Fitness column: Fitness and weight-loss regimes require patience
“Look me in the eye. It’s OK if you’re scared. So am I. But we are scared for different reasons. I am scared of what I won’t become. And you are scared of what I could become. Look at me. I won’t let myself end where I started. I won’t let myself finish where I began. I know what is within me, even if you can’t see it yet. Look me in the eyes. I have something more important than courage. I have patience. I will become what I know I am.”
— Michael Jordan
After she told me that she loves my columns and I confirmed that I’m “that guy,” Susie went straight to the point.
“I’ve been exercising and eating healthily now for a month, and I don’t see results,” Susie said to start the conversation.
“Are you sure? Did you measure and weigh yourself and find your fat levels before you started?” I replied.
“No, I only weighed myself. I have seen a couple of pounds go down on the scale, but that is nothing compared to the changes I have made.”
We were talking at the coffee shop where I usually sit and work on my computer.
“The best thing you can do is have a reliable baseline to go back to for comparison.”
“I need to get rid of these ‘muffin tops’ as soon as possible.”
She was not listening to my advice, and I was not listening to her. I was the one making the mistake, so I shut up and listened. Susie continued expressing herself. After her “muffin top” sentence, I thought maybe she was seeing real results but that she was not patient enough to appreciate it.
Nowadays, I have the body I always wanted. Yes, when I started to exercise I saw no results in a month, then three months later I saw an improvement, and six months after that I noticed more muscle tone. A year passed and I saw more results. I felt that I got to my plateau after three years. That is when I felt my best. Right now, I continue improving, but my improvement is at a slow pace.
Now I laugh because I find pictures from those days and see very little results. However, I felt like Arnold back then. My perception and my patience paid off. Even though my results were minimal, I still focused on them, finding them fulfilling.
However, anyone can be impatient. I have goals set up in all areas of my life. I have learned to be patient with my body, and that has paid off, as I mentioned. With other goals, however, sometimes it’s difficult to wait. My business, the opening of more employment opportunities, my contribution to the world and others, and the rehabbing of my animals are some goals with which I sometimes feel impatience. I get lost in the desperation mode and focus on wanting things now.
I learned that life shouldn’t be the way I want. There is a process that needs to be followed for life to unfold the way we want, and that process requires patience. Consequently, I take a deep breath and meditate. I turn back and notice how much I have accomplished. That, yes, life is not where I want it to be, but I have gotten so far. I’m helping the world, I have happy employees, my dogs are walking better, my business is better than ever. I go back and focus on the small results to make them bigger, and when I do that, the desire to continue doing what I’m doing grows stronger.
“Susie, yes, maybe you are not where you want to be, maybe the ‘muffin tops’ are still there. However, if you are doing everything right, you probably are seeing results that you are not focusing on. This may lead you to desperation. I recommend you get a baseline and follow up every month, even though your baseline is only a picture, and be patient with the process,” I replied after my conclusions.
“Do you think I should continue doing what I’m doing?”
“Of course, if you are eating healthily and exercising, I don’t see why not. Time will always tell. One month to get rid of the ‘muffin top’ is not enough, however. Oh, and next time I recommend not getting a cappuccino with whipped cream on top. Get a tea or black coffee,” I winked.
She laughed and left the building smiling.
Sandro Torres’ column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale.
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