Friday, May 08, 2009
Having the tendency to dwell too much on negatives about myself, I welcomed the chance in a current challenge to focus positively on some of my accomplishments.
When I stop to think, I realize that I have been successful in three different areas of my life. First of all, I recently completed the educational assistant diploma program at a local university. Despite working full-time, caring for my family and home, and continuing my volunteer commitments, I managed to attend night courses, perform behavioural observation assignments, research and write term papers, and sit tests and exams to earn my diploma with an "A" average.
Secondly, although I have not yet reached my final weightloss goal, I've managed to maintain a forty-pound loss for over a year. I also can see I am steadily increasing my cardio-vascular fitness, and my muscle strength and endurance. I am able to run farther and with less effort than previously, and have increased my strength as evidenced by my progression from using two-pound weights to using eight-pound ones. I plan to be doing my strength training with ten-pound weights come the fall!
My third achievement has to do with my confidence. I've always felt comfortable and been outgoing with people I know well, but used to feel awkward and shy in new situations when meeting others for the first time. Over the past few years, bit by bit, one friendly comment to a stranger at a time, I've now realized I am quite at ease in new social situations. I can enter a room full of people I don't know and within a few minutes strike up a pleasant conversation. It is very empowering to realize that most people feel awkward and shy around strangers so we can help each other out. We all want to be liked and feel like we belong!
Writing this I've realized something else: changes and accomplishments don't occur overnight, they take weeks, months, even years to achieve. However, lasting results can and will happen, one turned-down chocolate muffin, one more serving of vegetables, one more walk around the block, one more set of strength exercises, one more class, one more, "Hello, I'm Cheryl," at a time.