The Weight is Over/Just Sayin’: Little Things Mean a Lot

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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.

Baby steps.

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.

Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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13 Responses

  1. Oh, WOW — such incredible news and a powerful testament. Congratulations on all your hard-won baby steps and HOORAY for you — and your team!

    • A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

      Thanks, Erin . . . . you and all the larger world out there are all part of this team!! I so appreciate, I MEAN that: I SO APPRECIATE all the support.

  2. Avatar CoachBob says:

    Does this mean you and I can attend the next symphony and go up to the balcony? Hmmm?

    • A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

      Why Bob, whatever in the world are you suggesting . . . . ??? I remember well what “the balcony” meant back in my high school days!! Hmmmm?

      Fact: I ain’t never  gonna climb dem stairs!!

  3. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    You, Doni, and your other Align brethren are in my thoughts frequently.  So nice to read an update of your progress.   Matthew’s motto should be Align: where losers are winners.   You are proof that it’s not just weight loss that makes you a winner.  You’ve “lost” your blood pressure meds, your discomfort in concert seats, your need to hold onto a wall in the hall, and pain when getting out of your car.  Baby steps, you say?  Those are all giant steps.  Thanks for your progress report.

  4. Avatar Barbara Stone says:

    Wow, you LOOK awesome but to FEEL awesome is so much more worthwhile! Keep up the good work!

  5. Avatar Claudia Hastings says:

    So proud of you AJ.  Keep up the good work.



  6. Deb Deb says:

    I’ve re-started (more like re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-restarted) on a good weight loss plan this week, because while I keep re-gaining, I am also stubborn and I am too young to feel this old so things must change.  It’s definitely about health and fitness for me, too, because I know the weight is as the cause of my stiff knees, breathlessness, high BP, you name it.   Heck I’m not even 50 yet, there’s no WAY I should be as creaky and slow as I am.  So it’s lovely to read about your successes, step by step, on the healthy-side of your ongoing journey.   Thank you for sharing more of your story with us – I wish Matthew would make a housecall to the Highlands of Scotland! 😀

  7. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    Oh, Deb . . . . I can’t imagine that walking the hills of Scotland could do anything but benefit you, both physically and emotionally. Keep at it . . . . remember . . . . BABY STEPS!! Good on ya, girl!!!

  8. A.J., you are such an inspiration to me, and so many others. I love seeing you walk in the back door of Align, and noticing the increased ease with which you walk, and how loose your clothes are fitting.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there as a living example of someone who never gives up.

  9. AJ AJ says:

    Yeah, but may I remind you: YOU STARTED IT!!!….and for that, i thank you.

  10. Avatar Sue G says:

    Thank you Adrienne, what an inspiration!