I recently finished a book (fiction) where one of the characters so inspired me. This character, a woman in her 50’s, had been walking four miles a day, five days a week for seventeen years. Over that time, she’d lost a pound a year, and her body shape had changed causing her to drop a couple of dress sizes. At the same time, her friends had hit a point in life where they were gaining about three pounds a year. I loved it. She walked to keep active and stay healthy, but the result was that she was trimmer, fitter and more energetic than her compatriots who were starting to put on the mid-life bulge. This woman was a testament to consistency, and I was inspired.
I had been feeling that my own weight loss was happening at a snail’s pace. I’ve lost 12 pounds since the first of the year. Reading this book helped me feel encouraged about that, instead of frustrated. It helped me take my eyes off of some kind of destination, and focus more on the journey. I feel better – no question about it. I have more energy, more stamina, and a noticeable increase in flexibility, especially in my right shoulder. My shoulder is stiff and sore every single day because of scar tissue, inelastic skin (resulting from radiation therapy) and reconfigured anatomy (because of muscles which were moved to reconstruct my body after a bilateral mastectomy). I can now lie on my back on the floor, reach my hands over my head, and touch the backs of my hands to the floor – something I could not do just a few short weeks ago. I’ve seen a massage therapist one time (last month) who practices “bone rocking”, a method for gently convincing a tight joint to relax and open up. That one visit and consistent exercise and I feel closer to normal than I’ve felt in five years.
All this motivates me to keep going, regardless of the physical manifestation of weight loss or lost inches. I’m even motivated this week, with the bane of Daylight Savings Time which has resulted in doing my exercise, once again, while it’s still dark out. (There is definitely a temptation to stay under the covers). I write about all this to remind myself that I am seeing progress. The steps may be small, but they keep taking me in the right direction. A year from now, I’ll be so glad I started this journey and didn’t make excuses. My home will be peaceful. (It’s already more peaceful than it was). My body will be fit. I’ll have more vitality. My life will be new.
What journey have you been thinking about beginning? Change is hard. The first step is hard. Getting back up after you trip and fall is hard. But you are brave – I just know you are. Take the first step. A year from now, you’ll be so glad you started today.