Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

A centipede was happy
till a toad one day in fun
said, "Pray, which leg goes after which?"
Which threw his mind to such a pitch
he lay distracted in a ditch
considering how to run.
-Author Unknown

Sometimes in my attempt to organize my life, I read too many books and listen to what too many other people are doing.  I take in all this information, set lofty (dare I say, idealistic) goals only to have it all fall short because my life is messier in reality than it is on a white piece of  lined paper.  I get distracted by what all the "experts" say and how a part of my life "should" be done instead of just putting one foot in front of the other and walking. 

Nowhere is this more true right now than in my attempt to eat well (can we say diet?) and exercise.  I know I should get an hour of exercise a day - with strength training, cardio and stretching.  I know what I should eat...there are thousands of diet books in my local bookstore, not to mention every magazine cover this time of year claims to know the secret to "have a beach ready body in 5 days".  However, life seems to be a bit more complicated than just reading from a book...I have kids, we are traveling, friends come over for dinner, we go to friends' houses to eat.  What is a girl to do with all that??  (They don't mention all this LIFE stuff in the books and magazines do they?)

My problem is (and it may just be me!) that I feel defeated if I can't do the whole thing.  I am that caterpillar laying there, mind "thrown in a pitch", trying to figure it all out (probably getting angry with myself for failing).

I am not sure I have a solution for anybody else (which you will notice this is just a blog post and not a book) but I am learning to take each goal in WAY smaller chunks.  I am not sure how to go the whole day with an eating plan, but I can start with what I have for breakfast.  (Which is a protein shake and piece of toast, by the way.)  I don't know how to fit an hour at a time into my fitness goals, but I can do 20 minutes of lunges, squats, abs, and arm workout before my kids get up.  Then I can do a 20 minute walk later in the day.  

For me, the secret is becoming clear...don't be so distracted by what "they" say is "ideal", but rather focus on something that is doable for me in this season of life.  (After all, if it is so far off my normal lifestyle, I'll most likely quit after about 4 days anyway!)

May we all not listen to "them" and "the experts" as much as we listen to the rhythms of our lives.  May we choose healthy habits we can sustain for the duration of the journey.  And may we be compassionate with ourselves and others while we are getting there.

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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