People are different. They respond differently to various forms of stimuli. What tickles one person could just annoy another. Some people love cilantro and others would rather eat a bar of soap that eat something that tastes like a bar of soap. Still there are those who need gentle words of encouragement while others need a good swift kick to the butt.
I’m the latter. I respond better to harsh truths than beating around the bush. Which is why a text from my friend a few weeks ago helped put things into perspective.
The Climb to the Top was not easy. I didn’t train for it (my fault), and I didn’t research it (my fault again). I was dreading that day. But I’d signed up and paid my registration (plus plopped down quite a bit of cash for the donation requirement), so I had to do it. Once I got to the top and was able to breathe non-recirculated air, I started to feel more like myself. I posted finish photos to FB and the ‘gram and got quite a few likes (thanks peeps).
Later that day, I texted my friend who is a marathoner. She congratulated me, but I tried to shrug off the achievement with how bad I was feeling. This was her response.
“But did you die?”
Well, no. I guess I didn’t. I was able to breathe properly again after the race was over. I was able to do more activities, like Cycle for Survival and a solidarity run for the NYC half. I’ve been working out consistently for the past few weeks as well as making my own meals.
So as hard as the task seemed at the time, and even afterward when I couldn’t believe that I’d climbed 66 flights of stairs, it was over. I lived another day to try something else new.
Fear is a constant on your weight-loss journey. You’ll second-guess yourself a lot, especially when trying something new. Going vegetarian for a while, hitting up the pool or even signing up for a race will all give you a bad case of the dreads.
“What was I thinking?”
“Will I be able to finish?”
“Am I strong enough to commit to this?”
Once the newness wears off and you get to the other side of it, it’s not uncommon to short-change your achievement. You can become complacent with what you’ve done. The shock has worn off. The worst part is over, but all you can do is focus on the worst part.
When I neared goal weight, I got a lot of compliments and pats on the back for what I’d done. But it seemed off to me because I wasn’t doing this for anyone’s approval but my own. I’d stress over and over how hard it was, how there were so many times I wanted to give up and with a pack of donuts and a glass of wine.
That’s all true, but I didn’t die. I did your best, came out the other side having accomplished your goals, and now it’s on to the next challenge. The same goes for you, too.
Don’t let the agony of the activity cloud the joy you should feel for finishing it. You did it. And you didn’t die.