What do you do when all you have done over the past year has made no measurable difference? I am the same weight I was last year at this time. I am not as strong as I was last year at this time.
I have a good friend whose answer to anything that perplexes and maddens him is, “Oh Well…” and then he shrugs and goes a different direction.
Then a wise person, seeing me depressed and hopeless asked me a question. “When you go on your hikes around the lake, do you enjoy them?” Yes, yes I do. I like the feeling of the sun on my face, the occasional eagle, the smell of the lake, the quiet and sounds of the birds and insects. I do enjoy my hikes. “When you’ve finished your hike, aren’t you at the same place you started?” Hmmmm. “When you go to the gym, and you do your routines, you start in the changing room and you end in the changing room. What actually changes?” Oh, you fool, you fool! I hurt EVERY WHERE! I’m hot and smelly and sweaty and tired. “Do you enjoy your time in the gym?” Well, I enjoy working with my trainer. She’s a hoot. She does make me do more than I think I can do. I don’t like just going by myself though. “Which one of these activities actually allows you more progress?” Hmmm? Suddenly didn’t like wise person…she made my brain work too hard.
I want to make progress toward a specific goal…weight, stamina, flexibility, strength. I want to be healthy and do normal things like get out of a chair, play with kids, go see stuff without getting short of breath. But it seems like I change my focus to reading the numbers, the indications and measurements that I am really making progress. I cannot do that and actually MAKE progress. I focus on the weight, the calories, the nutrients and those numbers. Even if I feel better and have more energy, I sublimate that to my spreadsheet saying that once again I haven’t lost my 2 pounds/week. I focus on how many reps, how many pounds, how many sets, but not the difference in how it makes me feel.
New Year’s resolution: Measurable progress happens when you focus on the progress, not just the individual milestones.