Be Light and Healthy

The Tortoise And The Hare

Posted on: September 12, 2010

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  Confucius

Remember Aesop’s childhood fable about the tortoise and the hare?  The hare took off like a shot and was so far ahead of the tortoise that he decided to take a snooze.  The tortoise stayed the course and slowly but surely beat the hare to the finish line.  I spent years acting like the hare and failing at weight loss.  When I finally slowed down and started acting like the tortoise, I was able to change my life.    

When I embarked on my weight loss journey, I had my own simple strategy.  I decided to eat three meals a day, try some of the suggestions in Dr. Andrew Weil’s book,  Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and treat myself with kindness by changing the voices in my head.  I was done with quick fixes and willing to try incorporating some small changes into my life. 

I lost 35 Pounds after a year.  I was in a good place and starting to believe that I could accomplish my goal of losing 100 pounds by the time I turned 40.  I was comfortable with my strategy and moving through life with ease.  I felt better and began incorporating walking into my daily routine.  People began to notice that I had lost weight and would ask how I did it.  Typically, people immediately lost interest when I shared my simple strategy of slowly changing my lifestyle.  Most often they were more interested in telling me about their struggles losing weight or the next get thin quick diet on their agenda.  At this time an acquaintance mentioned that she was going on a popular celebrity diet, and for a moment I began to doubt the path I had chosen.  I thought that following this celebrity’s diet might result in faster weight loss.  I even went out and bought the book.  When I read the book, I couldn’t wrap my head around the warning that carrots were taboo and to be avoided at all costs.  It just didn’t make sense to me.  Fortunately like the tortoise in the fable, I kept gracefully plodding along and stayed the course.  After 2 ½ Years I lost 100 pounds; but more importantly, I had slowly created a healthy lifestyle that I can easily live with for the rest of my life.  Are you wondering how my acquaintance fared?  She quickly lost a significant amount of weight and unfortunately, proceeded to gain it back. 

I know many people who have spent their lives struggling with their weight.  I’ve even been subjected to people commenting that I’ll eventually gain the weight back.  Initially, I didn’t understand why people would make such mean comments, especially people who had endured the same weight struggles I had.  I now realize these comments were more about them than me.  During the last ten years, I’ve seen these people repeatedly lose a significant amount of weight and proceed to gain it back.  They go to the extremes of dieting and exercise and lose a bunch of weight relatively quickly.  Then, like the hare, they let their guard down and take a snooze, allowing their old habits to creep back into their lives. 

I invite you to consider the tortoise’s strategy and slowly incorporate some small healthy changes into your daily routine.  Consider investing some time in resolving this issue for good.  You’ll have a lifetime to reap the benefits.  In addition, I invite you to sign up for e-mail updates to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.

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