I can honestly say that exercise has become something that I really do enjoy. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t get those words out with a straight face, but now I am thankful for a healthy body that is strong enough to exercise. It’s therapeutic in many ways. And for me, it’s also “social.”
I’ve mentioned several times the women’s “boot camp classes” that I attend three days a week. We all sweat together and whine and complain together and yes, we all celebrate our accomplishments together. One of the things I think is the most crucial in the successful journey to not only losing weight to begin with, but also to keeping it off is accountability.
Everyone in the class is at different levels as far as physical fitness. But I still can’t forget how it felt to be obese. And I remember the little victories along the way. That’s why it is so easy for me to get excited with my friends when I see them hit a milestone or accomplish something significant in their own weight-loss journey.
I wanted to share a specific incident that happened with one of my friends who was new to the class. This particular instance was her very first time working out with us. It’s always interesting to watch others “experience” a Biggest Loser-type workout for the first time. As I’ve often shared, I literally had to crawl to the bathroom in those early days because I was in so much pain.
Well, towards the end of this particular work out session my friend just broke down in tears. It’s normal to see people cry during intense workouts. It’s a physically and emotionally exhausting experience. (In fact, I watched some big, grown men cry like babies on The Biggest Loser campus.) As she struggled to catch her breath and talk through the tears she said she couldn’t articulate why she was crying so hard.
Because of what I’ve been through, I knew immediately. I said, “I totally get it. You are crying for three reasons…”
1. This is the hardest thing you’ve ever done and it hurts!
2. You are incredibly proud of yourself for actually doing it!
3. You can’t believe you’ve let it get so out of control and that you are in the shape you are in.
She said that was it completely! I had “read her mind.”
Of course not really—but I did recognize the tears because they were my own not too long ago. But I am here to tell my friend and anybody else who is just getting started that YOU CAN DO IT!!!! It will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But like me—you didn’t get in the shape you are in overnight—and you won’t “undo the damage” overnight either.
Don’t get me wrong, I have good days and bad days. I have victorious days, and then days when I still struggle. But I am here to tell you that it can be done. And it is so worth it. So to my friend—if she’s reading this—I am more proud of you than you’ll ever understand. And to everybody else—keep making progress one day at a time. And if you haven’t started…today is the day! There really is purpose in the pain.