Monday, September 26, 2011
Who wants to keep a picture that is out of focus? Or who wants a chauffer or pilot whose focus is blurred? How close to the bulls-eye will you come if your scope is not focused properly? The same is true when it come to achieving a “healthy lifestyle”
In the movie “Up” the dogs have a problem with keeping their focus without being side tracked by a “squirrel”. The same can be said about trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle. There are a lot of distractions/squirrels as I’ve worked on learning to eat healthy and exercise. I can so relate to the “squirrels” in my life.
First there is the business of each day with work and then duties at home. You know the days I’m talking about. When grabbing the easiest things to eat isn’t always the best things to eat. Let’s face it to eat healthy takes work and sometimes we are so busy with work, family and life in general we totally look for the easiest way out. After all it can be easier to go through McDonald’s drive through for a big Mac and fries or popping a macaroni and cheese meal in the microwave instead of packing a healthy lunch. But if we keep at it, what used to be a burden/trouble soon becomes second nature.
Then there is the exercise that seems to suffer because of our busy schedules. When I started 15 months ago it was a real challenge to get any exercise in. And as I began to work at it I realized that it was up to me to make the time at every possible opportunity. At first I started to get up earlier so I could get in 10-20 minutes on my stationary bike. I also parked further away from the store just so I could get a little more time walking. Ok I know not everyone is like me, and that might be a good thing, but I have started getting up at 5am just so I can get in my “Me time” each morning. I wish I could say I never miss but I can’t say that. I can say that I have discovered it becoming more and more an important part of my life and when I miss it I feel it. I just have to keep my focus!
Second would be life’s little surprises. You know those things that sneak up on you and totally take you by surprise, or as my Dad would call it, “a wrench in the works”. And if you are an emotional eater, as I am, this can really be a killer if you don’t keep your focus. This is the area I really have to work at to keep my focus. In the past the refrigerator was my therapist and my comfort provider. Being in ministry I have worked with alcoholics and with AA. So to admit to being an emotional eater was the first big step in finding success over it. I have had to learn what triggers me to want to eat/graze and how to deal with it. That’s where my faith, guitar, and a casual walk come in. It has only been through focusing on the issue and learning how to recognize and deal with these emotional triggers I have been able to find success.
One form of life’s little surprises is when the numbers don’t add up. Let me explain. There was a time I was so focused on my sugar levels I allowed it to control my emotions and my attitude for the day. Then there is the dreaded scale and the numbers that seem to be more like a yo-yo then a scale. I can’t tell you the number of times I have allowed one of these two to influence my focus and almost totally derail me. I’ve have finally come to realize that they are just numbers and if I keep my focus and keep on doing the little things/steps needed to reach my goal they will in time be what they ought to be. Then I will celebrate mission accomplished.
Third is friends and family. Those who truly care for you and want the best for you but at times they seem to be your biggest saboteur when it comes to healthy eating and exercising. Or in some cases think they are your nutritionist when they really don’t know what they are talking about. Being a diabetic I have had so many well meaning friends try to tell me what I could and should eat when in reality they didn’t have a clue. This is where I had to make a conscious decision to stand up for ME and say “no, thank you” to food they might offer that I shouldn’t have. Ok I know that may not be you. But at what point do we start loving and caring for ourselves enough to stand up for ourselves? As I have learned to focus more I have found it easier to just say “No thanks” to a lot of things. No, it hasn’t been easy but as time has passed I have found it’s getting easier. At some point I must stand up for ME because no one else is going to.
Fourth is refocusing when you have lost your focus. So we’re not perfect! We will slip up every now and then. But if we truly want to keep our focus there are times we have to refocus on our goal. I can’t change the past but I can make a difference in the future only if I refocus after losing my focus. It doesn’t do any good to beat myself up just because I’ve lost focus. I need to learn from that experience, refocus and move on!!
We are all on this journey together. Some have reached their goal and have a new focus of maintaining their new “Lifestyle” change, while others of us are still on the journey. But all of us must keep our focus on what really matters and not on the squirrels of life.
PS: And the most important focus is my focus on God who is my all in all.