Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Busy Schedules and Butterflies

Do you ever have those weeks that are so mapped out for you that you know what you will be doing down to the individual hours of each day?  Yeah, that's me this week.  Guess what has gotten squeezed out of the calendar?  You know it...exercise.

I'm frustrated with that.  I know that in order to get fit you have to "put yourself first" and shirk some of your other responsibilities to focus on getting yourself healthy.  I'm having a hard time shirking my responsibilities.  I think I've found a way to make time for a workout tonight, but the rest of the week is a struggle since I am going out of town to a family reunion that has activities every hour.  
Also, I'm a bit down on myself for yesterday.  I was out at a job site installation with a client and we went out to lunch.  Old habits took over out of nowhere.  I ordered an appetizer, an entrée, and a salad.  That's way more food than I needed.  I was like "hey, I'll order a salad because it's HEALTHY," but really it was just an additional 500 calories of food I didn't need.  I should've just skipped the entrée and ate the salad.  I was full before the entrée even showed up!  Did that stop me?  Nope...I still kept eating.  I really need to learn to focus on my hunger cues much better.  I did skip dinner to try and keep my calories down, and I wasn't even hungry because of my big lunch.  

I guess that's why we are here though.  This is a journey, and every day won't be perfect.  The struggles make us stronger and if we can somehow come out on top, we WILL beat this.  We will make new habits, we will make new patterns, and we will finally be able to break the chains that we ensnared ourselves in and become the person we want to be.  

I'm reminded of the story of the butterfly emerging from the cocoon.  It's a bit cheesy, but I really do like the story:

"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 would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. 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 to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. 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 shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

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. 

As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly."

These struggles we go through that help us push through and change habits that have been around for several years are going to strengthen us and make us grow.  Will it hurt?  More than we know.  Will sometimes we feel like giving up?  You betcha.  Can we one day turn into the beautiful beings we want to be?  You better believe it!

So my challenge to you (and mostly directed at myself) for the week is to not let your struggles defeat you.  Instead, let them mold you into the person you are striving to be.  

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