Friday, July 06, 2012
How many times have we said "I'm going to start eating right." or "I'm going to start exercising". Maybe you have said "Tomorrow, I begin tracking my food." Perhaps you have even uttered, "I'm going to lose X number of pounds." Every journey begins with a dream, including the journey to "Health & Fitness". Perhaps we are inspired by another's journey there. Maybe our physician has suggested we need to make the trip. Perhaps there is a future event (class reunion, family gathering, or Caribbean vacation) that makes you want to journey there.
The next step we make is to plan how to achieve the dream. This is where you do your research on methods for shedding weight and getting fit. This might be why you joined Sparkpeople and are reading this very blog. You are gathering information and acquiring knowledge so you can make the journey.
Next you pack for the journey. This is where you dust off your exercise bike, purchase some new running shoes, stock your refrigerator and freezer with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and high fiber grains. You join a challenge or team. You put a progress graph on your refrigerator door.
And here is where some of you still are. You have failed to launch. Trust me, I've been there many times. Sometimes I have even managed to sputter a few feet before I give up. What does it take to get that good ignition? Why do some succeed and others fail? What is the KEY to breaking free from the launch pad and heading toward orbit?
I finally learned that part of my problem was looking at the whole journey and feeling overwhelmed and defeated before I began. 131 pounds just to get to only being "overweight"? REALLY? It seemed impossible. That was part of the problem - I let the scope and size of the journey keep me on the launch pad. I had to set a shorter range goal and allow myself to succeed to motivate and encourage me to PRESS ON!
I set my first goal really small. Lose 5 pounds. I figured (at the time) that I could do anything for a short time and promised myself a reward if I just lost that much. Sure enough I did - and pretty quickly. I forget what the reward was (it's been nearly two years) but the REAL reward was that I had actually lost five pounds. Now I know some of you are going to say - "it was all water weight" but here is the point. Whether it was fluids or real weight loss the scale said FIVE pounds and I felt SUCCESS and that motivated me to try for another five pounds.
Success built resolve and fueled my next leg of the journey, much like the stages of a rocket. I needed that GREAT BIG BOOSTER to get myself off the launch pad and once I had that momentum I didn't need as big of a boost to make the next section of my journey. Each success was built on the momentum gained by the previous successes.
You CAN do this. I have been obese since I was 24. That's 32 years! I had many serious surgeries. I have laid in ICU for weeks. I have battled all sorts of weight-related health issues and I have lost 76+ pounds. Was it easy? NO! Does it get easier than that first week? YES Will you have setbacks and detours? YES Does it stop me? NO
Do not sit on the launch pad because the journey seems too big. Just set your sights a short distance down the path and start the ignition process. DON'T WAIT until tomorrow. Start NOW. Get up and move! Plan your next meal to be healthy. The controls are in your hands.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... IGNITION! We have lift off!