A horse-drawn carriage in a race-car world

Patience may be a virtue, but it’s not always one of my virtues—especially when it comes to myself. This healthy living journey is a prime example. When I started this journey back in January, I had expectations about where I’d be at certain milestones. For my birthday, for example, I had expected to be able to wear a certain dress.

I was wrong.

Said dress was far too tight to be worn. The jeans that were snug back in March are still snug. (However, those same jeans were unzippable back in January. I have made some progress.)

I know I am developing healthier habits. I know my body is healthier because of it. I also know that the path I chose—the path of intuitive eating, the path of focusing on mindset and behaviors instead of calories of food and pounds of weight—is the longer, more circuitous route to my goal. I take as almost as many steps backward as I take forward.

But I want more and I want it now. I want one hour at the gym to melt off a pound and a half. I want to eat a salad and see half an inch melt off my midsection. I want to think about lifting a dumbbell and feel my arm grow stronger. I want to go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow morning able to fit comfortably into that birthday dress.

We live in a world of instant gratification. We exchange e-mails instead of letters. We use microwaves instead of ovens. We text and instant message and tweet and ping.

Weight loss isn’t built for that world. Weight loss is all about delayed gratification. It means doing the work now to see the results later, whether later is the end of the week, the end of the month, or the end of the journey. It means being patient in a world that fosters impatience. 

Sometimes that really tries my patience.