On my 50th birthday I decided to start to take better care of myself. My days were dedicated to my children (ages 14 and 11), all the chores associated with home ownership as well as my two+ jobs. I actually had negative extra time, but I was not happy with myself and had to find a way to manipulate the day for my benefit. I began small by remembering to take my daily supplements and medications. I then worked to remember to eat at least 3x a day... most days. Who hooo!! Now I was on a roll!
It was time to add in, dare I say it… some exercise. I’ve never enjoyed exercising! As a matter of fact, I sort of hated it! So it was with a hesitant heart, and body, that I decided to begin a new workout routine. I wanted to be a healthy and happy person. I worked hard every day for everyone else; I felt that I deserved a better me, as did my loved ones. So, I documented my starting weight so I could track my weight loss. I knew that since exercise was not ‘my thing’, I’d need proof of my progress to motivate me to keep moving ahead.
Day after day I pushed myself. Day after day I felt more proud of how much easier the workouts had become. Day after day I’d work a little harder so I would be sure to ‘make it effective’! I only weighed myself sporadically in the beginning because I wanted to give it enough time so I could see a difference on the scale. After my first month of working out at least 4 times each week I decided to put some numbers on paper to document my progress. I knew I felt a difference and I couldn’t wait to see my proof! I stepped on the scale and looked down at the numbers. All the pride I had felt in a ‘job well done’ had vanished right in front of my eyes. I was so very discouraged because I had actually gained 4 lbs after one full month of eating right and working out every other day! How could all of that effort not have paid off? How could I have actually gained weight? It didn’t make any sense! I was so disheartened! I opted to give myself a mini pity party, but because I don’t enjoy these types of events all that much, I didn’t stay long. I’ve learned that if I’m going to spend my limited time on any activity, it has to move me toward my goals.
So, like other difficult times in my life, I moved forward and worked with faith, belief and hope. I decided that even with my negative numerical results, I would keep going... Day after day I jogged farther and farther. I did more squats and more lunges than ever before. I even added in a tricep workout as well. Finally, after 3 solid months it was time to step on the scale again. I was bound to see a difference. I drove home from the track, ran in and ... hopped on the scale to weigh myself. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I did lose some weight, but only exactly enough to get me back to the weight at which I had started when I began. After all that work I had only broken even. Was I right back to the person I was before I started, though?
I had to look away from the numbers on the scale to decide if all that time working out had made any difference at all. My scale did not give me any scientific proof of change, but that’s when it hit me that proof doesn’t always come in the form of that which I can see. Sometimes proof comes in the form of that which I can feel. The scale told me that I wasn’t any different than when I began three months previous. However, I could 'feel' the difference. I had to allow that to be enough for now. I had to have faith that I was on the right track, so to speak!
Hope, faith and ‘feeling’ there was a difference is what kept me moving forward with my routine. It is now many, many months later. Am I where I want to be? No… I’m not even close. However, I know I’ll continue to do my best. Sometimes things cannot always be proven with numbers, but that doesn't make them any less real! Sometimes you just cannot see far enough into the future to realize that the steps you are taking now are getting your one step closer to where you want to be. My original goal was to get healthy. If I looked inside myself I could clearly feel that I was healthier. I was the one who set the goal, but then looked to the wrong measurement tool to see if I’d reached it. So, I’ve decided that I will continue to do my best each day and try to get a little better each time. I have chosen to continue to walk toward my goal with faith because one day my steps will bring me to the goal that is hiding right around the corner.
Walk in faith!!!
Cindy Gagne Teixeira
Just like you, I wear many hats. I'm a mom, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a writer. I choose to laugh (and talk... and write) about my problems because crying takes too much time.