Today is the first day of Spring! It is one of those days that breed happiness. The temperature is perfect. There is a light breeze and the sun is shining exquisitely. I couldn’t resist the urge to go out for a run. About a mile in, I start to check the clock. “So, how long did I say I was going to run, again?” I ask myself. Then I start to think about my day, what time I have to be at the next place, how long it will take me to get dressed, and on and on. Then I heard very clearly these words, “LOOK UP!”
I realized I had been looking directly at the ground in front of me. I realized I usually run like that, with my head down focusing on a point in the road ahead. I was going through this run and my life with my head down.
I looked up. There were beautiful azaleas blooming. There was a Mother playing with her precious baby boy. There were ducks on the lake. The clouds were moving through the crystal blue sky. It was amazing! I’d been missing all of this because I was focusing on finishing this task and then the next one. Life was not in that focal point on the road. This was life. Looking up, I found it.
Then I realized I do this all the time. It’s not just how I run, it’s how I run through life. I’m so focused on where I’m going that I don’t see where I am. I will knock out a to-do list in a minute. Give me a problem and I’ll solve it. I am always looking down, ploughing through to get finished. For what? To start another task? Then I do the same thing with that task and all the while I have missed the beauty in the process.
I then began to contemplate how my journey with my weight has been the same way. I have been doing diets for 30 years. People always say set a goal, get a plan and follow the plan. I have done this many times, put my head down and ploughed through the diet, exerting my will on my circumstances until I reached a goal. Guess what happened then? I went right back to the dysfunction that led me to the starting line because my goal was a number. There is no healing in achieving a number or a size or finishing a race.
Here is what struck me today.
Step 1 of any weight loss journey should be this: Never, ever set a goal. Never go on a diet to be a size or get in a dress or hit a number on a scale or rock a bikini. Don’t focus on where you’re going, look up and enjoy where you are!
The first step in a lifetime walk with health is to write out 10 reasons to take care of your body that have nothing to do with how you look. If you are really shallow and superficial, you can deprive yourself of necessary nutrients just to be a size 2. Most of us are not. That’s a big reason traditional diets are impossible to maintain.
I’ll help get you started on your list by sharing my top 5 reasons to move and properly fuel my body:
- I want to be a good example for my boys
- I don’t want to be sick. I want to do everything I can to prevent disease, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. I don’t want to be stuck in the bed for a week with the flu.
- It helps fight off depression. It is easy to get “down and out” when you are full of junk, on this roller coaster of peak and valleys in your blood sugar.
- I want to have energy. I have been called to do many, many things. If I don’t fuel properly it will never happen.
- I deserve the best of everything. This includes what I put in my body. I never quite understood why people put premium gas in their car and sludge in their bodies. It is as if people value their things more than themselves. I can trade in my car when it doesn’t work. I don’t have the same luxury for my body.
BONUS 6. It helps me sleep well, to rest and be still!
I suppose there were times in my life when I had to put my head down and muscle through it. There were times of great trauma and I didn’t want to look up. I am realizing the problem is that I got stuck that way. I no longer have to live like that. I can stop and look up. I can enjoy this moment. I can enjoy caring for myself. I no longer have to “get through” things that don’t feel good. I can choose to feel good no matter my circumstances. Even when I’m running, my legs hurt, I have a cramp in my side, I can choose to look up and enjoy the beautiful world around me.