Our culture is so conditioned to want instant and amazing results on everything. Startups need to have hockey stick growth. Weight loss plans need to lose 10 pounds in the first two weeks. Love at first sight was so the core to every fairy tale that Disney finally explicitly mocked it in Frozen. Flipping houses is better than lazy old appreciation over a 30-year mortgage.
But we all know that most things that are meaningful and lasting take time. The most patience I’ve ever had was when I was going through my divorce. I kept telling myself that we’d spent 15 years putting our lives together and it simply wasn’t going to be pulled apart in a matter of weeks or even months. Looking back now, I’m glad we took the time. (Not so glad we spent unnecessary money fighting over things with lawyers that we’d already privately agreed on… )
Another learning of where I’ve had way less patience is fitness and weight loss. When I set out 18 months ago to get serious about getting in better shape, I was incredibly frustrated by how long it took. A consistent one to two pounds per week just wouldn’t happen for me. I restricted calories, I worked out, I stopped drinking alcohol, I tried everything people suggest, but it was just a harder and lumpier journey than it’s been before or than I felt it should be given all the effort. But 18 months of trying new approaches and not giving up, and now I’m at a place where I’m not as fit as I’d like (because, are we ever?) but I’m content.
One big thing has been my slavish love of Orange Theory Fitness, which isn’t the only exercise I do but is the most fun, as I’ve written before. Guess what? This month my OTF studio honored me as the member spotlight and you’d think I’d won a major award as far as how I’ve been lording it over Paul. The biggest shock to me? In the eight months I’ve been an OTF member, I’ve done more than 100 workouts! What???
I’m going to be bragging about this for a month. I’ve literally never in my life been recognized in any way for an athletic achievement.
This is what I love about the boutique fitness movement as opposed to the bad ol’ days of gym memberships that sucked you in, but then hoped you never really came. You pay for what you use and as a result you use it! And the studios work to keep it interesting and keep you engaged. It’s similar to where I think the Internet is going with paid-for subscription services that may do less, but give you something that’s way better.
The older I get the better I am getting about thinking of life as small compounded benefits moment by moment that wind up becoming transformative shifts. It’s like that scene in Fried Green Tomatoes where the young girls steal Kathy Bates’ parking spot and say “face it, lady, we’re younger and faster.” And she rams their car and says “face it, ladies, I’m older and I have better insurance.” It’s not so much that good things come to those who wait, it’s that good things come to those who are persistent.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom (and a few old ones awaiting your advice!):
- What health check-ups do you regularly schedule?
- Is it OK to wear political t-shirts/buttons to the office?
- I need help supporting a friend through IVF!
- How do I support someone who is grieving the loss of a “deadbeat” dad?