How Far Can You Go?

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

38 thoughts on “How Far Can You Go?

  1. Monica says:

    This is so me. Sometimes I like to do what I know can be accomplished and stop. Pushing myself is a good thing – right? Thanks for another inspiring post Diane

  2. 266 says:

    Ohhh… I need to think about this one, although I think so far I am pushing myself most days of this journey. Thanks for the shout out, Diane! A great post, as usual!
    .-= 266´s last blog ..I Deserve This =-.

  3. Amy H. says:

    I’m going to continue my 1 hour workouts each day, but a friend of mine needs help in the motivation department, so I offered to workout with her in the evenings twice a week. This is a challenge for me, as it’s at 8 p.m. – the only time she had available. I go to bed at 9:30! Just trying to be a good friend can be challenging sometimes.
    .-= Amy H.´s last blog ..Where I Went Wrong =-.

  4. Jo says:

    Another great post. I have pushed myself on this journey more than I have in the last two decades. It’s amazing the results. Right now my big push is exercise, so that’s what I’ll continue with. Then when that becomes habit, I’ll find something new. Something new always pops up! =)
    .-= Jo´s last blog ..Monday Morning Weigh In =-.

  5. South Beach Steve says:

    Diane, great timing on a great post. I needed to get out of my comfort zone a bit, and I did that this morning by adding a new exercise to my routine. There are some non-health related things I need to push myself on as well. Perhaps now is the time.

    btw, thanks for the link!
    .-= South Beach Steve´s last blog ..Motivation for Monday =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Monica – Pushing yourself is definitely a good thing. You can do anything you set your mind to.

      @266 – I think you are definitely pushing yourself. Keep it up!

      @Vickie – You are so good at pushing beyond what you think you can do. And then you do it – that’s what I love.

      @Amy H – Wow, you are a good friend to work out so late. I know that she will really appreciate it though. I know I would!

      @Jo – You are exactly right – something new does always pop up. Exercise is so important in this journey. I have to say for me I truly miss it when I can’t walk/run!

      @Steve – You are welcome for the link. I think now is the time – after all, aren’t you authoring that challenge or something?

  6. Joanna Sutter says:

    Great thought to kick off the week!

    I am going to look for career opportunities outside of the industry I’ve always worked in. Way out of my comfort zone, but not out of my abilities!

  7. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    I loved this post because pushing oneself out of the comfort zone is important not only in weight loss but life as you pointed out!

    I have done all the weight loss stuff you described in regards to new foods & new exercises & more. I just started exercising & then I did classes & then I pushed myself to jog faster & did 5K’s & then did more weights & did bodybuilding & now doing more at almost 52 than when I was younger including HIIT, plyometrics, clap push-ups & now trying for just 1 full body weight wide grip pull-up.

    BUT, I do have trouble pushing out of the comfort zone outside exercise. Yes, I have done it & yes, I SO HAVE FEAR OF FAILURE! I have tried MANY times to be a reader model in my fitness mags & never hear back. Maybe I will try again. That will be a push for me since I have had so many failures at that one!

    Thx Diane!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 51´s last blog ..Health, Fitness & The Fashion Police! =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Joanna – I hope those career opportunities work out for you. I wish you all the success in the world!

      @Marisa – Emotional challenges are so hard. Good for you. BTW – I loved your painting pictures!

      @Jody – I totally think that you should try to be a reader model. If anyone is the model of fitness and motivation it’s you!

  8. Louisa says:

    It’s amazing what you can do if you just push yourself that little bit harder. I did a 10k run last year and I was worried that I wouldn’t finish as two concurrent bouts of tonsilitis wiped out all the good my training had achieved but I did it and I wasn’t the last to finish!
    Your advice is helpful as it doesn’t just apply to diet and exercise, you always need to push yourself if you want to achieve.

    You know the saying: If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always get what you’ve always got!
    .-= Louisa´s last blog ..Sunday lunch is hard to get around! =-.

  9. Dr. J says:

    To paraphrase Leo Buscalia, “What you have is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God!”

    I’ve been very lucky, and remain always grateful, to have been given many gifts.

  10. Janet says:

    I can really relate to this one. Just this year in May I started running. I was a regular exerciser before, but didn’t think I could EVER run, because I have “bad knees”… I started one minute run/walk intervals and built up slowly. Last week I ran my first half marathon, and you know what? My knees have never felt stronger than they do now!
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Day 133 – Breathing A BIG Sigh of Relief =-.

  11. Diane says:

    @Louisa – A 10K? Wow, I am so impressed. You are right about being able to do more than we ever imagine.

    @Andrea – There is always something more we can do!

    @Dr J – Thanks for that quote. It’s true that we have all been given many gifts, we just need to use them.

    @Robin – You bring up a good point about being glad when you do push yourself in terms of exercise. I never regret exercising, even if at first I don’t think I want to.

    @erin – Wonderful idea to push yourself on your workouts! You can do it!

    @Yum Yucky – I don’t know that I could do a 15 mile walk challenge, but maybe I will! I need to try new foods as well. I love black bean soup already!

    @Janet – Wonderful statement on the benefits of exercise. I have knee issues, but am still pushing forward to run. I don’t know about a half marathon like you though. . .

  12. Tyler says:

    I’ve lost 30 pounds and really want to do more with lifting. I do some, but know I can really improve. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Jules says:

    For me, this week… i’m just pushing myself to start food journaling again and exercising for at least 30 minutes every day this week. I need to get back in the groove before the groove gets beyond my physical reach (pregnancy wise). That is my goal this week. I’m already dressed and ready to go… just need to get the kiddo ready. So what am I doing on here? hehehe! BYE! 🙂
    .-= Jules´s last blog ..Yeah me =-.

  14. Staci says:

    Since I am training for the half marathon I am pushing myself to go further than I have ever run. I used to just run about two miles at a time. This weekend I will be setting a record and going for 11 miles. It has been quite an experience, but my body is loving the way it feels! Thank you for the wonderful post, it really got me thinking!
    .-= Staci´s last blog ..The Case of the Disappearing Inches =-.

  15. Gigi says:

    Good inspiration, as always.

    I, too, am going to try to call all those people on my list that I’m a little nervous about. Nothing bad ever happens but the shyness factor really takes over sometimes. But I guess that means I’m pushing beyond my comfort zone and that’s a good thing.
    .-= Gigi´s last blog .."I’m Not Worthy!!" =-.

  16. Carla says:

    I really need to “push” myself to attend a MS friendly Yoga class this week. I’ve been out of the Yoga loop for over a year and now that I found a class that I can attend, I really just need to get to it!
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Arachnophobia =-.

  17. Pam says:

    I have pushed myself to the point that I am, but I have been very lazy the last week or so. Its time to focus on something to push again. Exercise is a huge one, along with eating regularly. I am trying pomegranates for the first time this week, so that is new, too.
    This post has perfect timing though, because its time to push again, or I’ll never get where I am going!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..ABC’s of The Weekend =-.

  18. Leslie Erickson says:

    This was a great post, and so relevant for me today. I’ve been struggling with night eating, and also doing great with cardio but resisting the strength training. When I first started this journey I WAS pushing myself. After some success, I seem to be stalling deliberately. I need to push myself to resume the strength training, and also to stop playing around with the scale and eating according to the daily number! I need to push myself to not weigh so often.
    .-= Leslie Erickson´s last blog ..Scale Roulette =-.

  19. teresa says:

    I’m going to push myself to exercise every day. I’ve gotten out of the habit. The real push of this goal is that the exercise is going to take place in the morning, before work–and I’m not a morning person. I want to be, though, so I will be.

  20. Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie) says:

    Diane — In reading this post, it was hard to see where you ended and I began! Oh my gosh, even the part about asparagus!!! That is my new favorite — though I “hated it” all my life (LOL). It turns out that when it’s done properly, I LOVE IT. Maybe that’s a metaphor for my entire life: When I take the time to do things properly, I love doing them! And that includes things like walking in the Walk From Obesity (something I never could have done two years ago), hiking on a 5-mile sunset hike, or running up a hill. Craziness, I tell you. But, like you said, you’ll never know what you can do until you push yourself — AND do it right! I’m proud to say that I have come farther than I ever thought was possible — or worthwhile. Thanks for another great post.
    .-= Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie)´s last blog ..Radio Interview for Barbie =-.

  21. Dawn says:

    Great post Diane, you described my journey with trying new things in all areas of my life. I’ve told myself this is what will get me to my goal and keep me there this time and now seeing that is how you started I know I’m right. Thanks.
    .-= Dawn´s last blog ..Monday’s already over =-.

  22. Hanlie says:

    I went for an interview… Am still recovering from the stress of it.

    This is one thing I have learned on my journey – given time and effort, I can pretty much do anything. I will never forget the first time I hit the speed button on the treadmill and broke into a slow run. I was so overcome with emotion I sobbed for the full minute of my run!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Potato Pancakes with Herbed Tomatoes =-.

  23. Teresa says:

    Somedays it takes a push to just get up, and other days I can push way beyond my comfort zone. It all seems to come down to my frame of mind. I almost have to be mad to get up on my lazy days. My best motivation to push really hard is to have a goal. I accomplished my 5K goal, and now am moving on to a 10K. Without a goal or challenge of some sort, I tend to slack.
    .-= Teresa´s last blog ..I can’t and I won’t keep putting myself thru this =-.

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