What’s Shaking?

A friend of mine has a habit of starting phone conversations with, “what’s shaking?” Because I’m starting to feel a bit out of shape, that question, which is really only meant to be a casual hello, takes on new meaning. My answer is frequently, “more than I’d like to be.”

Something happened last year. I turned 39. No big deal. That’s still pretty young. Aging hasn’t got me down, but my body isn’t behaving the way it once did. For most of my life I never had to do a thing to stay thin. I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted and I still fit my size 6 jeans just right. Even after having my kids at the tender age of 33 and 35, I was able to say goodbye to the baby weight without needing to break a sweat. Going for walks was more entertainment than necessity.

Those days are gone. Now it only takes a glance at a cake display to add layers to the bunny hill developing where my flat tummy used to be. Because I recognize I’m not going to be able to get by on what worked for me in the past, I’ve taken to the treadmill and cut back on mocha latte sips in an effort to shed these unwanted pounds. It’s working. Progress is slow, yet sure.

Can I tell you something? This process of getting in shape reminds me of some of the mental obstacles many of the job seekers I work with face. They are struggling to get into the groove of their job search because they’ve never had to look for a job like this before. Jobs always came to them. They are hating the beginnings of networking and retraining because it’s taking them out of their comfort zone. It’s not easy to get started and the results aren’t immediate. They are missing the days when they didn’t have to be so careful with decisions, when so much wasn’t on the line with every choice. All of those types of emotions and thoughts jumble my brain when I’m preparing to step back on that treadmill each day. On top of that, I get mad at myself because I know I wouldn’t have to work so hard now if I’d gotten an earlier start. It doesn’t matter that I jumped in sooner than others, I can’t ignore the fact the denial of my changing body that was so handy for me ended up costing me additional pounds and strain.

The good news is I’m getting my mojo back when it comes to fitness. Because I’ve made a commitment to work at it each day, it’s getting easier. Every day I can go greater distances, at a faster pace and at more significant inclines. I no longer hate the entire work out, just the first few minutes. I’ve learned how to better prepare myself so the experience is positive and fruitful. There is also a sense of satisfaction that I’ve pushed through something that was important for me, even though I would have much preferred curling up with a good book and a mocha. I appreciate the fact my jeans are fitting better and I know I’ve played an active role in making it so.

I’m not going to lie, if I had a choice I’d definitely pick having things the way they were. That said, I can’t change the fact things are different. There is no going back to the way things were. I can either accept that and move forward with a good strategy or live in denial and let things go the direction they may. Denial doesn’t do any of us any favors for long. In the end, we must let go of any temptation to avoid change because we never had to do something a certain way before. It serves no purpose.

1 Comment

  • Ed Han says:

    Fantastic metaphor, and I completely agree it’s about getting outside of your comfort zone and the attendant growing pains of doing so. Very well said!

RSS feed for comments on this post.