Accomplishment Ain’t the Finish Line

As I walked across a parking lot this evening carrying groceries in my hands, I felt my pants slipping down over my hips. #weightlossproblems

My fitness effort has been going a lot better since I made my calendar in my last blog post. My weight has crept back down, slowly but perceptibly, and when I got out the tape measure for the first time in weeks and entered them into my spreadsheet, I found that I’d lost inches on my thighs, hips, and waist. Great! And I’ve been pretty good about my diet, minus the usual Friday blowout.

Another non-scale victory: I’ve been able to wear pants that I bought the last time I was working out really hard and eating right. I’d gotten down to 184 at my lowest point and was fitting into size 14s, wondering when I could try on some 12s. I was also more muscular, since I was working out regularly, so I was even smaller than I am now at a much less fit 189. I only tried the pants on out of desperation when I realized the two pairs of jeans that I usually wear were both in the laundry hamper. I have quite a few pairs of 14s, and I hoped one of them would be good enough to suffer through all day. The first pair was still too tight to be comfortable, but the second pair was actually comfortable. In fact, of all the jeans I’ve tried on from the drawer of abandoned pants, only that first pair so far has been a miss.

Several people have complimented me on how my efforts have paid off. I know that my legs have felt thinner when I’ve handled them for Pilates moves such as scissors and hamstring stretch.

“Oh, I am kicking ass,” I thought to myself on Monday night. Then: “Gee, it’s raining so hard outside. It’s nice and cozy in here. I don’t have to go outside at all to work out, but this weather is making me feel so lazy. Maybe I don’t have to work out tonight.” And so, I didn’t.

It happened again Tuesday night, to my horror.

I could forgive myself one night off from my self-imposed calendar, but two nights in a row? On my second week? How is this going to work if I don’t stick to my system and put in the effort I demand of myself? How much more generous could I have been with my schedule? Do I realize that I’m the only person who is able to make me work out?

I felt so accomplished, so self-satisfied with my progress. “There’s your reward. Now you’re done putting forth an effort.” How horribly familiar that sounds to many people who are trying to improve their lifestyles, especially those struggling with big changes, such as weight loss.

Complacency is my enemy. There’s nothing wrong with contentment or moderation, but those suggest an active awareness that complacency does not evoke. I am not living my life in moderation or contentment if I take two nights off because I didn’t feel like working out or felt like I was too busy. Yes, I ran some errands, but I was also playing Facebook games and reading Reddit for at least two hours on each of those nights.

There’s no way I’m going to be happy to stop my efforts because I mistook a mile marker for a victory arch. Tangible progress is so gratifying, and it’s great to have more wardrobe options and people around me who care to let me know they’ve noticed how hard I’ve been working. But I can’t let a little reward in the short term stop me from carrying on to see a bigger reward in the long term.

The only thing I should allow to stop me, really, is an uprising from the drawer of abandoned pants.

A woman looks dubiously at a pair of pants as a second unseen pair reaches out towards her from an open bureau

Uprising from the Drawer of Abandoned Pants: The Revolution Will Be Tailored.

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One response to “Accomplishment Ain’t the Finish Line

  1. Pingback: Full Basket, Hollow Victory…and Hand-sewn Hems | Treadmill of Sisyphus

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