Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The sermon at my church this morning was about waiting. I thought this was appropriate in the pursuit of fitness as well...

Do you like to wait? If so, I would imagine you would be in a very lonely category of people. Most of us spend lots of time waiting and we don't like a minute of it. We live in a fast food, quick results, instant gratification world. I think the faster things become, the more we demand things to become faster. Is this really good for us? I wonder.

How many infomercials have you watched selling you the "quick" way to six-pack abs, easy weight loss, disappearing cellulite, etc? It is so enticing, the easy way. Millions are spent on these products--heck, I've spent my share! Nothing like this has ever worked for me. Has it for you?

Unless you are one of those extremely rare and fortunate people who have naturally thin and muscular bodies, weight loss and muscle building take time and effort. And patience. And WAITING. Not what you wanted to hear but probably what you knew was true. Weight loss is the result of hard-fought choices with food one day, or even ONE MEAL at a time. Strength and endurance are built with sweat one hard workout at a time. And, when you think you have reached your goal--you realize that there is never really an end to this fitness quest.

Most of us can get up the motivation and discipline to make it through a few days or even a few weeks of good nutrition and an exercise program. Why are some able to make it longer, turn it in to their lifestyle? Since I have stuck with this for over 2 years, I'm going to say that it is a lifestyle for me. What made this time different though than all the other times I've lost weight and exercised?
  1. I was ready. I was so tired of hating my appearance and hating how I felt that I just had to do something.
  2. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed by how totally out of shape I had gotten. I couldn't run a quarter of a mile without stopping to catch my breath. I couldn't do a single body weight squat.
  3. No promises of ease. As I've mentioned before, I started with a personal trainer who just happened to own his own CrossFit affiliate. While he did promise that I would see results, those results would only come with hard work.
  4. It was FUN. No workout was exactly the same and they were all short. There was a competitive element, which I could really embrace--especially since I was really just competing against myself.
  5. Hard work paid off, and prompted more hard work. I could see and feel the changes in my body. This made me want to work even harder to achieve more changes, and to be patient while waiting for those changes.

I do still battle with weight. The difference is that I do not let myself get out of control now. I know what I need to eat. I know that getting back on track is just a matter of making good choices at my NEXT meal. Sure, I have unmet expectations and setbacks, but I think those just keep me moving forward. Keep me living in hope. Help me endure the waiting.

I encourage you to be disciplined in your nutrition choices and your workouts. You know this is the road to success. You also know that this process takes time. There will be waiting. As my minister, Chris Shorow, said this morning..."Waiting is believing enough in something to wait for it to happen."

Start believing, then working, then waiting. You'll be glad you did.

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