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There are stages in weight loss and exercise that I’ve witnessed in my own life and the lives of others.
Stage One: Nobody notices any change but you feel a difference.
Maybe it’s that you can walk faster, longer. Or hold a plank or asana with more ease. You feel stronger or struggle less than you did before. The danger, of course, is that, without external validation, you are forced to rely solely on internal motivation.
Stage Two: Finally people are noticing.
You begin to receive compliments, people ask what you are doing to lose weight. If you dare name a specific diet, well-meaning friends will tell you about a friend of a friend of a friend who knew someone who lost weight using that diet and gained it all back. The danger is mistaking friends for saboteurs.
Stage Three: You’re really losing weight and it shows!
You buy new clothes because you need them. You don’t mind exercising quite as much because you can see and feel all of the promised benefits. The danger? Now your friends, those same well-meaning friends, are “teasing” you, saying you better watch out or you’ll lose too much weight. Family may even say that you’ve changed. Even coworkers seem eager to sabotage you by insisting you eat what they know you are trying to avoid.
Stage Four: You reach your goal.
Who cares what others have to say? Who cares what they think? All that matters is how you feel when you look in the mirror, when you try on new clothes, when you commit to one more day of sweat and more sweat.
I am currently in Stage One. Nobody can really see I’ve lost any weight. I feel stronger though. I gave myself a challenge: do one sun salutation per day. Today is the ninth. I did nine surya namaskar. And there are parts which have become easier. Ashtanga namaskar I am coming to accept how one side is easier for me to move than the other.
I still don’t like to sweat. I have to coach and prod myself into exercising each and every day. It is a challenge. I wish I liked it more. But I do my morning yoga, take Snowdoll for our daily walks, suffer through the 10 Minute Trainer, occasionally add in a Leslie Sansone walk, and use the bike.