Do you ever play the comparison game?

This is the face of a stubborn woman. A woman who refuses to give up.

Last week was a little tough emotionally. Foodwise everything went really well but physically I’ve been struggling with joint issues that are seriously impacting my mobility. I never wanted to be one of those middle-aged people who complain about their health all the time but sometimes you need to talk about it for reference and context. It is well known that I’ve had issues with my right ankle for years, it’s a longterm consequence of a ligament injury incurred 30 years ago. Wearing the right shoes has gone a long way in helping but as soon as I have lost enough weight to qualify I am going to have that much needed ankle replacement surgery. Then there is my left knee which got injured in last year’s bicycle accident and even though it seemed to have healed it’s been playing up again over the last few weeks. Sigh. All of this is making me feel unstable and old, and I have a hard time accepting that this is my reality right now.

Then, a few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a photo of her running across Golden Gate bridge. And I couldn’t help but feel a little sting of envy. I actually have a lot of friends who’ve gotten very fit in their 40s and 50s, some are runners, other go to the gym regularly and/or do things like spinning, yoga and pilates. They all look amazing.

I’ve known these friends for a long time and sometimes I feel like I am the only one who is not keeping up and who’s gone the other direction: weight gain and increased mobility difficulties. Another deep sigh. I know that the comparison game is fruitless and only serves to make myself feel worse. I love my friends and this is not about wishing different things for them, this is all about me feeling sad for myself and wanting what they have.

Happy on my bicycle・The Reluctant Cook

Whenever I get to this point I stop and take a deep breath.

And another one. And then I shift my viewpoint a bit and understand that today is today and there is no reason to not enjoy my life with what is available to me right now. And that I have all the power I need to make the changes that will get me to a fitter better place. And the kind of stubbornness that makes me brush off from the falls and get back on the horse. Or, in this case, the bike. I’ll admit, last year’s accident did spook me a bit but I still love cycling and refuse to let my fear keep me away from it. I’ve bicycled all my life and across vast parks and big cities (Cologne, London, NY, Vancouver) - I’ve always been a good and stable cyclist, it’s like second nature to me. Long walks are tricky for me right now but today I thought, why not see if I can ride a bike? So I got my bicycle out and rode around our condo complex for a bit to see if my knee was ok with it. It was. I was a little wobbly getting on and off but I was fine once I was on my bike. After making sure my knee can handle it I decided to go for a ride around the neighborhood. It was lovely and I enjoyed it so much!

Ultimately we all travel our own roads and this is mine: taking small steps towards improving my weight, my health and finding ways to enjoy the journey along the way.