You choose. You Lose. Where do you want to start?
During college I took someone up on a dare and decided to run a marathon. I’ll admit, I didn’t train very much because I was more interested in the bragging rights than the experience itself. But I took a few interesting things away from that race — in addition to my sore knees. The following are pieces of advice I got from other runners who saw me struggling:
“Imagine that you’re standing still, but try to enjoy the scenery as it passes you by.”
This statement has helped me remember to pause and enjoy where I am, right now. Sure, it might not always be the perfect place. And it’s true that we are constantly moving. But “here” has a lot going for it. It’s good to keep this thought in mind as you’re making healthy changes that can sometimes feel slow in having their impact. Even though you might be impatient for the results, there is value in the present and in the process. Look around. You might realize that the scenery isn’t all that bad. Enjoy where you are, even as you’re in route to somewhere else.
“Rather than run 26 miles, try to run one mile 26 times.”
This is how I view the changes that people make in their health. I personally feel that it is often too daunting when patients are expected to swallow doctors’ advice whole. Personal limitations and individual lifestyles are not always taken into consideration. I recommend a slower, more gradual approach to healthy lifestyle changes. It’s better to get somewhere slowly than to tread water quickly. Small changes — a few points lower in your blood pressure, minor improvements in LDL cholesterol, a couple of pounds lost — can really make a difference. The key is to do it, take a deep breath, and try to do it again.
Being patient is a large part of any success, be it a marathon or trying to lose a few pounds. So enjoy the scenery and take your time.