Friday, August 17, 2012
I'm sure most of you have heard this but I think the answer and concept it represents are exactly the same as SP recommends as we work the program. How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time. I asked my 10 year old grandson this question and he immediately responded - "I can't". Ask someone how they can lose 200 pounds this week and they will say - I can't. Ask that same person if they can lose one pound this week and they just might answer "YES". The concept is that you break your big goal down into manageable portions and you work until you reach your goal.
I know that I'm supposed to have long term, intermediate, and short term goals. When I started SP I set my ultimate weight goal. My first short term goal was to lose 2 lbs. I had no long term exercise goals. My cardio goal was to walk as much as I could on my first day of walking and see where I was. Three minutes on the treadmill with a 4% incline had my leg muscles burning. 3 lousy minutes. I tried strength exercises and found that with surgically repaired shoulders I couldn't do several exercises if I used any weight in my hands. I had no idea my physical fitness had deteriorated to such a low point.
I knew what the ultimate goal was but if I was going to eat that Elephant I had to start with what I could do and just focus on getting a little better each day. I found that I had to push myself to get out the recliner and put in the effort each day. I had to ignore the size of the Elephant and force down that next bite - that day. I knew if I pushed myself too hard I could hurt something so I did everything in small bites. Looking back I would say that it took about four months to get into SOME good habits but I still had bad habits, pitfalls, and setbacks to deal with. When I got within two pounds of my goal weight I had a problem with a medicine I was taking and suddenly I could expend 800 calories or more in exercise and wasn't losing weight. I even gained a pound and a half. As soon as the Dr. figured out what was wrong I got back on track and hit my goal weight.
So, I consumed that Elephant one bite at a time and some of the bites were pretty small. Now, just when I thought I was finished, I got served another, and possibly bigger, Elephant. This one is called MAINTENANCE. Fortunately, I don't have to learn anything new for this guy. I still have to maintain my focus on good eating and good exercise. I still have to do what got me here but after doing it for a month it just seems like this Elephant is a lot more tender and a lot tastier than the first one.
I'm, again, taking him on one bite at a time but now my workouts are usually an hour long and I use weight for 10 of my 12 strength exercises. Sparkpeople works. nuff said. (That's a Lewism)
Enjoy the ride,