I can't believe it's been 11 days since I posted anything in this blog....even though I'm not very busy (cause I'm still in this cumbersome boot from my Achilles Tendon surgery), the days just seem to fly by. I hope you've all been well and are still pushing forward with your "get healthy and fit" goals.
Sometimes when you least expect it a lightbulb goes off in your head and you sit still and think 'oh that's what this is all about...........what was I thinking?'
Last Wednesday I attended a meeting of the weight loss group I belong to "Lighten Up For Life".....a truly wonderful program offered by our "active adult" community fitness center. The program is similar to weight watchers, but we don't use points. Basically they teach you how to count calories, journal about what you eat each day, the importance of water, exercise, portion, motivation, finding a cheerleader, nutrition, celebrating your victories and how to cope with your setbacks etc. The program gives you accountability because on the mini 12-week program you have 3-4 big meeting and then every Wednesday in between the big meetings you go and weigh in. 1-2 times a year they have a big 12-week program where every Wednesday, they bring in a speaker (nutritionist, fitness instructor, doctors etc.) . I keep going back to each big and mini program mainly because of that accountability.
But last Wednesday when I went to the first meeting of the most current mini session, I was admittedly not in a great mood when I got there....dreading the initial weigh in and the measurement of hips and waist. I knew from the way my smaller size clothes were fitting that I had packed on the weight in the last 6-8 months when so much was going on in my life..........you know.....I've mentioned it before.....Achilles Tendon pain, dad being in and out of the hospital, more Achilles Tendon pain, dad passing, Achilles Tendon surgery....the cruise where I was not successful at passing up the 24 hr. buffet...etc. etc. etc. When I walked in and the fitness director asked me how it was going, my pouty "poor me" self said ..."oh OK" ....
I knew the numbers were not going to be pretty.........and I was right!
I was afraid it was going to be one of those moments when the scale was going to scream.....ONE AT A TIME PLEASE! It wasn't quite that bad, but it was bad.
While I was in line waiting for my turn to get weighed and measured, the woman in front of me turned around and began to tell me how she thought this was probably a waste of money, that she'd done other programs before, questioned why they didn't offer exercise as part of the program and on and on and on....I immediately went to bat for the program defending it and telling her all the positive things about this program...she got weighed and measured and then so did I and we took our seats.
When the fitness director and the program captain started talking my first thought was....well this is my 4th or 5th program....I've heard all of this before...I'm probably not going to hear anything new. As they always do, they told us that traditionally at the end of the 12 weeks only 60% of those in the room would still be here. They had us look around the room and try to decide who would be among that 60%. As I looked around, I saw three women, sitting together join hands (as if making a pact) and saying "YES". Later in the talk, I looked around again and saw a women roll her eyes at something that was being said............and to my great surprise I had a light bulb moment
I thought about the three ladies. I thought about the lady in front of me in line. I thought about the lady who rolled her eyes..... .....and I remembered what had happened to me the very first time I came to one of these meetings.........and I remembered why I had been so successful in that session and I realized that all the events that had happened in my life in the past 6+ months, events that had me not going to the gym, getting very little exercise and definitely not watching what I was eating.......were not the cause of the higher numbers on the scale or the tape measure....I realized that what had happened was that I had lost my commitment to get fit and healthy no matter what life threw at me. I realized that was what those three ladies had wrapped their clasped hands around. I realized that was what was missing in the remarks of that lady and in the eye rolls of the other lady.
The number one thing you have to do to be successful at weight loss, at getting healthy and fit.....well to be honest at just about anything you do in life...........is to make a commitment to give it your all, to not give up, to try and try and try again......to take can't out of your vocabulary. Someone else can give you information on how to get to your goals. Someone else can train you on how to be a success at something.....but ultimately it's up to YOU to put that information into your everyday living, to take that training and run with it.
I remember now, that is what was different about this program....not that it was much different than any other weight loss program out there (and there are tons of them....no pun intended)....but what made the difference that time and what will make the difference this time is I made a commitment to myself to be successful...to face the road bumps that will surely happen in my life (and in yours) and I would not take my eyes off the finish line.
Granted the finish line I'm talking about is a moving line because getting healthy and fit is just the beginning....the real commitment has to be in the maintenance....in staying committed. Talk to any athlete, any business person, any ballerina, any actor, any singer, any person at the top of their world or profession and more than likely they will tell you that when they slow down, when they take their eyes off the target, they lose ground. That's just the way it is. It doesn't mean they can't start training again and get right back up there.....they can....but once again they have to make that commitment.
I like to think about the old adage that when you fall off a horse, the absolute best thing you can do is get back up on the horse....and so it is with weight loss/getting fit and healthy....for some of us it takes a lifelong commitment and you might be surprised to find that someone who is fit and who doesn't look like they need to lose weight also makes that commitment every single day.
I came away from that meeting renewed, empowered, re-committed. I had forgotten how my trainer, Shepherd Green, was always saying "engage your core", "walk in a room like you own it",
and I had forgotten how I had previously written about Ernestine Shepherd
who won the record in the Guinness Book of World Records (at the age of 75) -- as the oldest competing woman body builder and how she has as her slogan:
Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined To Get Fit
Yes we have to deal with life however it is laid at our feet and yes sometimes it is sad and tiring but sometimes you have to be selfish and think about YOU. You are the only one that can do this for you....as I've written before a quote I saw somewhere...YOU ARE THE HELP YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR.
Do what I did after I got home from that meeting....I looked at my self in the mirror and reminded myself that I am worth it, I can do this, I want to do this, I need to do this to save my life and live to be old and happy....and I am committed. Go on...nobody's looking........go talk to yourself in the mirror, envision the the person you want to be and... have a light bulb moment. You deserve it! You can do this!
More thoughts on Commitment:
and...........................this one I love