Life’s ‘quick fix’ approach invariably ends up slowing you down

by Gazette Reporter
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We live in an age of the ‘quick fix’ but I must say I was surprised recently when a woman I know told me she was going to lose a stone and a half – in a week.

 “I have to because the wedding is on in a fortnight,” she confided as if that made sense.

I eventually got her to see how pointless it would be to even reach for such instant weight loss and instead got her to set clear stretching small goals. We lengthened her achievement time to a more realistic three months.

She is not alone in the way she was thinking – we do love to rush headlong into the quest of fitness and weight loss at a very unreasonable pace.

It’s no great surprise when we live in a world of fast food, instant coffee, and drive-through hamburger outlets.

We don’t walk over to turn on or off the television; we just use the remote or the “flicker” as they call it here.

We want to get fit and we want to get fit now. We want to lose weight and we want to lose weight now. We don’t want to “wait” to lose weight.

The rhythms of nature are different. The timing and purpose of nature is perfect once we don’t interfere with it as can happen so easily.

Here’s a story to show how easily it can happen. Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he took good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants in as sustenance. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick in the jar and started acting strangely. The boy called his mother who explained that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother told the boy that the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about such changes. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started his struggle to emerge from it.

They became concerned. It looked like it couldn’t break free. The concerned boy decided to help. He ran to get a scissors. He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged.

The boy was surprised to see it had a swollen body while its wings were shrivelled.  He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

But neither happened.

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings.

It never was able to fly… because the boy’s action in fast-forwarding the caterpillar was forced action, not natural, organic, inspired action.

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong, his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was supposed to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings.

Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions actually hurt the butterfly.

There is a difference between struggling, effort, hard smart work and forcing.

By all means write out your health and fitness goals, but give yourself a timeline that is suitable for your age, weight and condition.

Don’t try to fast-forward or force it.  Remember the butterfly. Just enjoy it at your own pace and in your own time and you’ll get there. By the yard it’s hard. By the inch it’s a cinch.

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