Some people have asked me how I started my weight loss. My first few months in the blog archive explain it all.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Small Steps


I wanted to be like Diana. She was a beautiful R.M.. She came into our fireside like sunshine. She had a big grin and her eyes were sparkly, and when she opened her worn scriptures it was apparent she knew her way through. When she bore her testimony, I could tell she meant what she said.

Looking at Diana that day I decided on a new destiny. She had direction, confidence, and sparkle, R.M.’s were amazing! I wanted to be like her. After much prayer, doubt, and worry, my decision was made. My papers sent in, the call came – Ogden Utah.

A little bit sensitive on the whole Utah thing, I packed my bags. I thought of the glory, and the person I was going to become. Even if I wasn’t going to get a parasite, I could still strengthen my testimony. Its Utah – piece of cake.

Shocking to many, Utah missionaries are not just subject to odd combinations of jello, but also to the normal rejection, despair, companion problems and disappointment that all missionaries experience. On one particularly hard night I thought about my naiveté in making my decision. In my rush to become an “R.M”, (returned missionary) I hadn’t calculated in all the work required in the “M.” I found that the “M” part included lots of tears, prayer and hard work. I learned quickly you don’t get the reward without the work. To be a R.M., you really have to do the whole mission thing. The knowledge of scriptures comes from Study; the testimony comes through trials and faith. This is how Heavenly Father works. You can’t get the prize without running the race.

Changing eating and excercising is work.

I have always admired runners. I jealousy watched them trot by me as I walked thinking that they looked so strong. I wanted to be a runner, but was not sure I wanted to run. This morning as I was breathing hard, panting, sweating, and running I thought: “When does this get enjoyable? When does the fun part start? I have been running now for 10 months. I still do not feel the payoff until 1:00. I guess I am a runner. I run. However If I could find a way to be one without running I would be happy - but it’s not going to happen.

My neighbor just ran the Boston marathon. I like to ask him for running advice. We live on a very steep hill that I walk up before I start my run. When I told him my route he asked why I didn’t run the hill. He told me how he did it. He started with a really fast walk and turned it into a very slow jog. He told me the different marks he used to get him up the hill. Getting ready for youth trek I decided to try running a small part of the hill.

I found that if I do not look at the top of the hill but at my feet the run gets easier (not easy, just easier). If I concentrate on taking small steps and not quitting I can go farther each time. I stare at my feet, and concentrate first on getting to the stop signs. Once there, I just think about getting to the first cul-de-sac, then the second one, then I concentrate on not losing my left lung before I get to the fire hydrant. With my remaining lung I figure out if I can make it to the light post and then I am almost at the top. Last week I made it to the fire hydrant.

Eating is similar. You don’t have to really worry about doing everything right all at once. Just complete one meal successfully. When trying to eat less I ask for help in my prayers then throughout the day I think something like this:

“I can go without seconds at breakfast. I am not two people. I have to hurry anyway. I will put an apple in my purse for 10:00. That is only 2 hours away. This apple should be fine. I just fasted, I can go 24 hours with out food, and surely I can wait until 12:00 to eat lunch.” Or I say, “20 more minutes, I can go and run an errand before I eat that.” “3 hours between snack and dinner. I go that long without food at church. I just have to make it 3 hours. No big deal.” Then, “I can make my one serving dinner last 20 minutes. I can do any thing for 20 minutes, surely just this once I can eat slowly. I don’t have to worry about every day, just today.” When I am done eating for the day I think. “My stomach is comfortable. Great! No need to panic, I will eat again, this is not Ethiopia. I can plan a yummy breakfast.” “ 3 hours till bed. I can do anything for 3 hours. I know I can, 3 hours is nothing. In fact why don’t I have a nice cup of peppermint tea?”

Then I go to sleep with a prayer of thanks that Heavenly Father helped me. Next I ask Father to help me have the desire and the ability to do it all over again tomorrow.

Think Bill Murray in What About Bob? “Baby steps to the elevator. Baby steps to the elevator” Nothing has to be done all at once. Just focus on this day. Tomorrow will take care of itself. You can make it - just take small steps.

“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. . .”(Alma 37:6)

I am a returned missionary. I did it. It was what I wanted. I am not Diana, but I am grateful for her example of what I could learn. I don’t know what being a runner is supposed to feel like, but I run, so I guess I made it. I can go most of my days eating healthy, so I guess I am now a healthy eater. Each day I continue to be those things by making small choices, and taking small steps. I only lost weight one or two pounds a week, but in the end it still made 70, and I reached my goal.

7 comments:

Kimberly said...

How incredibly insightful...I especially love how you talk yourself through things. You're settinga great example here. =)

happy mommy said...

this is a great post. I really like the principle you teach, and the lessons you are learning.

I look forward to exploring your blog!

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

You're always so comforting. I really feel like I can do anything after I read your blog. :)

Calamity Jane said...

Kimberly, I have an aunt who always answers new news by saying "I was just saying to myself. . ." I fear my conversations are becoming a bit one sided.

Thanks happy mommy, Likewise

Mormon millie that is because you can and by reading your blog I see that you do

mcewen said...

Hmm, if that's the case [jello] perhaps you can help me out with a quick query? Why do American restaurants sometimes serve applesauce as a started for children?
Best wishes

General Wolfe said...

This post reminds of the talk by Elder Eyring. I think it is titled Today. Just by starting today to do what I can and make a step it in the right direction is better than standing still.

Great post Calamity.

Janice said...

Thank you for the insight. I am a Born Again Christian, and even though we serve differently, we have the same goals.

Thank you for the inspiration to start. I too have always wanted to be a runner- you confirmed my fears... I may never love it! I am now saving all my junk food money to buy an Ipod!

ps. Do you drink coffee? And if yes, is it a hindrance to weight loss for you? Just a wonder!