Prior to spending the last 10 days fighting off the flu, I’d begun walking on my treadmill and doing light weight work. I have a lot of weight to lose but felt discouraged by my progress and setbacks. Having once lived a very athletic lifestyle, it’s been difficult to reconcile the fact that my scale (and body) isn’t moving at my expected pace. Getting sick didn’t help that feeling at all. But while recovering, I had an epiphany. It’s nothing new really, but it was still profound: nothing worth having comes easy or quick.
The truth is it takes the heart of a lion to get back into shape. I remember when it took no effort at all for me to bench press 130 pounds, walk a seven minute mile, or bike 50-60 miles. That’s something I would never attempt to do at my current level of “fitness”. People would ask me how I did it (stayed in shape) and when I described my routines, they’d look at me with disappointment and tell me it wouldn’t work for them because they had “big bones”. They didn’t realize that bone size really has nothing to do with getting fit. That response comes from being suddenly weighed down by the knowledge that it’s going to take hard work to achieve the goal. Back then I didn’t understand the excuse but I now know that feeling all too well. I know that I actually have small bones, but the excuses I allowed myself for not pushing through were just as bad as saying I have big bones. Until that recent epiphany reminded me: life is truly a muscle that needs work and patience to grow.
You pick up the weights and diligently do reps and sets. Day by day and week by week you check the scale to measure progress. You look for signs of muscle but you don’t see it. Then disappointment sets in, discouragement wins, and you give up—until the next attempt. Muscles take time to develop and muscle burns fat but they don’t grow overnight. We have to be patient with the process –and ourselves –by not giving up! We have to take our eyes off the big picture and stay focused on the smaller picture-the task at hand—the “little bites”. Whether it’s a job hunt, saving for a dream home, getting out of debt, or weight loss it takes time and consistent effort. Then out of the blue, you’ll look at your “arm” and realize there’s definition, your clothes are looser and the scale is responding! Then you realize that you don’t have “big bones” after all—you just needed to stay focused and not give up.
So instead of being discouraged by the fact that I don’t see any progress yet, I’ve made up my mind to stay focused on the smaller goal—which is to stay consistent. Keep walking on the treadmill until I can run. Do the lighter weights without rushing to the heavier ones. Ride a few miles on the bike until I can do twenty. Remind myself (again and again) that the results won’t come easy or fast. And, keep roaring like a lion and remembering that I have small bones.
Bolder sisters, what is your strategy to get in “shape”?
Kim Woods earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University. She developed a love for writing poetry and short stories as a child. Kim is socially conscience and her desire to use her life experiences to help others is what drives her to seek opportunities to share her story. She decided to write freelance for the Bolder Sister because it is her desire that women evolve and thrive in their own authentic truth.
Kim resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son, Donald. In addition to writing, she spends free time creating unique wall art, decorating, and teaching herself how to sculpture.