There are a few things I’ve had to get accustom to since moving to Halifax 14 months ago.
Things like mail is not delivered on Saturdays, nothing is open on Sundays and it’s more likely than not that 3 or 4 cars will zoom through the yellow/red light while you’re waiting to turn left with absolutely no regard to the fact that you’re waiting to turn left.
I’ve had to become accustom to different currencies, seeing most things in English and French and the ever popular extra “u” added to just about every word you can think of thanks to the British Rule (though why a country under British rule is so entrenched in French still perplexes me).
The other thing I’ve had to get used to is the weather and especially the winters here in Atlantic Canada. I won’t lie: I’m a wuss. But only because my whole life I’ve been in Western WA and if you’re from there then you know what I’ve experienced these last two winters has been nothing but bone chilling cold. This winter is worse than last year’s. It was like Mother Nature tipped her head in my direction a year ago and said “Tara, this first winter is on me...”
Not being one to just sit inside under an electric blanket with a cup of hot chocolate waiting for Spring to…well spring I suppose, I’m learning the ways of the Haligonians. Dress warm. Have a good pair of boots and for the love of all that is pure stay on top of the snow shoveling…
This is probably where you’re asking yourself “Just where is Tara going with this” and to be honest I’m not really sure. When I sit down to blog I don’t normally have a plan of action of how to get thoughts into words and words into a blog post. I see things in pictures, concepts and correlations. But be patient because I’m pretty sure what I see in my head all ties into a pretty major message about weight loss and our journeys of Life Changes.
I was out the other day after another snow storm, with shovel in hand and clearing the parking lot to my apartment building. After the parking lot, I did the sidewalk and stairs in front of my building. After that I hit the sidewalk that runs along the side of our building. But here’s the thing; I’m not responsible for any of it. I’m responsible for my back porch/stairs and my parking spot. That’s it. Even on the worst of days it would take me just a few minutes to clear the way of what is just *my* responsibility.
I could just do the bare minimum and be done.
Not give another thought to those around me.
Let them fend for themselves.
I notice that a lot these days. People just doing the bare minimum and not giving a thought to those around them. Letting everyone fend for themselves and never thinking about the responsibility we have as a community of people. Walk around Halifax, during a snow storm for a few blocks and you’ll see it. Their stairs are clean, their walk way is clean, and maybe just a few squares of the actual side walk will be cleared but usually only if it’s connected to their property some how. Bare minimum without thought to anyone else around them.
I think that weight loss is just the same. We only want to do the absolute bare minimum. We don’t want to change our food too much or exercise too much. We want to take a magic pill that comes in the form of a shake from some company that gives about as much of a crap about us as the industry that says “Would you like to super-size your meal today?” We don’t want to spend time thinking about our environment both in the physical realm as well as the emotional realm. We don’t want to think about why we’re fat or how the changes we need to make to not be fat anymore go far beyond just eating a salad that counts as 3 points on your Weight Watchers meal plan.
I don’t want to be out there in the freezing cold for 60 minutes at a time trying to clear away snow that was never my responsibility in the first place but I am. I don’t believe in the bare minimum anymore. I don’t believe that if I sit under my electric blanket and WISH the snow away it’s just going to magically happen. I have to put the work into what I want done.
But here’s the kicker:
I put in the extra work because I also care about anyone else that might come along. Just maybe as I’m clearing away the sidewalk, and smile at the person walking by, they’ll think about doing the same for someone else. They’ll think about going beyond the bare minimum and really put in the work necessary to take care of the community around them. As I shovel the snow around my building and help my neighbor shovel their property I’m taking pride in what’s around me. I’m taking pride in my ability to go beyond the bare minimum and instead of forcing my world to be confined by walls of “this is mine, this is yours” mentality I’m experiencing life, building friendships and letting go of the “magic pill” concept even in weight loss.
I talk to anyone that doesn’t mind me striking up a conversation about weight loss because bare minimum doesn’t work. I lay it all on the line here on the blog because bare minimum doesn’t work. I spend time in my kitchen cooking real food and sharing recipes because bare minimum doesn’t work.
I share all the ups and downs of this journey.
Bare minimum doesn’t work.
Everything I do, I think about the people I can motivate and inspire to move forward on their own journey. When I feel like quitting I think about whether or not someone can be affected by the bare minimum of my actions and then I keep going because this journey just isn’t about me losing weight, keeping it off and becoming an athlete. It’s about living in my proverbial community and knowing that the potential I found in myself, can help others find it in themselves and they in turn can help someone find their potential.
If you’re sitting around wondering why this journey is hard for you, why the weight won’t come off or why the weight you did lose seems to always find it’s way back and bring a few friends with them ask yourself if you’re just trying to get a way with the bare minimum. Are you going above and beyond, doing what needs to be done to make this the last time you start over or are you under that electric blanket *wishing* the work would just magically happen?
It took a long time for that fire to get lit for me. The feeling of get up and get after it with a vengeance. That feeling of nothing is going to get in the way of finding the potential that I deserve to experience. But the reason it took so long was because I continued to look down at the bare minimum and think that was all I needed to do…
Maybe it’s time you looked up.
See what’s around you.
Grab the shovel.
Get After It!