Change is Scary
Monday, July 01, 2019
I have been heavy for so long, I didn't notice the weight creep up. What I noticed was that I had difficulty tying my shoes, walking without huffing and puffing, going up stairs and fitting into seats at movies and baseball games. I HAD to have known it was weight related, but I buried it in the back of my unconscious and slammed the door shut.
Like most women over the years, I dieted. Half heatedly, I admit. I love foot too much. More than I should I grew up in the age of the "Clean Plate Club" eating because I was told to do so, because there were "Starving Children in Africa" and the like, not because I was genuinely hungry. I never understood how my eating a plate of spaghetti would help a kid in Africa, but because my mother was an expert at the Guilt Trip, I certainly did not want to be the reason they were!
I grew up doing things outside- I went to the park regularly- swings, slides and the merry go round, Jungle gym climbing and monkey bars- even playing tag, chase and red rover. What happened to those days? I played these games with my kids when they were little. Played Frisbee and pushed them in small cars down the sidewalk, rode bikes with them through the neighborhood. Where did the tide change that had me choose to sit in my recliner with a bag of chips instead??
I can't remember when. But slowly- painfully- I am making a change. I have started paying attention to the decoration on my wrist called a Fit Bit. It buzzes at me, gently reminding me to move, to step away from my desk and take a quick jaunt around the building I am stuck in for 9 hours a day. I want to make it happy. It isn't easy. It isn't fun.
I joined a gym. I was excited to join the gym. Until I went to the gym.
The gym is full of "Pretty People". All of them in shape already. My brain see this and says, WHY are you people here? you already HAVE the body! go AWAY so someone like ME can be here without anyone seeing. This mentality held me back like a choke chain does to a dog. When I wanted to cancel my membership after 1 year of non-use, my daughter jumped in to block me. She started dragging me with her. We are not on the same activity level, but having the accountability helped. I managed to go 1x to 4xs a month. Each time I was still protesting the whole time. I never seemed to see the benefit. I still HATED going to the gym.
Then, something clicked. I can't exactly say when or why, but went to the gym and didn't have that feeling. I asked at the front desk for help regarding a specific piece of equipment that I thought looked least intimidating. The trainer that helped me was VERY buff and enthusiastic, but there was no note of judgement in his voice or his eyes. He stayed with me until I felt comfortable, and encouraged me to come find him again if I wanted to learn how to use other pieces of equipment. I settled in and put in my time. While I was working out, I happened to look up. On the wall above the TVs there was a message written in bold yellow letters " NO JUDGEMENT ZONE"/ WOW. Below it was a sign that stated clearly that any patron found to be judging another or behaving in a non-supportive attitude would be asked to leave. PERIOD. I was FLOORED. This one statement was my protection. What I have needed all along, but was too frightened to ever see before! Looking around me, I realized it was my own brain that put this veil over my eyes sabotaging me all along. The gym was NOT full of perfect bodies- there were bodies just like mine all through the place. People struggling, just as I do to stay on the treat mill for 5 minutes at a time. Yes, there are those with with perfect form- but suddenly I realized the reason they are there- to KEEP this body in the shape it is in! They are not being vain in doing so, they are striving to stay HEALTHY!! Nobody is staring at anyone in judgement at all! I have seen the fit help those not yet there, and I have seen the not yet there encouraging the fit to keep going. It warms my heart to be surrounded with such true and pure encouragement.
I am not saying that I am now a Gym Fanatic- by no means. I can still be tempted to not go easily- but now it seems that my recliner and the gym call to me with equal appeal. I TRY to go to the Gym more regularly- I keep my bag packed so there is no need to stop by the house where its easier to heed the call of the recliner- i see the gym back sitting in my front see and feel the rush of encouragement- and my car heads toward it almost as automatically as it used to head toward the fast food joints along my route home.
I still struggle to be fit, but each day I make the conscious choice to go to the Gym, I become healthier- and I hold onto that like a life raft! I enjoy the feeling of euphoria that settles over me when I walk into the gym. I know that no matter how I spend my time there, it is a success. Some days, that is the only positive part of my day, some days it is the outlet for my frustration and some days it is just something to do- but each day I go is a GOOD DAY- and those are the days I celebrate.
My goal is to have more days I celebrate in a week than days I do not. That's just 4 days!
Even I can do that! But right now- it is 1 to 2 days. my July goal is to have no less than 2 days per week. Then August- my goal will be 3 days per week. by September, adding another day will be as easy as waking up in the morning. And I love it when things are easy!
I have learned that no progress comes form no change- and so with each day added to my routine, there will be progress- progress celebrated by buying new clothes with one less X in the size label, sandals that don't struggle to buckle around my ankles, seats that dont squeeze my hips when i sit or stand, knees that don't object when i walk to through the mall.
I will celebrate my success and patiently wait for my progress. I will pick myself up and get back on track any time I may fall down- I will NOT allow myself to keep getting in the way of my goals!!