I commented to Doni recently as we worked out together at Align Private Training that it’s the baby steps that add up.
The tune, “Little Things Mean a Lot” seems to be the recurring theme of this health-and-fitness journey. Sure, it’s certainly affirming to have significant accomplishments to show for the hard work, but impatient expectations are, #1.Unrealistic, #2. Unhealthy. I repeat UNHEALTHY.
Now, I’ve known the “unhealthy” part for most of my adult life . . . in my head. Academically. I read the reports, Common sense chimes in. But getting that message from my head to my gut frequently gets lost along the way. The picture of me as a 3-year-old plopping my almost- 80-year old butt down on the floor and whining, “But I want it nowwwww!” is a mirage that lives on the edge of my consciousness.
So began my journey with Matthew Lister.
I remember thinking, “What can this KID tell me that I haven’t already learned in my extended years on this planet?”
The fact? PLENTY!
Baby steps, and slowly, promised Matthew.
Do I believe him? This has to come under the heading of “faith.”
Then . . . and then . . . magically . . . the baby steps began to move from theory and promise into reality.
No, let me rephrase that emphatically that any successes I achieved were not magic! The successes followed four-day-a-week work at the Align studio, and adhering to an eating plan. But on the other side, I remarked to Matthew at one point, “I haven’t suffered enough to deserve to get better and lose weight.”
What? Yes, true. I don’t find that I’m sore very often from the workouts he has me doing. “Good,” he says, “That means you’re not being injured.” And then he ups my reps or the weight or resistance on whatever machine I’m working at the moment.
But it’s never more than I can accomplish.
Then there’s the food plan. He assesses the food diary you submit (of the days prior to your initial visit) then develops an eating plan for you. Here was my biggest problem the first couple of weeks: Eating all the food I was supposed to eat when I was supposed to eat it.
What? Do you you mean starvation and self-denial isn’t part of the lexicon here? Apparently not.
Did the food plan change my eating habits? Oh, you bettcha! But it was never about starvation. So, I found it difficult to believe that I was going to see any change to speak of.
But then . . . . but then . . . . I found myself being able to get out of my car (which sits very low to the ground) ably and without pain.
And then I found myself walking down the very long hall at school, and I wasn’t dreading every painful step. I wasn’t even hanging on to the wall.
And then someone commented on how I was walking ‘more spritely’ and I thought to myself, “Well, there’s an old-folks term, if ever there was one!” Then it occurred to me: I am an “old folk”. I still have trouble getting my head around that small fact.
But the biggest baby step of all, so far, took place at the recent symphony concert. I could fit in the seat, comfortably. Not only that, I could even get in and out of the seat. Take that, bubble butt!
So, like I point out to anyone who will listen, for the first time in my life, this journey is not about the weight. In fact it can’t be about the weight. It must not be about the weight. First and foremost this journey has to be about mobility and stability and plain old vitality.
Vitality. Let me say, I never missed it until I got it back. The weight is just the symptom. At Align, Matt is about the curing-the-cause of that symptom. If there is weight loss along with the primary goals, it is a bonus, and one I gladly accept, but a bonus, none-the-less.
Oh, but wait, there’s more! I had my annual physical last week. The doctor looked at my numbers and declared, “You know, I think you don’t need to take those blood pressure meds anymore!”
OK, folks, I’m ready and willing to admit, that was no baby step. That was a one very large, very welcome giant step.
I can’t wait to see what next giant step awaits me, and where it will lead.