I am one of those people who is constantly dieting. I do so with pretty good success, but the weight always creeps back on as life takes over. I become too busy to work out, too busy to eat healthy, I start to slide. I am a master of excuses for this. It is too hard with all the junk around for the kids, too hard with all the events, parties, and family gatherings...it is just too hard.
But the other day I had an epiphany. I was at Planet Fitness and I saw her. She was an older lady accompanied by her husband struggling to get int the door. She had a visible limp, it appeared as if one of her legs was completely paralyzed as she drug it behind her. I pretended to be reading a brochure at the desk so I could hear her conversation with the attendant. It was actually her husband who spoke. " Hi, my wife wants so desperately to get in shape. I have told her I am not sure if she can even do it, but she would love to try the treadmill. If she can use it, we will buy memberships but we need to make sure she is...capable.., " he stuttered trying to find the least offensive way to describe their delicate situation. I listened for the attendants answer, hoping he would oblige. He did, and showed the man and his wife over to the nearest treadmill.
The man had to life half of her body onto the deck and she used her arms to pull herself up the rest of the way. She was breathing heavily already, just from the struggle of getting across the room and onto the treadmill. I looked at her face and she was glowing in anticipation. She was thrilled to be here, to be taking the first step to being healthy. Her husband started the deck cautiously rolling, on the lowest setting. He smiled at her with pride as she began to move her working leg and slide the other across the deck of the machine.
Soon her smile faded as it became evident she could not keep this up. Even on the lowest setting her leg was becoming fatigued and they were in danger of becoming tangled. Her face dropped and tears welled up in her eyes. She went to speak but she didn't have to...her husband turned off the machine. Their eyes met. Her eyes disappointed and his reassuring. He helped her off the treadmill and onto the floor, she nearly fell multiple times. Her face was full of sadness and embarrassment. She was heavily winded and he slid a chair for her to sit in and gave her a bottle of water.
He went to the desk, presumably to tell the attendant that sadly they would not be needing the membership, but instead I heard him say they wouldn't need the memberships yet. "Thank you so much. We will work harder. We will be back."
After going through all of that, they would be back. She would do it all again, as many times at it took.
Ouch. I was instantly humbled. How dare I complain. With my working arms and legs I still found so many excuses. This lady, barely able to walk, was willing. I climbed on the treadmill with a new appreciation for my body. Yes it is overweight and not the one I would choose, but it is functional and strong. It has housed two children, seen me through my 32 years, and it would see me through this journey to fitness too.
Stop making excuses. There will always be reasons not to do it if you look for them. Find the reason TO DO IT and go!