Fitness Friday: How Are You on the Follow-Through? | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Did you ever see that Seinfeld episode where Jerry was waiting for the rental car and the lady at the rental car counter said there weren’t any cars left?

It’s one of my favorite episodes not just because it’s happened to me before but because I love it when Jerry gets on a rant about something and that high-pitched voice he gets when he’s mad.

Anyhoo. He is kind of astonished that there is no car. You see, he made the reservation for one, but yet, when he got to the counter, there was no car! (Blasted!) So he explains to the lady the idea behind the counter what a reservation is: “See, you know how to take the reservation. You just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation is the holding. Anybody can just take the reservation.” And he starts writing notes all over the air. Which makes me laugh every time.

My point (and I do have one), is that really, the concept is true with everything. The key is always in the follow-through. I write things in my calendar. On my to-do list. Things like errands, sending letters, cards, gifts, and paying bills. I write about weightloss. And I can write down all of those things all day long, but the key to the lists and the writing is the following through. If I’m not actually following through with it, then really I’m just a bunch of hot air. Bills won’t get paid. Meetings won’t be met. Weight would not be lost. Nothing would happen.

I would be talking to myself.

Breaking promises to myself.

And really that’s just the worst. Because what inevitably follows is the feeling bad about myself. And which one of us hasn’t been there before?

Because there’s no worse feeling in the world than letting yourself down. And before you know it you’re back in that horrible cycle of up two, down one.

What’s worse is that most of us value others’ time more than our own. As in, I have to do this, this, and this for my son, husband, daughter, friend, and job, inevitably putting ourselves all the way down. To the very very last on the list. We’ll get to us sometime, with whatever time is left.

Some of us are mothers, but even more than that, we are all (mostly) women. Which means we are nurturers. We nurture others first. Selves second.

Which, let’s face it really should be the opposite because when Mama/Wife/Girlfriend/Lady ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.

So what is it with the follow-through that’s just so hard? (As I wipe the crumbs of the Publix chocolate chip cookie from my piehole.) Is it the energy you have to expend actually following through? Is it the choice? Is it that we need more support? The want versus the need? Because once I make up my mind to do something, there really is no issue and it gets done. And in most cases, the follow-through would have been the same amount of energy expended as not following-through, so it’s not even worth not following through.

So maybe it’s the amount of time I give myself to think it all over. Because if I decide to do something, I am no longer thinking about doing it, I am just doing. Hmm. (Eyes getting crossed here.)

Because who am I doing it all for anyway?

No one is going to stand at the proverbial finish line and look back and think, boy, I wish I gave Mom/Friend/Shirleyloowhoever more time to themself! You gotta fight for it. And that’s another topic entirely.

I am sorry I missed the 21 days challenge (I was vacationing and spending time with my family before school starts up again), but it’s clear to me what would have been my challenge, the habit I would have most wanted to keep: the follow-through.

Because followthrough = consistency and consistency = results.

(This is a new thing I’ve invented called “wordmath”.)

See? It’s almost as simple as calories-in vs. calories-out! Which is another example of “wordmath” that I have a tendency to get all messed up.

The key here is to make reservations to that place called “becoming healthier” and then show up. As if an imaginary hostess were yelling, “Becoming Healthy, Party of One! Your table is ready!” And then you walk over and sit down and do it, instead of running for the hills when she calls your name.

Which is what I’ve been doing as of late. What with life getting in the way and all.

The next challenge is right around the corner (I’m so excited! Have you signed up yet? Go ahead, I’ll wait!), but for now, I ask you to submit yourself to a mini-mental challenge. Take note of the things you follow-through on and how many things you don’t. This is not an exercise that ends with beating yourself up! It is an effort to show you how often you put others first. See? There’s a difference. Pay attention to it with everything, including working out and eating. Did you commit yourself to your family, your kids, your diet, your gym and then follow through with it? Every time? When didn’t you? When was it the hardest? Do you notice a pattern? And further, try to follow through more. Try to reward yourself for following-through (not with food not with food). Try not to let others impede your follow-through by making sure that you try to comprome and reschedule if you have to, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself.

Give it until next Weigh-In and tell us how you did! I hope to come back here and say that I did everything I said I would and more and even further, I hope I can figure out when and why it is hardest for me to stay committed. Although I pretty much know when/why and it has a lot to do with Publix chocolate chip cookies.

So do you have a problem delivering on your promises to yourself? If not, how do you stay focused?? Good luck this week and this weekend!

-Christie O.

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PS. Shoe tips and pictures of my new ugly shoes are here. I know you’re just dying to see them.

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