“Once the sun rises, it doesn’t go backward but instead follows its path in one direction. It may appear to stand still for a moment in time, or to move more slowly at some point or another, but really it is steadily moving forward on its path.”
I read that the other day and it made me think about the struggles we sometimes face when we are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. When we initially start our exercise and nutrition plan it still has that “shiny” new feeling, so we are excited to get started. But often times it’s not much longer before we begin to get bored or unmotivated. These are times when we feel that we are just going through the motions. And this feeling might even be stronger following a period were we may have reached some goals or achieved some breakthroughs.
During those times we feel discouraged, but it’s helpful to remember, like the quote above, we are like the sun. Once we have moved toward something we can never really go back. It may be that we are stuck because of some new adversity, but the hard work you have done cannot be undone.
Every move we make is meaningful, and even one that seems to take us backward is really just moving us past adversity so that we can continue moving forward. A good example of this is the story of the carrot, the egg and the coffee bean.
A young woman went to her mother complaining about her life and how things were so hard for her. Her mother took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and brought them to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. After about twenty minutes she shut off the burners and turning to her daughter she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter replied.
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot started strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to adversity, they softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile, but its outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after its adversity, its inside became hardened and stiff. The ground coffee beans were unique. After they sat in the pot they changed the water. “Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
This story points out that we all face adversity, but it’s our reactions to the situation that guides how it will affect us. If we continue to move forward, like the sun, we will reach our final destination. At times we may seem like we’re not moving as fast, or we may even have to move “around” something, but even that is a step toward our goal. And if you can mentally get past the idea that this healthy lifestyle journey is going to be fast or easy, or even fun all of the time, the better off you’ll be.
So whether you are thinking about beginning a healthy lifestyle, have just started, or have been doing it for years, just remember two things the next time you feel like you’re stuck. First, you didn’t get to your current state of wellness overnight. Depending on how old you are, you may be undoing years of unhealthy living filled with unhealthy choices. You took your time making the decision to get healthy, so you have to be patient in getting there. And secondly just remember the old saying, “if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
P.S. everyone should be doing it.