"It's a mighty poor man who can't go strong all day after a downhill start in the morning".
I heard my father-in-law say this many times during his life, but I now have a real life situation to make the words even more meaningful.
I have reached the midway point in my journey. It's downhill from this point forward. I have been on this journey for six months, and have lost a total of 90 pounds. It's a new day in my life, and I have a downhill start.
This has been an eventful week.
I cleaned my kitchen and living room. Why is that eventful? First, I was able to do it. And secondly, I finished it.
I have a huge kitchen and living room area. They are beautiful rooms when they are clean, but it is a difficult task to clean them. It has been beyond my physical ability to thoroughly clean them, including scrubbing the tile floors in the kitchen and vacuuming the carpets in the living room.
Brenda, my counselor, told me last week that I should not exercise hard while on program, but should concentrate on easy activities that build endurance. Because I am getting no carbs in my diet, any strenuous exercise is counterproductive. It creates a situation where I burn muscle rather than fat, and that can result in a weight gain rather than a loss. I had prided myself on my treadmill workouts - I was working quite hard for my physical ability. But, as she pointed out, athletes at any level load up on foods full of carbs prior to any strenuous activity. So, I had to change my routine a little and substitute something that would keep me moving, but not to the point of breathlessness and overexertion. So, I decided that I would clean the great room area.
I started in the breakfast nook area, which is on the far side of my kitchen. I first cleaned the top of the microwave - threw away, or filed, all of the papers that had accumulated on top. Then, I even cleaned the inside of the microwave. And washed the glass in the hutch where the microwave sits. It looked nice - I felt good. I then went and bought a Bissell floor sweeper/scrubber and cleaned the tile under the table. And removed that clutter on top of the table. I felt better. A little polish on the table made me feel better yet. I threw away most of the stuff, but kept moving the items for saving to the other end of the kitchen. I cleaned the granite counter tops, finished scrubbing the tile, washed the dishwasher front, and then had to tackle the remaining countertops. But, once the countertops were free of clutter and wiped down completely, I had a feeling of satisfaction that I haven't had for quite some time.
But, I wasn't finished. I had to vacuum the carpets and dust all of the surfaces. I sat down and decided that the rest of the job could wait till later. But, as I sat there looking at the areas that were shining and clean, I realized that I could finish this job. All I had to do was walk into the bedroom and bring out the vacuum hose and in 20 minutes I could be completely done.
Now, as I looked at my living areas, I realized that the only thing wrong was that the vacuum hose was stretched across the floor - and the scrubber was sitting at the end of the cabinet in the kitchen. I forced myself to put those two items into their storage places. I was done. I had set a goal and succeeded in meeting it.
I couldn't help but relate that experience to my weight loss journey. I have a goal of losing 180 pounds. I am halfway there. Just as I felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished cleaning the microwave, I feel a sense of accomplishment at my current level of weight loss. But, the journey isn't complete until I reach my final destination.
I know that I have a problem finishing things. I have so many projects that are almost done that I couldn't count them all. I had to force myself to finish this task that I set for myself. I shared last week that I am not a very patient person. I also am not a finisher. Weight loss is about more than food. I realize that my weight is simply a manifestation of habits that I have developed over my lifetime. For now, I am planning to concentrate on setting mini goals and completing them. And, as I work on making simple changes in my habits, those changes will carry over into my weight loss process. I feel good now, but know that I will feel fantastic when I reach that final destination.
It's a glorious new morning, and I have a downhill start!