Thursday, August 15, 2013

Putting the Pedal to the Metal

I think the phrase “put the pedal to the metal” is a cliché expression from a bygone era. I bet anyone born after 1995 couldn’t tell you where this little idiom originated. Well, cars used to have metal floor boards and, to go as fast as possible, you would press the gas pedal all the way to the floor in hopes of out-running whatever was chasing you! (I just conjured up an image of Smokey and the Bandit, didn’t I?) Anyway, I can see all the head-scratching going on right now, as you sit there wondering why it is that I am resurrecting the origins of some random phrase. Well, trust me Road Trippers, there is a reason, have I ever led you astray? 

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a Twitter Town Hall with one of the victors from last year’s WW Success Story contest. After hitting a minor bump, I needed reassurance that it is possible to make it to my final destination. Robin was very encouraging and gave me some awesome suggestions. The one I took most to heart was a suggestion to mix up my workout routine. I decided right then and there to do something I’d been avoiding…start a real, honest-to-goodness workout.  Walking has been extremely instrumental in getting me this far, but I had to do something…I had to put the pedal to the metal!  
I was talking with one of my friends about how I could spice up my exercise life, and she told me about a workout DVD that has 20 minute workout segments on it. Now, I have always been led to believe that a good, quality workout should last about 3-4 hours! OK, just kidding about that, but I figured it would have to be at least an hour to be worthwhile. Boy oh boy, was I wrong! The DVD in question happens to be put out by one of the instructors of that famous TV show where really heavy people compete in grueling challenges to lose a lot of weight (ok, you got me, I’m talking about The Biggest Loser). If ever there was a physical incarnation of “putting the pedal to the metal” this "shredded" workout is it! Now, I haven’t had a weigh-in yet to see how this will play out in my numbers, but after doing Level 1 of this workout religiously, every day for a week, I can tell a difference in how I feel. I may not see a change in the scale this week or nextand, let’s be honest, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story anyway– but I know that this will be turbo-boost I needed to add to my repertoire in order to get to my goal weight so that I can start the next phase of my journey: maintenance.  

So, when you reach a point along the way where you feel you are stalled, go ahead and put the pedal to the metal and find that one little thing, that one tiny change that kicks your motivation into high gear so that you can get back on the road!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Appreciate Just How Far You've Come

I know that in previous posts, I’ve mentioned that is a good idea to enjoy the scenery, take in the experiences along the way, listen to the music to keep distracted (or stay focused!) or any number of other suggestions so that the road trip continues to be worthwhile. Well, add this one to the list: appreciate just how far you’ve come in your journey.

I was talking with a friend the other day and we were discussing some of the more obvious physical changes that I have gone through. As an outsider, it is easier for her to see them than it is for me since I am so accustomed to my old appearance. Now, keep in mind that I have never been one to take compliments very well, and anybody who has known me longer than five minutes can attest to that, but it dawned on me, as our conversation continued, that I really needed to take a step back and realize just how far I have come. But here's where things get tricky— there is a fine line between appreciating hard work and bragging in order to boost your own ego! I believe that if you have worked hard for something (a college degree, a new home, a transformed body, etc.), you should take time to appreciate your accomplishment. It’s OK to take pride in reaching your goals because you just might inspire others to evaluate their lives and head on out on their very own road trip.

So, in thinking about where I am, where I want to be and what I plan to do once I get to my destination, it is imperative that I must also think about where I started. Knowing how far you’ve travelled is as important as knowing how far you’ve yet to go, and being able to actually appreciate those miles is more important than anything.  It’s kind of funny, because once again, I am reminded of  part of another one of Robert Frost's works of art, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”:
“But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
I have made promises to my mind, to my body, to my family, to my friends, to my WW leader and group, to my blog readers and I have even made promises to people whom I have never met. So, yes, while I still I have miles to go and promises to keep, I must also remember to appreciate every last second of this journey before I sleep!