choose a goal and WORK toward that achievement that I finally stumbled upon some truly great revelations:

1. Change evokes change in others. 
This is exactly why shows like "The Biggest Loser" have lasted for so long and affected the lives of so many. Although I will likely never appear on the show and stay at the ranch (although, NBC...I could be convinced to!), watching the show helped propel me on a weight loss journey several years and two babies ago. My own journey inspired my workplace to sponsor a "Biggest Loser" competition. I'm happy to say that although I've put the weight back on, several others who told me I inspired them have been FAR more successful.

2. Change gets easier.
Although at first, my journey of self-recovery was extremely painful, it became easier to the point where I now WANT to change more of my bad habits. I don't pretend that new issues will be easier to change at the beginning, but I don't fear the failure of attempted change. Something within me recognizes that change is possible. It's just as possible to fail. Remember what Dr. Phil said: "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior…so you have got to create a new history."

3. Change only happens within, not on others.
This is probably one of the hardest parts of change I had to learn. Although I could influence and motivate others when I made changes in my own life, I could not change others. Not everyone who watched my transformation was motivated to do something actively in their own lives. That is completely fine. I am not going to held responsible for the choices of another to change or to stay the same. I can and only will be responsible for my own changes.

This is extremely difficult at times for me to accept, especially when parenting. It is so easy to want my children to change their habits to be like me, but in reality, I don't want them to be mini-me's. I want them to be inspired by the changes they see me willing to make and to act on their own. I will love them either way. But truly loving them requires them to make their own choices.

Where do you see something within yourself that you don't like? What can you choose to do to change? If you struggle making the change, are you willing to keep at it, or will you give up quickly? How can you build in self-accountability and/or rewards for the journey? Feel free to share your change ideas in the comments, and of course...

~~As a side note, if you are enjoying the posts about becoming a great actress, please RT the blog ( and comments using #greatactress.


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