Saturday, July 6, 2024

Maybe It's Time to Be Honest with Yourself

Tomorrow will be a celebration of sorts for me. It will be two weeks since I began to track my calories and to walk 10,000 steps every day. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, the goal is to maintain a moderate calorie deficit and to be consistent with my workouts and walks as I pursue my ultimate goal of getting rid of unwanted pounds that I feel are holding me back from being the person I want to be. 

The key to progress is to enjoy the process. Most of us who exercise regularly are amazed that we are actually doing something physical. We are happy for having chosen to invest in our own health. We are also amazed that our bodies are adjusting and adapting to the new demands placed on them. At times, the improvements are dramatic. And there is almost always a constant state of delight. You realize that in the long run it doesn't matter if it takes you 2 months or 2 years to reach your goal as long as you are going in the right direction. You haven't failed if you don't reach the magic weight or physique you're after. If need be you can adjust your expectations and keep taking one step at a time until you get there.

I am living proof that anybody, even the least athletic, can do this. I am living a life that only a short time ago would have been a fantasy. Millions, of course, have gone before me. Every one of them faced the same hesitation and uncertainty. I just can't escape the fundamental silliness of it all. How rational can it be for a 72-year old to be doing back rolls and t-bar raises? The more I exercise, the more childlike I am, unapologetically happy. In time, health and fitness become a part of your life. Exercise actually becomes fun. It's as simple as that. After all, if it isn't fun, why do it? Training hard isn't work. It's a joy.

Running marathons and ultramarathons has taught me an invaluable lesson about exercise. I learned that success occurs in increments small enough and flexible enough to grasp. Two weeks. Only two, but what a great experience they have been. One of my college professors told me, "Success is a habit." For a runner like me, success usually comes down to taking one more step. Picking your foot up and putting it down again is now my working definition of success. Tomorrow starts a new week in my fat loss journey. Walking every day. Lifting three times. Having a massage. Eating wisely. Getting lots of rest and sleep. Dealing head on with stressors. As with a marathon, this week will mean taking many small steps if I want to reach the finish line. 

As human beings, we cannot hide from the moments of truth when we must take an honest look at ourselves. Perhaps in your own life it's time to take stock, to actively face yourself, to move past the lies about your health and fitness you tell yourself on a regular basis. Rather than seeking a shelter from the truth, you can choose to weather the storm of honesty and self-discovery. 

I would help you if I could. But I can't. That's something only you can do.