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You have to be ready to change.

Friday, March 09, 2012

8 years ago, I went to therapy for a bit for the various bumps and bruises life can give our mental and emotional selves. It was good for me, I came out of it a lot better adjusted. But one of the things the therapist told me that has stuck with me was "You were ready to change."

That's one thing that I've realized, no matter what you're talking about, that the person has to be ready to change, or they won't. No one can change you from the outside if you are not ready on the inside.

I've tried to do weight loss and diets and exercise before. But I was never *really* ready to change. I wanted the results without having to put in the effort to achieve them. I wanted to lose weight and get in shape, but I wasn't really ready to make the changes required.

I'd even think about the changes I was going to make... some day. Some day I was going to walk more. Some day I was going to not sit at my computer until bedtime. But these were all 'some day', which as we all know, never comes.

Now that's not to say I was entirely unwilling. I had already made many positive changes. I was eating what was arguably very good stuff most of the time, I was just eating too much of it, or allowing too many 'treats' in the mix. I had made some wonderful changes to my diet, but I still had one last bump keeping me from moving forward.

One month ago, my work decided to hold a 'Biggest Looser' competition. The idea was, of course, if you get to the end of the 8 weeks and have lost the greatest percentage of weight, you win the prize. The prize in this case being cash. I could always use a little extra, and I'm pretty competitive by nature. One of the things I hate about exercise is having to do it alone (my closest friends tend to live just far enough away or have just different enough schedules to make it hard to coordinate with them.)

But this... this was a competition with cash! I'll exercise alone for that! And so I started. Day one of the contest, I took myself for a walk on my break. And then on day two. And on day three. And suddenly I was walking every day on both breaks. And then sometimes I was walking on my lunch breaks, too! I even bought an xbox with kinect so I could exercise at home.

Sometimes others in the contest would walk with me, sometimes I walk alone. And I'm finding that when I'm walking during the work-day, I rather prefer being alone for those 10 or 20 or 30 minutes, getting out of the office into some fresh air, listening to the wind or the birds, just letting my stress fade and my head clear.

Five weeks in, I'm 7 pounds down. Five weeks in, I look forward to my daily exercises. Five weeks in, I'm tracking like a fantasy character Ranger and making a daily challenge of keeping in my calorie range. Five weeks in and I am rocking the portion control and healthy restaurant choices. Five weeks in and I'm being told how much of an inspiration I am to others in the contest.

Ten years in, and I am finally ready to change.
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