Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Looking back a long time I realize that growing up in the forties and fifties prepared me for life more than I knew. I always looked forward to the visits to my grandparents farm. We left our little GI home in St. Louis county and drove a little over 2 hours into the beautiful Ozark hills. During the summer I got to spend a couple of weeks with my grandparents and the outdoor opportunities were endless. I picked wild Blackberries and Gooseberries for Grandma. I went Squirrel hunting with my Uncle who was three years older than me. I got to rope calves and ride horses.
My Uncle Freddie had a Pinto Mare that he named Sugar. Freddie was a lot bigger than me and he was strong enough to handle her. As a small skinny 12 year old I wasn't but I tried. I remember once when we were riding up a meadow and Sugar decided that she wanted to go to the barn. I was riding her and she took the bit in her mouth and headed home. Nothing I could do would slow her and Freddie's horse wasn't fast enough to catch her. We came to the fence surrounding the barnyard and she jumped it causing me to suddenly get unsteady in the saddle and then she stopped. Instantly. I didn't. I went sailing over her head and landed in the shallow creek that ran through the barnyard. Freddie arrived concerned but laughing and telling me how well I flew through the air. I got a few bruises from that and the several times that Sugar threw me after that but I never stopped climbing back into that saddle.
In this lifestyle change some of us are like Freddie. You take control of the program and run with it from day one. It's not easy but you get into a groove quickly and push hard to success. The majority of us are like me trying to control that Pinto Mare. It's not easy and we keep getting bucked off. Our psyche gets bruised every time we stumble and we ask ourselves "Is it worth it?" The self doubt is the mind game that we have to win. It's not figuring out what are the perfect foods to eat. It's not about picking the absolutely perfect fitness workout. What works for you in nutrition and fitness will come to you in time.
The mind game is being able to put all of the yesterdays behind you. It's about accepting the truth that everyone stumbles and you can overcome the effect of every time you stumble. It's about not believing all of the negative things that you and other people in your life have been feeding you for years. It's about knowing that you can make your tomorrows better than your yesterdays by taking care of today. It's about being so darn stubborn that nothing, and no one, will stop you from getting to a healthy lifestyle. Every time you get bucked off climb back in the saddle and show that horse who's boss. You get stronger and smarter every time you do that.
Sparkpeople gives us all the tools we need to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Select the tools that work for you, find your program through experimentation, and win the mind game. As you strive for perfection just remember that "perfection is the enemy of good enough". Do that and you will succeed.
Enjoy the ride,