I watched the reality show, “The Biggest Loser,” for the first time last night. I found myself fascinated with the contestants, the trainers, and the hope of a new beginning. I watched in disbelief as the contestants were scoffed, humiliated and screamed at. I caught myself wondering how much money they’d paid to put themselves through days and possible weeks of emotional torture. But then I saw the look of victory when each one stepped on the scale. The reward. The sense of accomplishment. The hard times that were no longer for naught.
I saw parallels with what we go through on our stepparenting journey. We are given a new beginning and walk into re-marriage with a sense of hope. We come from defeated pasts – perhaps dysfunctional ways. But just like those battling obesity – we refuse to let our past define us.
But we don’t realize how hard the journey will be. As one contestant on the show, Nikki, said, “I knew it would be tough but I wasn’t ready for the emotional part. It’s more emotional than anyone can imagine. ” The 2 1/2 hour workouts, the controlling environment, living with strangers in small quarters. It proved too much for Nikki. After a workout that turned confrontational with lead trainer, Jillian Michaels, Nikki was given a choice: “What do you want to do? There’s the door or will you do the workout?” Jillian asked. With tears streaming down her face, Nikki quit.
Have you felt that way as a stepparent? I know I have. But unlike Nikki, I’m thankful I didn’t quit.
How do you keep from quitting on hard days? Here are some words from experienced trainers on the show that can apply to us as stepparents:
– You have to dig deep and make a choice
– “I quit” cannot be in your vocabulary
– Push through the terror of failing because it’s so worth it on the other side
– Lose the victim mentality
– Shake it off. You can do this!
– It’s never too late to discover what’s holding you back
– As rough as it gets, you must keep moving forward
New beginnings offer hope. But we must embrace the challenges and do the work to get to the finish line. Just like weight loss, the reward is at the end of the journey but worth every ounce of effort when you get there.
If your stepfamily is struggling, commit to a new beginning. Dig deep and make a choice to march onward, against the waves of turmoil into a sea of hope. Begin anew each morning with your focus on the positives. You can do this!
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
Do you need to make a new beginning? The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to commit to a fresh start in your stepfamily relationships.