That’s the number of steps I’ve taken since I welcomed in the next year of my life seven days ago. It is true what they say, the first step is the hardest.
That’s the distance I’ve covered (in miles). The miles of phone calls with friends, podcasts that entertained me and some quiet time for my random thoughts, memories and questions in life.
That’s the number of minutes I spent outdoors. May not seem like a huge deal in a given week, but for me it’s a huge step forward, finally recovering from the toxic place I was in for so long, in the name of “success”, slowly learning that I do deserve better.
That’s the number of meals I prepared and didn’t default to eating out or skip them altogether. Probably sounds ridiculous, as someone who focuses on meal planning and food prep – but, my focus on meal planning and food prep is closely tied to my activity level – the more active I am, the better I am about preparing healthy meals and not thinking so hard.
I mean, let’s be honest, don’t we all want immediate gratification and visible progress? 100%. Do I feel like the world should know that I’m making progress without reading about it on a blog? 100%. But, I will to be patient, and I keep going because I can – and I haven’t always been able to say that.
Like I’ve said before, I didn’t grow up with physical activity and fitness as a priority and I have many of the scarring memories of being the slowest person in gym class, the least played person in little league and being picked last for recess games. I loved growing up with family always around, and I cherish the memories around the dining room table(s) talking and laughing and eating all the food! It’s what drives me to want to give others that same experience, with easy to prepare food around the table; and, turn to food as a reward or way to celebrate something great.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone in spurts of working out since I was 18 years old, and then taken long breaks in between. And, each break came with a larger backstory or problem… when work got busy, and I didn’t work in a place that taking a break to work out was acceptable or encouraged (which is a whole different blog post!); or, friends/family planned activities that I put ahead of working out because I didn’t want to be “that one” who had to get her workout in, when no one else thought that was a priority (yet another blog post in the future!); or, plain exhaustion/pain that I let overwhelm me to the point that I didn’t feel I deserved to have a healthy life.
The one thing that I used to have in my life, that I didn’t have in the same way this time, was that small contingent of people, who knew me differently, and who didn’t let me wallow in my own self-pity – who would tell me to go and get it done. Not to think about it, not to listen to everyone (and my own head) who said to skip it, and to just go do it. I had to find that in myself on my own this go-around.
I have to make my own self get out the door and meet the step goal I set for myself. I have to tell myself it’s worth it even though I am not a super model after week one. I have to get my own self out of my own head. I want to get back on my bike and cover more miles, I want to put my rollerblades back on and feel the breeze whipping around me – but it’s all starting with just walking. No pressure for number of minutes or miles, only to cross 10,000 steps each day, however those happen.
I know those who supported me before are still out in the world, even if we aren’t able to be in the same place as each other anymore, and would be right by my side if circumstances were different. And, though I have gotten myself back on track, it’s not without the voices of those few people in the back of my head reminding me to not think, not dwell, just get one foot in front of the other; just to give it another try and not to give up.
So – for anyone else who is out there, trying to find their courage to not try anymore, but to do something – know that you have me to rely on and to get you from “trying/thinking/talking” to “creating/having/doing”. I will be the one who tells you to get out of your head, get outside and get it done – whether it’s a workout, a meal plan or a life-changing idea – just like those who have always done the same for me. We all need support from those who know life is about taking risks and making things happen, not just talking about them.
Week 1 of my 52 week challenge to not stay stuck in where I was, is done. Steadily moving into Week 2…a little less cerebral, and a lot more active and proud that I made progress even if it’s not as clear to the rest of the world. Get outside, take in the sunshine, the budding flowers and you’ll thank yourself.
As always, let me know about your big plans, your food prep and any questions I can help you get answers to as we all take one day at a time. Heading outside to find a new walking path!