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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Small steps

You need to be content with small steps.  That's all life is.  Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance.

When I first read this, it resonated with me but I'm not sure why.  In fact, I've had this quote sitting in a blank entry for over a week now.  I think I was waiting for some inspiration or something to click.  I'm not sure if it has but I'm going to give it my best shot :)

Okay, so why would something like this resonate with me?  Well, I think it's because over the last 13 months, I've run my life on small goals and small steps.  That's the only way I've been able to function and find my way on this adventure to find a new me.  If you can't guess, I get overwhelmed easily.  Not in a bad way - all the time.  I'm a planner.  I like to know what's going on, when it's going to happen, etc.  I like a schedule, a routine, etc.  So, I've never been very good at looking to the future with these big monstrous goals.  

Therefore, when I first started on my weight loss adventure (which has turned into so much more), I set a small goal.  I wanted to lose 20 pounds by my birthday.  I gave myself about 2 months and, low and behold, I made it (a couple weeks early).  In fact, yesterday was the one year anniversary of reaching and surpassing that goal.  I remember how amazing it felt.  And, as I looked back on the last 6 weeks, I could see the small steps I had taken to achieve this goal.  I may not have realized it while I was finding my way around the grocery store, attempting to cook, trying new exercises at the gym, etc., but these were all small steps that added up to the aforementioned distance that I could see I had covered.  

As I think back on  the days, weeks and months that make up the recent past, I am truly amazed at all the small steps I've taken to change my life.  I needed to take all these steps, but at my own pace.  You can't push anyone to do something they don't want to do, or aren't ready for.  I've always believed that everything happens for a reason.  I think I took the step to meet Renee' when I was ready and when that friendship was supposed to enter my life.  I wouldn't have been ready for all of this even a couple of months earlier. 

The last couple of months I've been struggling a bit.  Not with my depression or anything of that nature.  Just struggling to find ways to measure all of my progress and success.  I've realized that I am placing way too much emphasis on a number on the scale.  Just this week my chiropractor told me I looked like I had slimmed down even more since my before/after picture from January.  When I told him I hadn't lost any weight since then, he said, well you look like you have.  That got my head turning a little bit.  Although I've always known that my body can change without losing weight, I think I needed to hear that from someone who doesn't see me very often.  Also, when I was walking around my little neighborhood on Tuesday, the guy who does a lot of work around the development asked me how much weight I'd lost.  When I told him, he said congratulations.  To me, these moments are part of those small steps.  While I don't always need to hear that kind of stuff from people, I think it helped me this week.  It allowed me to reflect back on everything I have accomplished.  To remember that it isn't just about the weight.  Later in the week someone pretty smart reminded me that my body has changed in so many ways and that, as I get smaller, it's going to get harder to lose weight.  I don't have a lot of fat to lose anymore (which is awesome) and, as I build muscle and tone my body, things are going to shift around in good ways but it may not result in weight loss.

It's weird, I don't know why I need to hear this stuff from other people.  Maybe because I still question myself often.  Maybe because whenever I've lost weight in the past, I've always put the weight back on, plus some and I'm scared to death that's going to happen again.  It gives me a boost of confidence when I periodically hear positive comments from random people.  I am definitely one of those people who needs to talk through my emotions or else things start to eat away at me.  For no reason.  I guess it's just a part of who I am.  And, for the most part, I'm okay with it.  I am a thinker.  I analyze everything.  Sometimes more than I should.  But, all of that makes me who I am and I wouldn't change any of it.

So, back to my original question, why did this resonate with me?  Because I have taken more small steps than I ever thought possible in the last 13 months.  There are so many people to thank for that, I couldn't possibly list them all.  For being by my side, for listening when I needed them to, for allowing me to ramble while I try to talk myself through different situations, for cheering me on, for always understanding this life changing adventure I've been on and continue to find my way through and, last but not least, for celebrating every little success with me.  

All of the reasons mentioned above (and so much I forgot) are the little steps that make up the distance I have covered so far in life.  It's so fun to be able to look back on every milestone, every achievement.  And to know there are many more in my future.  Some related to weight loss but most related to just being alive and living my life.  Something I rarely used to do.

Life is made up of little moments.  Enjoy and celebrate them all.  Every day I learn how to do that a little more.  And it is the best way I could ever think of to live my life.  

From this day on, when I look back on the past, I will smile and say to myself  "I never thought I could do it but I did ...."

What a gift.  I can't describe it any other way.  Thanks for sticking with me on this journey.  I look forward to sharing more successes and milestones!