Friday, August 01, 2008
I was thinking the other day how learning to lead a healthy life is a lot like learning to tie a shoe. Now, I've never had to teach someone how tie a show but I've seen my sister and mom trying to teach my nephews how to tie theirs.
My nephew was taught how to make a loop and turn it into a bow. My sister will show him a few times how to do it, encourage him to try and be there to show him again. He'll finally do it once and she is happy. The next day comes and she hears "I can't do it". She knows he can because he did it yesterday so she tells him he can. Stubborn, he doesn't even try today. She tries to show him again making the loops for him but he's not interested. He wants velcro shoes and she's frustrated because she knows he can... he just won't try! There's a difference between "I can't" and "I won't try" which is very frustrating for any parent to get from their child. She much rather him try, fail and her have to reteach them him not try at all.
For losing weight we'd all like velcro shoes. We'd like a quick fix with the same end results...shoes that stay on our feet. It's not that easy. Spark is wonderful in providing tools for us to learn how to do it, just like my sister showed how to make a loop. But like my sister, Spark can only train and encourage, it can't do it for us. It's up to us to stop the "I can't" because deep down it's probably more like "I won't try".
To a four-year-old learning to tie a bow can be daunting and frustrating. They wonder if it's tight enough, will it stay in, are the loops equal...they strive for perfection. Sound familiar? Just getting the mechanics down is what we all did when we first tied our shoes and we need to do the same with leading a healthy lifestyle. Consistency and good habits come with time. Even as adults we have days our shoes come undone every hour but that doesn't mean we don't know how to tie our shoes. I've even had days I'm ready to throw a pair of shoes out because they won't stay tied...so it can still be frustrating.
It's time for us to choose to try. It's time for us to realize that although daunting and frustrating it's doable with applying all the lessons taught. We don't need to strive to be perfect, just be willing to try to get it right.
BTW, Shoes with nice bows are much more attractive than velcro ones.