Jessica Slaughter finally decided to do something about it. She was way out of shape and way overweight. She was already using a cane and her doctor told her she would soon need a wheelchair. She did not join a gym nor buy a workout video. She didn’t even have a Fitbit, but she had a pair of shoes and she could still walk.
So she did.
Every morning Jessica walked around her apartment. She told People Magazine she trips pretty easily so she was afraid if she walked outside she might fall. Jessica says she knows her apartment and keeps it clean so there’s nothing on the floor to cause a stumble. Around and around her apartment she went…every day for 3,000 steps.
That was 14 years ago. Today, Jessica is not in a wheelchair as her doctor predicted. She doesn’t even need the cane anymore. She is 120 pounds lighter and more fit than ever. She also still does 3,000 steps every morning.
There are 3 things I love about Jessica’s story:
She Found Her Motivation
This is key to any fitness journey. There has to be a deep “why”. Jessica didn’t like the way she felt or the way she looked. She also didn’t like where she was headed…into a wheelchair.
It still took Jessica two years to get started. Finally, it all clicked and the pain of her situation, both present and future, felt greater than the pain and discomfort of doing something about it.
It takes the average person about 10-minutes to walk 1,000 steps. That means the average person could do those 3,000 in about 30 minutes. But, Jessica was not average at the beginning. She was way out of shape and 120 pounds heavier. Those 3,000 steps were much harder and took a lot longer. But, she started.
I’m sure there were days in the beginning when it felt too overwhelming. There certainly were days when Jessica probably felt like quitting, but her motivation to stay out of that wheelchair kept her moving.
When Jessica started walking those 3,000 steps, she did not have a guarantee of success. This was not a well researched fitness plan. It was simply all Jessica could do, and she thought, “Maybe this will help.”
And, it did. It really did!
She Built a Fitness Chain
Starting a fitness journey can be hard. Keeping it going is way harder.
We typically start our fitness journey with a dream of what life will be like when we reach the goal. This usually becomes part of the motivation. But, it can’t be the full motivation.
Those results ALWAYS take longer to achieve than we think they will. This is why so many fitness journeys go off track. The emotions we felt at the beginning fade well before we reach the goal. If that was all we had to fuel the journey there’s not much left to keep us going.
But, Jessica kept going. She was committed to the process no matter how long it took. She got up every morning and slowly walked around her apartment one difficult step at a time. Every day was a new link in the chain she was building. The real goal in those early days wasn’t weight loss, it was simply NOT to break the chain…to NOT give up.
Jessica may not have had a guarantee that all those steps would change her life, but she certainly knew that stopping wouldn’t change her life either. Jessica built that chain one day…one link…at a time.
She Took the Long View
Jessica had a specific weight goal she wanted to reach. It took her four years to get there. That may feel like a long time, but Jessica’s bigger goal will take even longer.
Jessica was tired of the way she felt and looked, but knew the end of her fitness journey was not the number on a scale or the size of her clothes. Jessica’s bigger goal was to STAY there.
That’s why she did not stop walking around her apartment after she lost the weight. She kept going. She’s still going! That daily morning walk is now part of her lifestyle. Same with the nutrition changes Jessica made.
A truly effective fitness journey is one with the longest view possible. The finish line is not a number on a scale, but the ultimate finish line. Yeah…that one!
Jessica has a new goal. She hopes to inspire others. You see, Jessica is 86 years old. She started her fitness journey when she was 72! She sees so many other seniors who have stopped moving and are living with the growing consequences of their inactivity.
Jessica inspires me. She reminds me that it’s never too late to start and it’s never too late to take the long view.
If you struggle with making fitness stick you can change that today. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge will help you begin building a fitness habit that creates fitness momentum which eventually leads to fitness transformation.
Walking is fitness hiding in plain sight. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge will help you set the perfect Fitbit goal for you. The Challenge includes a contract you can make with yourself. That might sound cheesy, but having a signed piece of paper is a powerful motivator on those days when you just don’t feel like it.
Every day you reach your Fitbit goal is a win. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge includes a Win Tracker to celebrate your progress every day!
Best of all…The 30 Day Fitness Challenge is free!!
If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.
(By the way…if you use the link above to but a Fitbit Inspire HR this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)
Lastly, this blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.
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