It seems like for everyone I talk to about losing weight and getting into shape, there comes a point where you don't really feel like you're making much progress. I know the weight is still coming off, slowly as is best, and I'm getting into better shape, but I haven't had a recent "wow, you look great" moment or anything to help keep me motivated. It almost makes me feel like I've plateaued. But I took a few moments to reflect and realized that it is the little things that I need to recognize.
Comparing oneself to others isn't always a healthy thing. It is also something that us humans have a hard time not doing. And admittedly it can have a few benefits.
A couple weeks ago I spent an all-too-brief visit with an old high school friend in her new hometown. On my last day we went to a local natural tourist attraction, some beautiful waterfalls that are best viewed from the base. It is about 60 feet down multiple flights of low-rise stairs. Of course, she who goes down the stairs ultimately has to come back up to the parking lot level. My friend is a 10 year veteran of our military, and although she's put on a few pounds since she was discharged, she's still very active. The climb back up, yes, I felt it in my quads, my pulse elevated, and I was breathing a little harder, but I could do it without major drama. My friend had to stop part of the way up. That was the first realization that I was indeed getting into shape.
Realization number two happened a few days ago. I was in my typical shorts and t-shirt ensemble for my beloved Zumba classes. Of course, we get to face a huge wall of mirrors during the class, and I've become a master at diverting my gaze. But at one point we were standing with our feet shoulder-width apart, getting ready for the next routine, and I realized when I looked at myself in the mirror that I had space between my thighs all the way up. This is new for me, probably since the day I was born. If that isn't motivation to keep up, I'm not sure what is!
My last recent realization, my last "little thing" to keep me going, was a friend also took this same Zumba class. She runs 5-6 miles most every day, so it goes without saying she's in pretty good shape. During the class, she had to stop a couple of times to catch her breath, while I kept going. Just another affirmation that I am, indeed, getting into shape.
According to the dreaded scale and my best educated estimates as to my starting weight, I'm closing in on the 50 pound mark. I'm still about 80 pounds from my goal, and I'm still in that murky clothing area between the low end of plus sizes and the top end of regular misses sizes. I still have a ways to go!
In a couple days I'll be traveling again, seeing friends I haven't seen in a year (when I was a very large maid of honor at their wedding) and hopefully I'll get a few "you look great" comments to further encourage me. Long-range goals are fine, but it's the little ones in-between that keep you going. And I'm keeping in mind, every little bit counts.