I was reading some blogs this weekend and came across this post from 266. In it she describes her experience pushing herself to walk 25 km in one day. For those of us who are metrically challenged, that’s approximately 15 miles. And no, 266 is not a super athlete, training for an iron man triathlon. She is a weight loss blogger, who is pushing herself beyond where she ever thought possible.
As I thought about her post, I looked back and reflected upon my own weight loss journey. I realized that although I didn’t walk 15 miles in one day, there were many, many times where I pushed myself far beyond where I would have thought possible. Initially just getting up early was hard for me. And getting up early to attempt some exercise at 300 pounds was even more incredible. Walking down the dark neighborhood roads for 10 minutes seemed impossible, and when I got home those first few days you would have thought that I had walked 15 miles as drenched in sweat as I was.
Every day, when I got up and exercised I was pushing myself beyond where I would have thought possible. I still remember the first time I walked for 30 minutes at one time. When I got back to the house John said, “I was starting to get worried about you.” I looked at him and smiled, thinking, “I was a little bit worried I wasn’t going to make it back home.” But I did.
I eventually worked up to jogging a bit and ran a 5K during that year of my weight loss. I still remember the triumphant feeling when I crossed the finish line at about 34:00. I never dreamed that I would be able to walk a 5K, much less run one. But I pushed myself, and realized that I could go a lot farther than I had ever thought possible.
Pushing myself farther didn’t just relate to exercise. As I reflected on my journey, and what made this time different than some of the other attempts I had, I realized that I pushed myself in every area of my life. I pushed myself to try new foods, including things like asparagus, artichokes, and squash. I pushed myself emotionally, by taking the time and effort to examine why I was making food choices that were harmful to me. And I pushed myself socially, by opening myself up to new experiences and relationships.
It was a year of reaching for something new. It was a rediscovery of myself and of the abilities that had been hidden under layers of fat.
Sometimes, it can be scary to push yourself. Why? Because, if you are like me, you may be afraid of failure. Or, you may be worried that you just can’t do it. Or, you may lack the self confidence to just try.
This week, as you go about your life, I want you to think about pushing yourself. It doesn’t have to be weight related, but rather can be anything. It may be something that you’ve set as a goal for yourself if you are participating in Steve’s challenge, or it could be a private goal. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Take the next seven days and do something to make that goal a reality. Even better if you have to push yourself to do it.
I’m going to push myself out of my comfort zone and make some contacts with people that I’ve been a little nervous to call. What can you push yourself to accomplish this week? Diane