By now I expect 95% of New Year’s Resolutions have swirled down some drain – where did that resolve go?
Mine, many times: lose weight, get in shape. Many times abandoned.
Because I didn’t get immediate results?
Because I wasn’t truly serious?
Different scenario – mid-January last year, George Brookman said, “Mark you look like you could lose some weight”. I had. I was down from 218 … yet with a long way to go.
George invited me to join a group. Our first weigh-in day was Feb. 1/2017; at home that morning I was 209.6; at weigh-in, clothed, 214.3. Note to self: wear lighter clothes!
Last weigh-in day was June 29/2017 - my scale: 188.6, at the weigh-in: 190.1.
Summer was up/down torture – I would lose 1 and gain 5, lose that and gain it back. But two changes took me beyond ‘just weight loss’ …
First, getting serious about exercise – frequent gym visits. Cycling took over until cold weather and snow curtailed me. Not so much for weight loss, but for better health.
Second, changing eating habits. Eating out less, cooking differently. Not overnight, but relentless gradual shift. Now – mostly vegetables and fruit, hardly any red meat, declining volume of chicken and increased fish intake – especially oil fish. My weight continues to decline (182.0 on Dec. 6/2017), then up over the holidays ... today - 181.4 (new low). A struggle at every meal.
It gets easier.
I’m off both blood pressure medications. Last two doctor visit, BP was 121/81. I could have done better, lost more, lost faster, tried harder. Wouldn’t have been that hard, really, to not have pie, to not have ice cream. And easy to visit the gym more, ride more, walk more …
George’s teasing, those ‘weigh-in day lectures’ on diet, strategy and fitness helped as did that competitive wish to not be embarrassed by my progress compared to others. That group, cheering each other on was significant. Having to buy new pants was a most wonderful experience …
Mostly, driven by desire to get off those medications and live longer.
Why that thinking and change of habits never succeeded before wasn’t connected to ‘making a resolution’. This process demonstrates for me – albeit little later in life than I wished – is that I can change my weight. And my health. And my fitness. If I want to.
Change, tiny. Incremental.
Persevering doesn’t accelerate rate of success, but it does prove something: we can accomplish really significant things by making small changes. Ones we stick with.
Intellectually, we know this – but we don’t follow it. Comes a time, different for everyone, when ‘enough is enough’ and we truly make changes. Might be something external, someone’s influence, accumulation and compound effect of many tiny things – but when we know, we know.
Then we can make change.
Not so sure we can until we reach that delta, that critical mass moment.