The most important thing I learned at Northwestern

9 Aug

In June I graduated from Northwestern and before they would give me a degree I had to complete an exit survey. One of the questions was “What is the most important thing you learned in the MSLOC program?” I know they were looking for something related to what I learned so I put in a few buzz words about change management and learning and sharing knowledge.  I have no idea what I said…sorry Kimberly!  The real answer to the question is “I can do anything for 10 weeks”. Little did I know how important that lesson would be.

How does this relate to doing something different? To go from completely inactive to working out 6 days a week was tough. I was slow, it hurt, I was out of breath, and sometimes I just didn’t want to do it.  Exercise sucks when you are fat. Not only are you self conscious about the way you look, but now you have to work through the physical struggle.  And sometimes you are exercising in front of people that don’t have an ounce of fat on them….because that’s not intimidating…
The more I walked, the more my endurance improved. And then I started jogging…1 minute on and 1 minute walking. The more I did, the easier it got.  But let me tell you, there were many, many, many times I wanted to quit…like, from the minute I walked out the door to the minute I got home.  Then it would hit me…if you want something different you have to do something different.

Every time I would feel like quitting, I would tell myself “you can do anything for 60 seconds”. And when it was 45 seconds and I thought I would die, I would say “push, push”. Then my watch would beep and I was in the minute of walking.  I could definitely walk for 60 seconds!  When I didn’t want to go for a run, I would tell myself “you can do anything for 30 minutes”. When I didn’t want to go to the gym, I would say “you can do anything for an hour”.

And when I look at my ultimate weight goal, its freakin’ impossible. Comparing my starting weight and where the stupid BMI chart tells me I should be, I will be losing just short of half of myself. That is crazy to think about. And here it comes again…I can do anything for 10 weeks….dang you Northwestern!!!  So now I focus on smaller goals….ones not even related to weight (which I’ll tell you more about later).  10 weeks.  That’s as far as I will look ahead.  Sometimes it just today or just the workout in front of me. To get something different, I am doing something different….1 minute or 10 weeks at a time.


4 Responses to “The most important thing I learned at Northwestern”

  1. Dana August 9, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Anne – I’m so proud of!!! You are extremely insightful and a true inspiration! Looking at a small daily goal is so much easier than focusing on something so huge & far away….. honestly, my calendar doesn’t go far enough into the future for what I ultimately want to achieve. So, in the mean time, the treadmill will be dusted off for rainy days and I’m hitting the pavement on sunny days. I’ll focus on ” I can do anything for 30 minutes” and see where it takes me….. hopefully I’ll make it to the 10 week mark! Thanks for starting your blog. 🙂

  2. Carolyn August 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Love the way you’ve changed your mind! You are a motivator to a lot of people, including me!

  3. t marie August 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Anne you rock! I need to get off the couch. I know I can do it. I just need to take small bites to begin.


  1. Going to extremes « Do Something Different to Get Something Different - October 7, 2012

    […] even tried coconut oil. (TOTALLY disgusting…it’s like eating super sweet crisco). If I can do anything for 10 weeks, I sure can do this for 2 […]

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