I was preparing a post for our Camp Accountability thread, and decided to post it here as a blog post as well. Sometimes, we just need reminders that we ARE in control of our choices, even when events seems to be out of control around us:
Hello, fellow campers!
Today, I'd like to head out to the camp lake.
See that itty bitty rowboat out there on the choppy water? The one with the oars floating away? That's us without Spark, without help, when troubled times come. We get dragged along by the wind towards whatever our craving of the moment is. We have no tools to fight against the pull, and so we helplessly give in to hopelessness. We give up. We eat whatever's in sight, even though it isn't satisfying. We skip exercise because it's hard, it's sweaty, it hurts, it's inconvenient, it's boring. . .(fill in your favorite excuse) We skimp on sleep and make bad food choices, and then eat even more to drown out the guilt for having done so.
But you are no longer without tools. That's what Spark is all about. We learn about techniques that support us when times get tough. We don't have to helplessly bob on the water. We can choose better choices. That gives us oars to fight against the current of cravings and laziness.
We have routines that allow us sufficient sleep, and regular mealtimes and periods of exercise. We keep veggies and fruits in the house, ready to eat. We choose fiber and nutrient rich whole grains instead of bland white flour. We look for foods with less chemical additives and more nutrients. We watch our portion sizes. Now we have full control of our boat, with first a little trolling motor, and finally up to big roarin' dual diesel engines that could power a cabin cruiser through a tornado. We don't have to float adrift in the cravings, we can power our way through.
It's time to remember to use our tools. We can't change the weather, but we can change what we do about it. An experienced seaman would keep his 'weather eye' cocked, keeping aware of current conditions, and what the clouds tell him is to come. BEFORE the storm hits, he would have prepared. We need to remember to do that. We need to know what things cause storms to our lifestyle, see them coming, and make preparations ahead of time to weather them.
Even if we get caught unawares by a situation, we need to have emergency supplies in our boat to help us survive. What is it that always catches you off guard, and sends your healthy lifestyle spiraling out of control? When does it happen? Why does it happen? What can be done to prepare ahead of time, so when it does happen, it doesn't cause you to go off course?
YOU are in control of your ship of good health. Don't let it go adrift. Take up your station at the controls, consult the compass, keep your weather eye out, and steer straight for your goal. Don't give up when choppy waves begin to break, or when the sky looks bleak. Don't give up when you have to steer around obstacles, it's all part of the journey.
The trick is to keep your eye on the prize, focus on the goal, and no matter what, don't give up! Think of a person in physical therapy. I watched a woman today walking down a long hallway. That may not seem like much, but to a person who's been living in a wheelchair, it's a miracle. I could hear her as she slowly took one step after another, "Oh, God. Oh, God." She was sure she couldn't do it, she was in pain. It's hard to retrain those old atrophied muscles to do their job again. But she wasn't alone. Her physical therapist was right beside her, supporting her with one arm, while keeping the wheelchair right behind her with the other. If she felt faint, she had support all around her: the walker before her, the therapist beside her, the chair behind her. And despite the pain, she did it! She made it clear to the end of the hallway. I was so proud of her, what an accomplishment! She fought through the fears of "I can't", through the pain, through the discomfort, and the embarrassment of having to be taught to walk again, to victory. I hope to someday see that woman stroll the hall with no aids at all. But even if she always needs the aids, she's still getting stronger, taking her life into her own hands, and doing the best she can with it.
That's us. No one likes physical therapy, but we all like being stronger. We don't like being pushed by a personal trainer, but we love feeling the power of our newly acquired abilities. We hate getting tutored in school, and doing drills, but we love the good grades. Come on, take control of your boat, you don't have to float adrift anymore. Grit your teeth, and let's learn together to steer toward better health.