The Journey to Better Health has Ups and Downs

I was thinking about this as I looked in the mirror this morning. I had a big meal last night and I’ve had somewhat bigger meals lately. I need to manage my portion sizes back down, but coupled with my inability to run (Achille’s heel injury) coupled with my recent weightlifting has left me looking a little less defined. It’s okay, I told myself, because another 5 weeks in the gym and I’ll see changes.

It’s a constant battle fighting against the doubt fairies that run amok in my mind. These are the same fairies that told me at the beginning of this journey four years ago that I’d never succeed. 130 lbs later and those same fairies told me I’d never be able to run fast enough to pass an APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test). The same fairies are telling me that this weightlifting thing is silly.

Like any journey, rarely is it all downhill or even a flat course. There are ups and downs, and it’s always easy to keep going when you’re coasting down-hill, but when you’re facing obstacles or a long climb, that’s when your determination and perseverance are tested. Much like when I was on my 6-mile ruck march earlier this month, seeing a big hill was a test of my will. I knew physically I could do it, but the question was could I do it quickly enough? I didn’t allow my brain to keep analyzing it and quickly diverted all processing power to another thought: was I going to take a long shower or a long bath when I got home from the SFAB assessment?

This morning, as I feel a bit pudgy and like I’m making progress in the wrong direction, I put my trust in the diet that’s brought me so much success and in the weight training plan I’ve been following. I know that results are never immediate; health and fitness are rarely a short-term gratification. You have to invest time and energy, and I’m at the very beginning of the process with weightlifting while well into it for overall health. I’m healthy, and I’m pretty happy with my weight, but I could stand to lose about 20 lbs. Yes, I said 20 lbs. Why? I felt most comfortable at that weight, and I’d like to get back to it. I will not starve myself or do anything stupid, though. I’m experienced enough to realize that sometimes goals aren’t realistic and our bodies change over time and decide what an ideal weight is based in food intake and physical output. I’m hoping that the weightlifting coupled with my healthy eating results in some changes in my appearance, namely getting rid of some of the extra skin in different areas around my body. I know I can’t make the skin go away, but perhaps muscle structure under it will improve its appearance.

I’m heading up-hill right now, but that’s okay. I know that eventually, I’ll reach a crest and then I can coast a bit. Or, as I found out during my last ruck, I can run down-hill to make up time. No need to rest when you can double-down on your energy investment!

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