Monday, July 20, 2009

One Small Step For A Woman

History is filled with defining moments that change lives. 40 years ago today Neil Armstrong stepped out on the moon's cratered surface and made that infamous comment. I read yesterday that we actually have it wrong. It wasn't one small step for man, it was one small step for "a" man, one giant leap for mankind. To be honest, I think I like that better.

At any rate it was one of those moments that changed lives. But lets back up a little to what most likely happened before that step. Those astronauts were approached to go to the moon. Somewhere that they had never gone before. Scary huh? I would be scared.

When they accepted, that was really the first small step. They had a rigorous training to complete, and then they stepped into Apollo 11. That was another small step in the direction of the ultimate goal. I am sure they were probably hovering somewhere between a little nervous and absolutely terrified when they took that step. But they made it, and they made history. They had a lot of help to reach that goal.

This afternoon as I was opening the window in the bedroom, I caught a glimpse of another cratered surface. My thighs. I was standing near the full length mirror when I opened the window and the light was just right to show me every flaw in absolute clarity. It was horrifying. When did that happen? Where did I get those legs?

I haven't been going to the gym the last couple weeks because I have been fighting a flu of some sort. I haven't been eating much or very healthily, and I have lost weight. It doesn't count though, because being sick isn't a way to get healthy. I went to the doctor and he put me on antibiotics which seem to be working.

Even before that my heart hasn't really been in going to the gym. I meet R and it's at a bad time of day for me. I am better exercising at night when I am alert and awake. Plus I don't like fighting rush hour traffic to get there and all the kids that are there that time of day.

Seeing the horror that has become my thighs really hit home with me today. I remember reading an article in a magazine where they asked women on the street what their New Year's resolution was. One woman answered to exercise for one minute a day. Now you might think, one minute? What could that do? What it did was motivate her to get off of her couch. One minute isn't intimidating and it soon turned into five, and then twenty and then an hour. She said once she got started it was easy.

Like the astronauts being told they were going to the moon, the proposition of losing weight and maintaining a healthier life style is really intimidating for many women. I am one of those women. It's a long scary journey and we aren't sure we will succeed. I would be willing to bet that a few times Neil Armstrong thought about chucking the whole project and keeping his feet firmly planted right where he was.

I don't intend to turn this into a weight loss blog. Nor do I intend to change anyone's history but my own. I also know myself well enough to know I need to be accountable somehow. To make this journey I need to open myself up and be vulnerable and expose a very difficult and personal side of my life. I also need support...all the support I can get. So I am going to make small posts to record my progress.

I am going to start out small so it doesn't seem to overwhelming or scary. Tomorrow my goal is to exercise for five minutes and eat at least one really healthy thing even if I don't feel well. When I feel well enough to go to the gym again, I am going to try to embrace the experience and not look at it as drudgery.

I know I will have missteps along the way, but with your help and support and my accountability I think I can do this. Right now I am going to go get on the treadmill for at least five minutes even though I still don't feel well. I am sure I can endure five minutes and take that first small step.

(Edit: Normally when I go to the gym, I work out for about 45 minutes. But when you're sick 5 minutes actually is pretty brutal. I did it though!)

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