I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of the very famous workout mantra of the 4-8-12 weeks break down. In case you aren’t familiar…
Time and time again as I’ve recommitted myself to different programs I’ve flipped through the pages of my planner and marked 4, 8, and 12 week cutoffs. I’ve done what I thought was hard work and never saw anything at 4 or 8 and certainly not by 12 weeks, so I quit. Or I tried something new and eventually quit it too.
Yet just like the little engine that could, I keep moving up the mountain. 2014 was (is) going to be different. In the past I desperately wanted things to be different, but on paper I feared they’d stay the same. I had very little hope and very few tools to achieve my goals and dreams. Not to be “one of those people”, but I feel very much like things are FINALLY different this time around. How exactly are they different?
- I have a stable job/career where I am comfortable and there are no foreseeable challenges/changes (example, license tests)
- I am not in a crappy relationship (or any relationship with the possibility of it turning crappy)
- I have a STRONG support network of friends and family
- I am willing and able to admit my eating habits are a majority of my issue and I am willing to change
- I am doing more than just cardio, I am finally strength training and doing proper rest days
- I’m not depressed and I’ve learned healthy coping skills
Maybe to some those 6 things seem trivial, or they seem like I should have had my shit together in the past. Well, I didn’t and what’s done is done, but now it’s time to look toward the future and decide what new choices to make instead of dwelling on the old.
I began being “serious” about my health/life in January. Nervously I waited for the passage of “week 4”. Entering February I didn’t feel very different. You may recall posts where I talked about having better energy, sleeping patterns, and starting to stay away from sugar, but nothing about body size or “changes”.
Going into March I was starting to feel the old itch of “It takes 4 weeks” and holding myself to some weight/size standard I’ve never met in the past. Except people are noticing. Not just people who I ask either. Could it be? Have I made it to 8 weeks without knowing I made it to 4? My pants fit better (the scale and tape measure say the same), but more importantly, I continue to FEEL better, I continue to FUEL better, and I continue to PERFORM better.
I’m doing moves in Pilates and Core I used to lay down and try not to cry when I saw them demonstrated. I’m feeling muscles engage I never knew I had. My form and duration are all expanding and I look forward to the classes. Plus, I’m taking on more classes without too much issue. The biggest change of all? I’m not hiding from the mirror in Zumba.
Maybe I’m still not in love with what I see and how it all sits and jiggles. The thing is though, I’m happy and healthy enough to be there and I’m able to move in ways I never have in all my years of running and being “an athlete”.
Maybe I do (did) notice changes at 4 weeks, they just weren’t the changes I expected. So if you’re starting or restarting your own journey I implore you to consider ALL aspects of change and not only the ones you set out to achieve. Trust me, it’s easier said than done, but don’t short change yourself and what your body is capable and willing to do for you.