The Quest for My Best Me

By on December 7, 2016
Kathy Carlton Willis

I like to joke that I’m the poster child when it comes to having all the obstacles to pursuing wellness through diet and exercise. Frequently, those who read about my weight-loss success say they wish they could achieve the same outcome, and then they offer up reasons (or are they excuses?) for why they can’t do it. That’s when I tell them I’m the poster child for that way of thinking, and if I can overcome it, so can they.

I have several diseases that hinder me from an optimal quality of life. I’ve had nearly 20 surgeries that left me more impaired than repaired. My medical side effects are hard to fight. And the fatigue I’m left with makes it hard to be motivated to move more when all I want to do is move less.

4 Ways I Progressed Toward My Optimal Best Despite Obstacles

  • I had to choose wellness mentally and give up every excuse or reason. Those excuses gave me permission to not try, and I knew I had to at least attempt health improvements, despite the obstacles.
  • I had to invest time, energy, and focus, making the changes gradually to prevent a setback. I adopted the role of physical trainer and nutritionist and devoted the time necessary to customize a plan that would work for me, even with my special challenges.
  • To be honest, I have pain during or after workouts. I’m learning when the pain indicates I’ve exacerbated my health conditions. Sometimes pain doesn’t mean I need to stop. It’s merely my body growling at having to increase effort when it’s been dormant for a long time. Basic “stirring-things-up” pain might be the price for gaining overall wellness. I can put up with temporary pain to get to my goal. (Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones are going to complain about us working them when they aren’t used to it!) But I have to be wise and stop something or alter how I do it if I’m injuring myself or causing a setback in my health conditions. You’ll recognize the difference as you go along.
  • I had to clear some time in my schedule to do this. Not just the workouts but the meal planning and preparation. For me, that meant going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, and watching less TV. I had to change the way I do the rest of my daily functions. For example, I’m emailing shorter notes than my usual epistles to friends. I eat out less (food prep actually takes less time than going out to eat—it’s healthier for me and gives me the time I can spend exercising). I need to just plain old “show up.”

This Quest for My Best all started with the will to do it and then I knew I could figure out away. I’m able to do things the physical therapists and surgeons said I’d never be able to do, so I know it’s possible!

fall scents for your home

I share this so you will choose to be brave and join me on your own quest for your best. Don’t let the obstacles become roadblocks or dead-ends to your success. See them as merely speed bumps or detours. Even with challenges that hinder your progress—it’s still progress.

At this point, my progress list is as long as my list of special challenges. Now, who wouldn’t want that? Go for it!

Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. She shines the light on issues that hold readers back. The Quest for My Best Me is the result of Kathy losing over 60 pounds with 30 more to go. She no longer needs several medications and some of her medical conditions have reversed. Kathy and husband Russ live in Texas with Jazzy, their hilarious Boston terrier.

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About Kathy Carlton Willis

Kathy Carlton Willis writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. She shines the light on issues that hold readers back and inspires their own lightbulb moments. Almost a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published and she has several books releasing over the next three years, including Grin with Grace with AMG Publishers (at amazon: She and her husband/pastor, Russ, live in Texas. Learn more at:

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The Quest for My Best Me