For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that for the last few months I have embarked on a path to a healthier lifestyle. And while I would love to post here about how many more pounds I have lost, unfortunately I can’t. For the last few weeks, I haven’t lost any. I have actually gained two. And, mind you, from doing everything right. I am eating well, exercising, even trying to get a tad more sleep. And yet, the scale is moving in the wrong direction.
I am eating well, exercising, even trying to get a tad more sleep. And yet, the scale is moving in the wrong directionAnd yes, I know the fact that muscle weighs more than fat, and therefore if I am turning my fat into muscle, it makes sense I would gain a few pounds. But what I know and what I feel can be two very different things. I get how it works. I just don’t like it. I want the reward to be the scale telling me I have lost a few. It is not enough for me to judge by the way my clothes are fitting, or how I look (I don’t trust my own judgment with these things . . . I create reality based on how I would like things to be!) But the scale is hard proof, fact. And that is why it is hard for me to accept gain when I want to lose.
I have been here before. This is actually the exact place I have landed when, in the past, I have given up. I hope this time will be different. I give up because I start rationalizing how it doesn’t matter what I do anyway, nothing is changing. I give up because it doesn’t seem worth all the hard work and effort for such a slight shift, when it even does change.
But I have been fooling myself. Of course, everything I have been doing makes a difference, whether or not it shows on the scale. And this is not just about weight. Every kindness, every mitzvah, every positive act makes a change, even if we are not able to witness it. The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the chassidic movement, stated that not a leaf falls from the tree without serving a purpose. So if that leaf can shift reality, how can I possibly doubt whether positive steps in the right direction won’t also make a change?
It is so easy to back out of doing the right thing by seeing how much more there is that we can’t even get to yet, or fix. Why bother eating a healthy salad if I ate a piece of cake last night? And yet, we all too often use this same logic to stay away from doing what is right emotionally and spiritually as well. Why bother fasting on Yom Kippur when I am going to drive to synagogue? Why bother making an effort to be nice to my coworker, when just this morning I was pretty rude to her? And the list goes on . . .
We don’t always see the changes when we do the right thing. We do, however, usually see the proof of our actions when we do the wrong thing. You can eat healthy and work out for a week, and you may not lose a pound, or you may even gain one or two. But, trust me, if you eat junk for a week and don’t exercise at all, you will most definitely gain, and probably more than a pound or two.
We don’t always see the changes when we do the right thing. We do, however, usually see the proof of our actions when we do the wrong thingAnd can we really compare the pound gained from turning fat into muscle and the pound gained from adding fat? Of course not. Sure, on the scale it may be a pound, but we know very well that not all pounds are equal (just as not all calories are equal!).
Change takes time, but every change we make in the right direction counts. And the more we move the right foot in the right way, the better the chances are that the left is going to follow. So, light Shabbat candles Friday night, even if you have plans to go out after. Tell your spouse “I love you” during the day, even if he really annoyed you in the morning. And eat that apple, even if you are going to have the candy bar. Nothing is for nothing. And unlike the popular saying, no good deed goes unrewarded . . . ultimately!