Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Support from everyone

Support from others is vital to successfully reaching your goals. Technically, I guess that's not true of EVERY goal, but it is true more often than not. Attempting to achieve your goals without any help from others can quickly go from being a valiant effort on your part to a tragic failure that only you are responsible for. I am not surprised by the amount of support I have received while setting my personal health goals. My friends and family have always been very supportive.

I don't mean to jump the gun on thanking everyone for helping me since I am just getting started, but I wanted to say something. Think of this as me showing appreciation for the people who have already given me words of encouragement and suggestions to help me succeed and a proactive thanks to those who will. I want to highlight three examples of support I have received in the last 24 hours alone. These are by no means in order of importance and are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the support I have received.

The practical support
My sister was the first one to offer me a suggestion, along with words of encouragement, to help me get started. I mentioned that I have never really enjoyed running, and being the runner she is, she gave me a simple, yet useful, suggestion. Walk until you can run. (I paraphrased a little, but I think she'll be ok with that. - I like to read more into things than what is always there.) My main reason for not starting out running right now (besides not liking it) is that my knees aren't the greatest and with my extra weight right now, I know my knees would hate me for it.

Walking is very low impact on the joints (that's nearly a word-for-word quote from my sister) and it is still very good for the cardio side of my health concerns. The "walk before you run" part had added meaning to me because I am taking this in small steps. I know myself and that for me to stay engaged with this process, I need to start simple and work my way up. The nice weather is upon us and I like the idea of being able to get some outside exercise. Walking is a no stress, no pain way to ease into it.

The unintentional support
This example will include a "little" example of my horrible portion control with food that I mentioned in an earlier post. Fajitas and burritos are a popular meal in our household. The question I always get asked while Sarah is preparing these meals is, "two shells or three?" I have always been a three shell guy. I almost always decide (after I've eaten three fajitas or burritos) that two would have been fine. Too late. Well, tonight I said "two shells." After my wife regained consciousness, we gathered around the table to enjoy our meal.

It was then (fortunately for my will power - too late to change my mind) that I realized the shells were a lot smaller than our usual shells. So, not only did I have two burritos rather than three, they were also smaller than the usual burritos. I know it probably doesn't seem like much, but it's a step in the right direction. The part I liked is that I was still full after "only" two burritos. My wife's decision to buy tortilla shells from a different store unintentionally helped me cut back a little more than I was aiming....and that's a good thing.

Support from my youngest
This example also occurred tonight at supper - less than a minute after my decision to go with two burritos rather than three. As we were gathering around the dinner table, I overheard my youngest daughter saying, "Daddy has a huge belly." I thought it was funny that she would make a statement like that at the same time I'm actually starting to make an effort at correcting the "huge belly" issue.

She proceeded to say that my belly was "so big - even bigger than hers." Well, that's probably a good thing since my four year old daughter is pretty tiny. I realized that she wasn't trying to be mean, but rather making an innocent observation and statement of comparative analysis. (I bet you didn't know a four year old could do that.) So, once I realized she wasn't actually insulting me, I wiped the tears from my eyes and moved on. Ok, so I wasn't really crying and my feelings weren't really hurt. In fact, it's pretty hard to hurt my feelings. (My wife is also a little disappointed that she's only seen me cry once during our marriage.) My daughter's observation served as encouragement that I'm taking the right action - even if it is a bit later than I should have started.

I will end this by saying thank you for the support thus far and I am looking forward to seeing what ideas, comments and suggestions come as I continue my journey. Until next time....