Measuring Sticks

I’m a fairly logical person.  I like tangible, measurable progress in any endeavor.  That’s been a bit of a thorn for me the last couple of weeks, because, as with any weight loss endeavor, loss starts to slow down.  It’s not because “I’m bad” or “giving up” or “cheating,” it just is what it is…body mechanics are doing their shifting too. So instead of sneezing and losing five pounds, I’m fighting for each ounce the scale is going down.  And don’t feed me the platitude that “muscle weighs more than fat.”  Yes, that is in fact true in and of itself, but when you really do your homework on that statement in terms of weight loss, it’s a cop out.  One of my battles is excuses–the justifications that I make to myself that make things “okay.”  Don’t feed me bull. I don’t have room in my head for it.

I needed something tangible yesterday because I was feeling a little discouraged after my morning weigh-in with only one pound lost to show for the last several weeks.  At physical therapy for my back, I do an exercise with a belt secured around my waist and walk away from the machine to pull weight.  My therapeutic setting for multiple repetitions is 10 pounds, and after the first few–that takes some work to continue pulling an additional 10 pounds around as you walk.  I was very curious, so I asked if they could set the machine at 45 pounds so I could see what it was like to haul around the weight that I was carrying on my person when I started all of this.  They didn’t want me to try because of the stress it would put on my back to pull, but helped me brace myself to take a few steps.  I couldn’t even move one step forward.  That was a reality check.

In some ways I was surprised, but in other ways, as I thought about it–this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.  When I started back in January, I honestly couldn’t walk that well.  It took herculean effort to lift myself from a sitting position.  Steps were awful and took some intentional effort to step up/down.  A lot has changed in a relatively short amount of time.  I walk better. I can walk distance now.  Other than our awful couches at home (which no one can get up from gracefully because of their cheap construction), I have no problem getting up from sitting.  Steps are pretty much a non-issue, I can walk up/down them like a “normal” person now.

I know it seems like I focus a lot on the physical, and generally I do, because that’s where the facts and figures lie.  I’ve made quite a bit of progress in other areas as well.  I’ve identified a lot of areas in need of improvement and have started to make attempts in changing those areas.  Changing my way of thinking is a big one, and a tough one, but I notice myself weighing thoughts more carefully and comparing them with God’s truth and calling my lies exactly what they are, rubbish.  I find myself relying a lot more on God’s strength than my own.  And like I talked about in one of my last posts about motivation vs. discipline, slowly but surely the habits being established are becoming discipline–doing things I need to do even when I don’t want to do them.

There’s still a long road ahead, but I tarry on confident today that I’m making slow and steady progress down the path.  Dragging my feet in the sand some days, but moving forward nonetheless.

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