Monday, March 08, 2010
I posted this on a team message board and decided to share it here as well.
Baby steps are definitely my approach to a healthier lifestyle, though that doesn't come easily to me. I have to fight against this little voice inside me that says you should be able to do X and get angry with myself when I slip up. So I have to remind myself, all the time, that baby steps are still steps, still progress, and that slow and steady is the way to win this race and that even with set backs, I'm still making progress.
In 2004, I couldn't walk for 15 minutes. I had hurt my hip in 2002 and my hip hurt and I had loss a lot of muscle. This was before sparks, but I started with baby steps to fix it. I walked, a little, ever day. I couldn't even swim from one end of the little pool at our apartment complex, so I would swim half a lap and then walk in the pool for 4, then swim a half lap than walk 4. By the end of the summer, I could walk (outside the pool) about 15 minutes, though not without pain. I could swim up to 4 laps before I had to go back to walking in the water.
Every time I get frustrated that I'm not doing everything, I try to remind myself of how far I have come. And if I lose sight of that, I have lots of good, smart, encouraging spark friends who remind me of it, who remind me to that baby steps matter.
I can now walk--with an anti-inflammatory, I went to the zoo last fall with friends and WALKED. Not that long ago, I would have had to rent a wheel chair to get through the zoo. Last fall, I was able to stop taking my anti-inflammatory every day for the first time--now I only take them when the inflammation flares up or if I know I'm going to be walking a lot and aggravate it. I can tell I'm rebuilding muscle through physical therapy/strength training. I hate doing it--physical therapy is definitely Not Fun, but I can feel those muscles and I've made progress. I can lift heavier weights. I can run on the elliptical for longer, farther, and faster. I hit my nutritional goals more often. I'm eating more fruits and vegetables, more protein, more calcium, more fiber, more whole grains, and more water, while cutting back on soft drinks, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates.
And I did it one little step at a time.
I loved the quote in The Spark about how instead of saying, two steps forward, one step back, to turn it around and say one step back, two steps forward. I liked the idea of putting the focus on recovering from the set back and pushing forward anyway--making progress, no matter how slowly.