Focus on Progress

It’s “Back to School” again.  I spotted the students waiting at the bus stop early Tuesday morning while walking my dog.  I’m sure some of them find it hard to get back into the routine of getting up early, sitting in class all day, and doing homework and extra-curricular activities in the evening.  It’s required for every one of them, but some truly love and are energized by the structure of school and the challenge to learn more.  It’s often the focus on the results over progress that kills the passion.

AND we do that with our nutrition plans, exercise, and learning more about our body’s capabilities – and it can rip away our passion.

We label certain foods as wrong for our plan and then feel deprived – rather than recognizing what they do for or to our bodies and choose for our best health.  Starches like to hang around on my body, and the blood sugar spikes make me cranky.  Avoiding them is not deprivation – it brings life for me.

We often go at exercise like it’s punishment for what we ate – rather than recognizing or discovering what our bodies can do (I can walk miles), could do if we challenged ourselves (I could gain strength if I’d do some weight-bearing exercises), or doesn’t fit our individual body structure.  (I’m looking at you, Running.)

We chastise our bodies for how they were fearfully and wonderfully made and lament our thighs, hips, bellies – pick your spot – for not being the shape we want them to be.  I used to refer to my legs as fence posts – the corner kind.  Stocky.  Ignoring seeing how strong and stable they can be.

How we frame it matters.  Yes, of course, we want results, but like a good teacher who brings a concept to life, consider your perspective.  Are you learning more about your body?  Or are you beating it into submission?

Be gracious and gentle with yourself.  Great learning takes a lifetime.

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