Progress is a beautiful thing.
For months, every time I would visit my doctor and would have my weight and blood pressure taken the scale would rise and fall a few degrees each month.
“You’ve gained 7 pounds Jason,” he would say with his Polish accent. “Working out and being active is healthy for you.”
“Yes Doc. I know that.”
And I’d lose a few pounds by watching what I ate and exuding the least amount of physical energy possible, strip those pounds back off and arrive next month to be congratulated for my progress.
Then it would go back up. And down. And up. And down.
But three visits ago I went in to get weighed and was discouraged because it was higher – by a wide margin – than the scale I had weighed myself on at home just a few days prior. I figured that the heavier scale would be my litmus test, and I would go with that.
The following month it went down 10 pounds.
And then the following month – last week actually – it was down 10 pounds again.
It’s the first time since I’ve been seeing this particular doctor that something like that has actually happened.
This is no way a victory. But it’s a small victory. I’ve heard from people – in the office and elsewhere – that I look like I’ve lost weight. That you can see it in my face. And I can tell you that from the way that my computer is perched right now as I’m typing this, it hasn’t necessarily progressed to the target areas that I was hoping for.
But it’s about progress, not perfection.
So how have I done it?
Well, for starters I’ve cut out most of the soda that I used to consume with reckless abandon. I’ve heard from various people that even diet soda isn’t good for you – that your body doesn’t know how to process fake sugar so it ends up slowing down your metabolism and clogging up an otherwise refined system.
So iced tea and water and stevia-laced drinks it is for me for now.
The occasional soda, sure. I’m human. But while I used to down Coke Zero in quantities that increased corporate stock, it’s a ginger ale every now and again with dinner and an occasional Coke when I don’t feel like drinking coffee.
It’s a start. And it’s a step in the right direction.
As far as exercise goes, it has been humbling.
Back in high school I used to be able to leave my parents’ house, jog out to the main street outside of the neighborhood, down to the corner of the other main street into the neighborhood, up and into the neighborhood and back to the house. I used to be able to do this in less than 20 minutes, and without ever actually pushing myself too hard. It took me 20 minutes to get one half of the same route down, and I stopped to walk twice. My lower back killed me. My knees hurt. And I soaked through my undershirt and into the sweatshirt that I donned because I thought it was going to be “cold” outside.
I don’t necessarily have a target goal in mind, other than to be able to buy a suit off the rack and jeans from any store I see fit, which I’m not necessarily a long way from right now. There’s nothing more embarrassing than wanting to buy something and being told “we don’t have that in your size” by a judgmental clerk.
The last time I went to buy a suit the pants were so comically large with the jacket that actually fit that when they were taken in they still didn’t look right. I don’t want that anymore.
I’m halfway through changing my diet over to food that I exclusively cook myself or pick up from a handful of places that I know don’t serve things that are terrible for me. I still crave a cheeseburger every now and then, and saying goodbye to the ranch dressing I used to douse it in has actually been easier than I thought it would be.
Baby steps, right?
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