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Unrealistic Expectations

Superficial vs. Health

 “Even at my thinnest, I never felt completely confident and comfortable in my own skin. I bought into the hype and set the wrong goals based on false images and faulty measuring sticks. And I bet I’m not alone.” ~Marie Osborne

This morning’s devotional from www.ibelieve.com, titled When Fitness Goals Hurt More Than Help written by Marie Osborne spoke volumes to me. When she talks about buying into the hype and setting the wrong goals based on the superficial, well, I too could relate.

Elliptical Machine found on Pinterest
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“I wish I weren’t so skinny, I wish I could lose weight, I wish I weren’t so short, I wish my hair was longer…” On and on the litany of self-deprecating thoughts swirl in my head and not one of them focused on my health, rather the emphasis was placed on physicality.

One of my favorite words to live by has been “if it sounds too good to be true…,” yet knowing this it still hasn’t stop me from wanting to believe what I know to be nonsensical quick fixes. The ‘lose 10 pounds in 10 days’ or like claims are not based on healthy medical facts. While it could be possible to achieve this goal there are 2 things to keep in mind – are the results lasting and more importantly is there a healthy benefit?

Unfortunately it didn’t take a short amount of time to get to the point where I was on January 31 (the day before I decided to get healthy) and it’s going to take considerable time to reverse the effects of my negative lifestyle. This includes the wishful thinking because the one thing that has become very apparent to me is that seeking the elusive image of perfection is akin to allowing someone else to define me.

Eating right, drinking plenty of water, exercising my mind and body and getting enough sleep all contribute to good health. An added benefit that I didn’t realize until this morning is becoming and inspiration for others. Here I’ve been going down to the gym for my daily workouts, not realizing that other people were taking notice that is until Marty and I began chatting.

SPRI Elite Xercise Balance Ball (Red, 65cm) Sports & Outdoors
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SPRI Elite Xercise Balance Ball (Red, 65cm) Sports & Outdoors

Marty, the apartment complex maintenance Supervisor, told me that he’s following my lead then he proceeded to tell me about his Mike and Ike candy addiction. This opened the door for me to share my personal battle with candy obsession and by so doing it allowed Marty to know that he’s not alone but he also has the power to make a change if he so desires.

When I started this journey to good health I did it mainly because I literally didn’t feel good. The extra pounds were beginning to take its toll on my asthma, I had no energy, just about everything hurt and I can’t even talk about not being able to fit my clothes. Just a little over 4 weeks in, now I’m starting to feel better and I have far more energy than ever. I still have the candy cravings but I do not keep any at home and don’t eat it when I’m out.

Fitness Gear 1 lb Neoprene Dumbbell - Dick's Sporting Goods
Fitness Gear 1 lb Neoprene Dumbbell
Dick’s Sporting Goods

As of this morning I’m able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at an intensity level 6. Previously I considered myself lucky to do 10 to 20 minutes at level 3. On the treadmill I’m averaging 2 miles within 25 minutes on an incline of 3 percent and increasing the speed isn’t as difficult as it was a few weeks ago.

It may sound strange but while I’m working out I envision what’s going on inside my body. I can almost imagine seeing my muscles contracting and expanding. I can visualize how hard my heart is beating, how fast the blood is pumping through my veins and subsequently how each of these things improves the capacity of my lungs.

Following Weight Watchers by inputting what I eat, drink and exercise really helps to keep me on track and I can make adjustments as needed. I’ve been looking into other exercises that don’t rely on gym equipment and over the course of the next few weeks I’ll share this information with you. If you are considering an exercise regimen I recommend following up with your doctor first just to make sure there won’t be any issues.

“We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.” ~Roderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive

4 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations

  1. It sounds lke you are doing all the right things. Getting the right nutrition, working out sounds right. I pretty much can walk , short hikes, and swimming is a great full body exercise. I bought a neoprene jacket to keep me warm in an 86 degree pool 🙂 I do the same, I create high expectations for most things, but just set small acheivable goals and you will feel even better!

    1. It’s taken me years to learn to set realistic goals because while I think it’s admirable to have high expectations if you can’t meet the goal then it defeats the purpose. As I’m typing this response I know that this is an area where I continue to struggle but like anything else worthwhile it’s a process.

  2. Great post Steph. As a lover of exercise, I believe I enjoy it because myotives are simply to be healthy, and not because of vanity reasons.

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