Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the long view

i want to believe that when i set out to do something i give it my all. in some cases, this is absolutely true. i think it mostly has to do with not disappointing other people. but not much of this motivation comes from within myself.

case in point: i just started weight watchers last tuesday. i'm coordinating with a friend online, and we have been emailing every day. i've also been doing a pretty difficult pilates-style exercise program for about 2 1/2 weeks now. (incidentally, i've lost 2 pounds and my bicep muscle actually popped up and surprised me the other day.)

this is my thought process regarding sharing this here: if i tell readers i am doing this, and then i fail, what will they think of me?

which means that i was (and probably still am) thinking that i am going to fail at this. see, whenever i set out to do something big, i am all excited and gung-ho at first. then, after a couple of weeks, something happens: i start thinking, well, nothing's changed. i haven't lost 10 pounds. i don't look like wonder woman yet (some of you will get that joke...).

but i desperately need to shed my short-term blinders--regarding exercise, eating healthy, raising my kids, loving my spouse, budgeting my money. because none of this stuff changes or gets that much better overnight. but long term, these are sweet investments. they could and will reap sweet rewards.

so i'm trying to take the long view.


  1. preach.

    too, i've been pondering my short-sightedness, and more specifically, my perception of what it means to fail, or be a failure.

    when i don't experience the benefit or payoff of different things i try (exercise, career search, strengthening relationships) as quickly as i expect to, i get frustrated. i believe my internal script that i can't have these things, or be good at these things, and i resign myself.

    so, i'm 34: still can't run far/fast, still have a frustrating job, and am still searching for real communion with others.

    perhaps, i am finally beginning to have enough maturity to realize that, unless i let go of my unrealistic expectations regarding what benefits should look like, and how quickly they should appear, then i could easily become 44, and ...

    thanks for sharing, friend.

  2. It's amazing how we can defeat ourselves this way. As you know I've joined a gym and exercised 7x so far. I've lost 2 pounds and you know you just keep trying. In the end you try to do what you can and no one (at least not me) is going to think you are a failure if you stop. But, I do know one person in particular who has a knack of making me crazy who would think you were so I know what you are saying. I believe the point is that we are supposed to accept ourselves right. Try not to worry about what others are thinking. It's like a see-saw this life sometimes you are up high and sometimes you're down on the ground.

  3. Dang it! Why is the long view so hard?? I agree. I keep telling myself, "Baby steps, baby steps," and then I laugh because it reminds me of What About Bob? Have you seen that movie??

  4. I'm impressed that you can go a couple of weeks before feeling this way. Seriously, after about three days I get frustrated and want to give up (and usually do).

  5. dude. bird by bird. also. if the program fizzles it doesn't mean you fizzle. it just means that particular method wasn't the right fit. you're on a path that's larger than weight watchers and pilates. it's about being your best most powerful self, and we get to watch you stick to that program every day. rock it with your biceps!