After my physician handed me my blood test results, instead of crying and panicking, I got to work. Compassionate, but firm, my doctor wrote out instructions on how to improve my health that included new medications/supplements, a diet/lifestyle eating plan and an exercise plan that included walking 10,000 steps a day. He told me to work myself up to it, because I was walking, but hadn’t a clue how many steps I was taking. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
My instructions and test results in hand, I shared them with my family and then went grocery shopping and shoe shopping. So this was a great excuse to buy some cute new walking shoes. And shorts. And t-shirts. While at Kohl’s (with coupons in hand), I convinced my husband to get some new shoes too.
“Why?” he asked skeptical.
“Because you love me and want to walk too!” I smiled manipulatively.
He sighed, but chose some grey and yellow Nike’s.
As soon as we got home, I changed and put on my super comfortable and lightweight shoes and began my exercise adventure. With pedometer started, I walked, and walked and walked and sure that I had reached 10,000 steps, glanced at the pedometer to see it was only 1,700. No, this must be wrong, I yelled in my head! Thinking for a moment, I pictured myself jogging. You take more steps that way, I thought. Yes, I will jog. And so I began to jog down the street. Okay, two blocks, but it felt like 5 miles. Realizing that I would have to somehow get home, I turned around and limped myself on to my concrete front porch, face down, and let the ants mock me. I even think I heard a Blue Jay laughing.
The next morning I was at it again, but this time I thought it was best to walk in lieu of jogging. I listened to the birds (this time not making fun of me), listened to the thoughts in my head, and tried to ignore my aching calves. I walked 3,500 steps. That night, I was out at it again with another couple thousand steps. The next morning I thought once more that I would jog. I posted on my Facebook that if anyone saw me to not call an ambulance – my jogging resembled a seizure. So I put on some headphones, connected it to my iPhone and began to jog. Very slowly. But I jogged. I was a mile in when a lady pulled over in her car to ask if I was okay. I shook my head and jogged off laughing. Apparently I must have had a pained look on my face. When I was done, I came into the house, fell on the floor with a lot of drama, in hopes Chuck would feel badly for me. He wasn’t even in complaining range and when he came back into the room, I was too exhausted to do it again. I took back my ‘don’t call an ambulance’, I think I needed one.
Ten days into my new-found
love-hate with exercise, and getting on the scale to find that I have gotten rid of only 5 lbs (just like my steps, I seriously have a positive (mis) calculation guide in my head), I realized that there were many lesson to be had through this that ran concurrent with life.
1. Others can help you, but they cannot do it for you. You have to take responsibility.
My doctor cannot make the weight fall off me. He cannot force the right foods down my throat. He can only guide and support me. The same goes with anything else in your life that you need or want. Allow others to support you, but don’t rely on that. Just because my husband doesn’t choose to exercise or eat the way that I am all the time doesn’t give me permission to not take care of myself. If anything, monkey see, money will eventually do. And please don’t tell Chuck that I compared him to a monkey.
2. It takes time.
No matter what you are wanting to work on in your life, or you want to see results with – whether finding the right job, the right partner, or seeing results on the scale – it takes time. Those that see the happy outcome are those who keep focused and don’t continually step on the scale or obsess over NOT having or finding the right partner or job.
3. Switch your mind-set to POSITIVE.
I always said that I couldn’t walk fast or jog because I had bad knees. I stopped saying that and switched my mind-set to good health. No matter what you want in life, you can achieve it if you switch your mind-set.
4. Be fearless.
I am not wearing sunglasses or a babushka and I have jogged on a main street. I don’t much care what anybody thinks I look like. So often we stumble through life because of fear. We are afraid what others will think, say or do. Who cares? Don’t hermit yourself because of others! It is YOUR life, not theirs! So embrace your fearlessness and JUST DO IT. Whatever IT is!
Even if at yourself. By taking everything so serious, misery will follow. Laughter breaks down walls between others and within yourself.
So if you see me jogging, just wave, or maybe join me – but hold off on calling the ambulance – my insurance doesn’t cover that!