It is such a beautiful and sunny day and I’m so grateful to have the life that I have today, especially when I think about how far I’ve come. Sometimes, though, I have to be conscious of where I’m going, and how fast I’m trying to get there. Like the tortoise and the hare, I can often be so focused on going, going, going, that I burn myself out and then end up missing the entire point of the journey.
I have a friend who I have known for many, many years. She and I have traveled along together in the journey of becoming our best selves, including losing weight. In fact, I met her online on eDiets, and over the course of time as we became friends, we began to see each other in person and then she moved to live 5 min from me. She saw me gain 90 pounds with my first baby and lose 70 of it in the first 7 months. She saw me quickly get pregnant with my 2nd child, less than 9 months after the birth of my first, and then lose the 45 pounds I gained in less than a year. She has essentially seen me work my ass off, literally. But what she has also seen are three things: She has seen me workout diligently 5-6 days a week since she has known me. She has seen me workout at that pace, regardless of how heavy I am; in 2008, I ran a half marathon tipping the scales at 196 pounds (I am 5’5”). She has also seen that no matter how hard I try, if I am not paying attention to what I eat, I can’t make any forward progress and that often if I work too hard, I burn out and then eat everything in sight, essentially undoing any progress I may have made.
What I have seen in her, if nothing else, is unerring consistency. Initially, she consistently was unable to make any forward progress. Last May, she joined me on a program that I absolutely believe is one of the top fitness programs available today, an online nutrition and fitness program called Dreambodies. Where other programs that touted the benefits of counting points, using meal replacement shakes, or getting in-person counseling and pre-packaged meals had failed us, Dreambodies seemed to have the perfect formula for success. When my friend saw that I had blasted out of the gate yet again and lost 30 pounds, she finally acquiesced and signed up herself. She saw immediate results, and now, a year later is within just a couple pounds of her goal. I still weigh the exact same amount that I did the day she signed up. With her unerring consistency and dogged persistence, she has surpassed my success and gotten even further along the journey, just like the tortoise passed the hare sleeping at the base of the oak tree sabotaged by his overeager start (and overconfident arrogance). I am learning from my friend what it means to be consistent, and the value of patient persistence.
Until yesterday, I was focused on and frustrated by my lack of ability, instead of being motivated and inspired by my friend’s unique constancy and how it has served her. Finally, in these last couple of days, I have noticed my energy and shifted it to a positive mindset and I have realized that if I can learn from her example and exhibit the same consistency, faith, positivity and courage (and keep track of what goes in my mouth), I will break through the barrier of self and have the same wonderful success she is now enjoying.
Yes, this week I’m thinking about the tortoise and the hare and how sometimes the world looks at the hares of the world and celebrates their slick, fast moves – Nicole Richie lose the baby weight in 6 weeks! Kim Kardashian loses 5 lbs in 5 days to get back at her ex! And maybe I’ve been the hare in this whole thing up till now, and it’s done nothing to get me where I’m going. Hare today, here tomorrow, as if I’m the one sleeping at the base of that old oak tree. But I’m awake now and ready to hop alongside that tortoise at a nice, even pace. So, big shout outs to the tortoises of the world. Thanks for reminding us that slow and steady wins the race!