Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Several years ago, i shared a very personal bit over on Rage Against the Minivan, about my personal struggle with PCOS and obesity. Very personal. Writing that bit was an important turning point for me. Like facing something you don't like, out loud, instead of just in your head. Something about that makes the problem seem smaller and dealt with, like venting to a friend. Just the venting makes the problem smaller.
This past year, after reaching a new high weight and seeing a trend of effortless and constant weight gain, i determined that i had to make a change. I didn't know what change i had to make exactly, but i decided that if i could only start a trend, no matter how slow, toward being healthier, toward not gaining weight, that that would be better. No lofty ideas about being skinny or losing 100 pounds in six months or getting into a non plus size pair of jeans, nothing like that. Just to head in the right direction, instead of the wrong one. (There's your humble ambition, right there.)
So, i talked to strangers on the internet, who have dealt with similar body issues as me, and i made more changes, and that helped a lot. I also determined to keep a habit to show up at the gym every morning before work. Just show up and do something. And don't hurt yourself. I used to have a habit of hurting myself on treadmills.
The end of 2013 marked six months of keeping that habit.
And in six months, i've lost a solid 10 pounds.
Really, i lost those ten pounds in the first two months. But i kept them off for four more months, and that's a trend in the right direction.
But the real point is not that.
The thing that i have really found is that i am so much stronger.
One of the times that i started getting on the treadmill in the mornings, before one of the times that i hurt myself and had to 'take a break,' i was seriously winded after ten minutes on the treadmill at a very slow pace. And i felt self conscious for being the poster child for obesity. But now, i consistently walk 30-40 minutes, five days a week, at a pace that will actually make you sweat. I'm much less prone to injuries because i've built the muscles around my weak joints. And instead of feeling self-conscious, i feel like a deep-cover super hero, masked by a deceiving outer layer, covering up the part of me that's getting stronger and stronger.
I am amazed at how such small changes have made such a big difference. Sometimes i think that my resistance to making giant changes all at once might be just a manifestation of laziness. But it isn't. Making small long term changes, a little at a time, is a formula for success. And patience is the fuel that gets you there. Well, i definitely have to give the credit to God, who helps me to understand that patience has the ability to wait because it knows that a better end is coming.
And i might also think that i could revise my goal from "no matter how slow," to maybe something like, "even if it's really slow," because ten pounds in six months is wow, super duper slow.
And that's still o.k. Because i'm stronger.