The hubby and I recently joined a new gym having accidentally forgotten to forget to go on the scale after Thanksgiving. As part of our enrollment we were given the opportunity to meet with a trainer for our free personal fitness assessment / training plan. These meetings are much like the mandatory ‘information sessions’ you are forced to attend whenever you take advantage of a resort/timeshare’s ‘free’ vacation weekend. At my day job we call these meetings “sales calls”. The only difference is the prospect is coming to you and not the other way around.
Knowing what I was getting ready to go into, I decided not to eat anything the day of my fitness assessment (because that extra pound was definitely going to make the world of difference in my BMI). Unfortunately, I am like the Incredible Hulk when I am hungry. You wouldn’t like me when I am hungry.
I arrived at my appointment armed with a basic guesstimate as to what my results would be, as my insurance premiums are directly tied to periodic health assessments. I knew I had put on a few pounds, but who hadn’t? It was the middle of the holiday season! Biff, my assigned trainer (okay that’s a fake name, but it fits), met me in the lobby and took me for a quick tour around the various
implements of self-inflicted torture equipment. I then was asked to stand on something that looked like an old transporter from the original Star Trek (only with handles). LEDs flashed. Assessing… assessing… wow lady you are out of shape – I am sure glad Biff is here to help you out!
Hungry Allie no like smug Biff. Hungry Allie think transporter full of [censored]. Hungry Allie smash transporter.
Later (when my blood sugar had returned to normal) I realized I had a problem. My next insurance assessment was in January and I had been borderline for higher premiums before Thanksgiving. So I did what any person would do in my situation. I dusted off my fitbit and my myfitnesspal login, declared an embargo on sugar (except in my coffee – because me before drinking my coffee is almost as bad as me when I am hungry), cut out gluten, and limited my daily carbs to 100g. DEFCON 4!
By the time my insurance assessment came I had passed on two birthday cakes, pizza, donuts, two non-birthday cakes, and a stack of cookies. (It’s now clear as to why I put on a few). I had gritted my teeth and gone to the gym instead. All the free goodies were tempting, but the desire to prove that judgmental transporter wrong was stronger (I don’t blame Biff. He is obviously paired with a cruel and defective piece of machinery).
Ultimately, I won this particular battle. (In your electronic face, transporter!) I may still borderline, but thanks to my hard work and sacrifice, I managed to stay in my insurance group. I earned my right to celebrate. During my victory lap, one of my colleagues congratulated me and offered me some candy from her stash.
I found myself hesitating. Why? My goal was achieved. I didn’t have to hold back from the sweets any longer. I wouldn’t be cheating on myself by enjoying a little snack, and yet I found that I almost didn’t want it. That first easy snack to cross my way just didn’t seem a worthy reflection of my effort.
Part of me didn’t want my goal to end. I had achieved what I set out to do, but I knew I could be so much better if I just kept working.
I had to then recognize that my ‘better’ didn’t have a deadline associated with it. It was a vision, but not a goal. Sure I have a number in mind, but no good plan to get there. I could keep doing what I had been doing, but that was a knee jerk response to an immediate problem. It isn’t a sustainable lifestyle change (at least not for me). I know I would eventually fail. Even worse, I would miss out on the small rewards I could have enjoyed along the way.
As most writers will tell you, there comes a point when you have to hit the submit button on your manuscript (or otherwise show your work to the world). Could you have written (or executed) it better? If your answer is “umm…maybe” and not a solid “yes,” move on and do so with the next one. I have my vision. It is time to set a new supporting goal and execute on it. I celebrated my small win.
Yes – I ate that chocolate (it really was the polite thing to do), and the next day I hit the gym again. When the next cake comes around, I will be ready. On to the next goal.