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Take It Easy

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Monday, June 04, 2012

So, I know it seems like I’ve been doing quite a lot lately in the way of fitness and running and all that good stuff. I have to be honest and admit that sometimes I worry that people that are new to SparkPeople or to healthy living in general will read some of the things I write, get inspired and then try to do too much too soon.

It’s interesting that I would post a warning like this, considering the fact that the moment I hear the words “don’t try to do too much too soon”, I instantly get defensive. In fact, it’s bordering on upset. I want to instinctively lash back at the person and say, “How dare you lecture me? Do you know my body? Do you know what I’m capable of? Do you think I’m stupid and won’t be careful and would knowingly do something to injure myself?”

Some of these folks are not qualified to say this to me. Others really are qualified – case in point, PAPAMIKIE who is a certified running coach. You can see his warning to me in my previous blog entitled “Important Information on Running”.

But, if I’m truthful, it was difficult for me to get to the point with PAPAMIKIE’s message where I calmed down enough to truly see what he was saying and take his advice as an expert in the field.

When it comes to this journey of health and fitness, our pride should take a back seat to an expert’s wise advice.

That being said, I am not at ALL claiming to be ANY kind of expert. In fact, quite the opposite. I am nobody. I am not a certified personal trainer. I am just a beginning runner and, frankly, I just started this journey four months ago.

It would be a lie if I said I haven’t worked hard to get to where I am today. I have worked hard. I’ve tracked my food religiously and denied myself plenty to stay within my calorie range most days. But I’ve also failed colossally and had some pretty bad eating days. I’ve worked running into my schedule, as if it were a work appointment. And I have not missed a day. However, I don’t expect to be able to keep that appointment EVERY SINGLE time. Things happen. I’ve got three kids and a full-time job and SOMETHING will happen on some miserable day that will cause me to miss a run.

So I am not at all perfect. But I am disciplined. I am determined. And I have been successful.

The thing is…I didn’t start off this way. Yes, there was that day that I decided enough was enough and I was going to do this and do it right. I have not looked back since that day.

But, before that, there was a day that I decided enough was enough and guess what? I was going strong for a few months and then I got sick, went on vacation, got lazy and my health journey at that point ended. I was MIA from SparkPeople for 7 months – gaining weight and slowly killing my body the entire time.

Even when I came back to SparkPeople in February, I was still skeptical. Still doubting myself. I was tentatively tracking, sporadically adding activity and for the most part, avoiding a lot of hard truths about how I was treating my body. I still wasn’t respecting myself. I started C25K and quit after 2 weeks. I continued to learn about health and my motivation for wanting to get healthy. I thought a lot about my life. I started C25K again.

It wasn’t until May 6th (3 months after I had re-started on SparkPeople) that I finally “got it”. That was the day that things shifted in my brain and in my heart and the healthy lifestyle took hold. This is when it finally began to feel second nature.

What I’m saying is…if you are just starting out with SparkPeople or exercising or making small healthy changes to your diet, don’t despair. You can bet that you won’t be able to meet your calorie range every single day. You won’t be able to run 2 miles your first time out. You may have trouble just getting your body to even shuffle along. Or walking might even be tough for you. One of the cornerstones of this site is starting small. Very small changes made gradually WILL change your entire outlook and your life. You can read inspiring blogs all day long on here and get excited about victories that your SparkFriends are achieving. That’s a wonderful way to start a spark in your own life!

But one of the most important lessons I am learning through all of this is not to compare my progress, my body, my diet, my running program, my weight loss to anyone else. Because it won’t be the same. My body doesn’t respond the same as anyone else’s body. My body is unique. My personality is unique. And this is MY journey. Not someone else’s.

Be motivated by your SparkFriends. Be happy for them when they achieve. Understand that something that might seem small to them could be monumental for you and vice versa. And both are equally spectacular. And be proud of yourself when you see progress, whether that be a perfect week of eating within your calorie range or one simple choice to eat a salad for lunch instead of a burger.

We are all here to be the best that we can be. Together, we can get there. Do your thing, friend. And I’ll do mine. And we will each be victorious in our own special way.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    WOW!! Perfect timing, just what I needed to hear. Thanks for the inspiration. emoticon

    This moment I call a "God Wink" (just in the moment of despair, He brings someone, something, some moment into your life to show you the way)
    2115 days ago
  • TIFFY0906
    Great blog
    2118 days ago
  • CATDUG19
    You took the words right out of my mouth! I too am relatively new to a healthy lifestyle and it has been about the small changes that add up to a huge difference. I think it is hard when you get to the "That;s it stage" it just do baby steps because you feel so much guilt for getting yourself in this shape. Thank you for your blog I look forward to hearing your honest interpretation of your journey emoticon
    2118 days ago
    Another great blog. Agree with all the others here, you do a great job of inspiring and spreading the spark!! Keep it up!

    emoticon emoticon
    2118 days ago
    this dual role of spark is fascinating, really - to be motivated by others and to provide motivation too - you do such a fantastic job of it, keep it up! emoticon
    2118 days ago
  • AWOOD1973
    Fantastic blog! You never fail to inspire, or keep it real! And way to listen to your body and what it needs to be happy and healthy! emoticon
    2118 days ago
    thank you for sharing and inspiring us as usual :)
    u r amazing emoticon
    2118 days ago
  • VIVID1106
    Thanks for the knowlege that I am not the only one who doesn't quite "get it" yet.( you months ago.. me right now) I know what i need to do I just can't seem to get myself to do it! Thanks for showing me there is a light at the end of the tunnel I just gotta find it on my own way with a little help from everyone elses shinning examples of success hopefully i will find my own way sooner rather then later!
    2118 days ago
  • SHEKINA721
    Great blog! I really needed a reminder to stop comparing myself to others in all aspects of my life - including dieting. Also nice to know that I am not the only one that falls off the wagon occasionally - I thought something was wrong with me... the important thing is to keep picking myself up! Thanks for the inspiration :)
    2118 days ago
    Wonderful insights! It's a great reminder that we don't usually "get it" the first time, but that if we plug away at it hopefully something will click and change our perspective forever. I started really working at it last December and did well for 3 months and then-like you said-had issues that interrupted things. I instead focused on maintaining my weight loss and then recently got back into the routine of daily exercise to kick start the weight loss again. I spoke with another friend about the 5K in September I'm planning. I figure the more people I tell, the less likely I'll be to chicken out!!
    Keep up the great work girl!
    2118 days ago
    Well said, all of it. Great reminders for us all to bear in mind!
    2118 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog!!! Yes you need to start very slow and take it easy at first. You need to pay attention to what your body is telling you at all times. Be careful what you do so you don't injure or hurt yourself in anyway, shape or form. I hope this helps someone too. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Day and Week.
    2118 days ago
    Great blog! Very interesting (and often frustrating), the part about our brains "getting in gear", isn't it? I've talked about it plenty with my friends... how very strange it is that a person can hate where they're at.... know what they need to do to change it... and yet feel powerless to do so. It's like there are several pieces of some invisible puzzle that either line up... or they don't.

    I'm thrilled that my "pieces" are cooperating right now and SO very happy that yours are too. You're right - each journey is unique. And for those whose pieces aren't fitting together right now, keep on doing the best you can where you can. Eventually things will come together!
    2118 days ago

    Your "spark" is so emoticon

    I HAVE feel shame & guilt while
    reading ALL you've ACCOMPLISHED
    in such a short time in your blogs

    I HAVE been comparing myself to You &
    all your exercising.
    It is NOT your fault, but that is how I
    ended up overdoing it yesterday &
    am paying today with pains & all-day headache.

    Again, it's MY fault, NOT YOURS !

    Keep up YOUR emoticon -ness !!

    Have a Terrific Tuesday

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2118 days ago
    What a great blog. I find that I am always comparing myself to others. I really need to remember that I am my own person and what works for someone else may not work for me. Thank you for giving me that reminder.
    2118 days ago
    My hubby... a long time runner since 1976 always has good advice. He told me to get comfortable with a 5K before attempting anything else. He always told me to build a solid base. That way I could add one mile at a time (once a week) when the time came. ( and that worked) He also reminds me ( even now) that I need to crawl before I walk! Hang in there and take it easy on yourself. Listen to your body. It does speak clearly to us if we pay attention. emoticon
    2118 days ago
    "But one of the most important lessons I am learning through all of this is not to compare my progress, my body, my diet, my running program, my weight loss to anyone else. "

    So true - it is one of the reasons for my sometimes discontent. I believe it is also one of the reasons that "I am never satisfied with anything I do" as I said in my last blog, because I am comparing myself with others, therefore disappointed in myself.

    And like you, it's hard for me to hear words of caution, even from my trainer. But if it weren't for her, I might be injured by now with running when I wasn't ready and pushing through pain in my elbows.

    Great blog!

    Good stuff.
    2118 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    You are so right! I really needed to hear this today.

    I keep telling myself that everyone has their own journey. Sometimes it's hard to hold back competitiveness and to realize that the only person you're competing against is yourself. The exercise is hard for me. As they say, the mind is willing. Now if my body would just get the message. It's hard to go slowly when you're motivated!

    Thanks so much for your support. It helps.
    2118 days ago
    So true! My huge accomplishment may be nothing to you (or another) and vice versa....thank you for the reminder!
    2118 days ago
  • SRBSRB26
    I appreciate your sharing.
    2118 days ago
    well said everyone's body is different most people just look out for each other I guess. Nut I was defensive the same way so i know where you are coming from lol. good luck on your journey I am glad I can see you go through this journey its lots of fun!!!!
    2118 days ago
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