She just finished telling me how successful her last weight loss strategy was and was now contemplating her next, “What do you think about Weight Watchers Jen?” And once again I launch into my verbal dissertation on how we are so desperate to quantify something that should be qualified.
Life, I mean isn’t that what food was made to sustain? Life, I’m quite certain was never meant to be so calculated. We count the days, the pounds. We are either lifted up or drug into the pit according to the number on a scale or a bank account. We set up parameters for ourselves around doing everything as if every act is meant to be a competition or challenge.
Where is the flow. Where is the FREEDOM?
“It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free.” So important that Paul uses the word twice in one sentence. Or maybe he knew we wouldn’t hear it if he only said it once. Maybe he knew we’d spend every hour of every day trying to hand back that freedom, choosing instead the bondage of our own counting and qualifying.
We count calories and assign numbers to food from early enough in life and consistently enough through life to the point where as adults to look at food and not see a number, shame, a “no-no,” staring back at us on EVERY plate is nearly impossible. I have clients who awaken every day to a cyclical anxiety about what and how much they will eat that day.
This blog is not a diet blog. In fact, if words were burnable I’d burn that word. This is a path. Or maybe a light on a new path.
Imagine you’re hiking in a thick, beautiful forest. One of my family’s favorite things to do is hike in the hills of Tennessee. We are so fortunate that there are hundreds of miles of trails here for us. It’s safe because the trail has been forged already. It’s easy because the brush has been moved, the work has been done.
With this blog, I am going to go off the path.
We are going to take a new path with food. And don’t freak out but this path has no numbers. This path has no scales. This path will test you but here is the beauty of the new path…The view is amazing.
My friend Shawn is the one who told me about our new favorite place to hike. Shawn is a fire fighter, avid hiker and all-round adrenaline junkie, like most fire fighters. So, Shawn tries new paths all the time. Being and entrepreneur I can relate.
Recently we tried a new trail that Shawn recommended. When we returned from our hike I was telling him how much we had enjoyed it. He immediately launched into how he had noticed another path the last time he was out there. He was certain that it had not been open to the public yet, but he went anyway. He took it anyway! He was so excited telling us about it. He went on about the view on that path and how beautiful it was at the summit.
I was so close when I was there but I was on the beaten path. I was going with the flow and I didn’t see half of what he saw because he saw a new path and took it.
Listen, you’re on the beaten path. But the thing is, you are the thing that is getting beaten on this path. I know, I sit with women every day and here is what I want you to know…we are all so much more alike than you realize. Yes, we all have our issues and obstacles and inner junk.
A new path! Doesn’t that sounds refreshing? It usually does to the people like Shawn, but to most it sounds terrifying. It sounds impossible.
We’ve grown comfortable on our path even when after 40 years of trying that path never leads to freedom. We never get to the top of the mountain and get to see the view. We never get to what feels like a stopping point. We never get to breathe and take it all in. We never get THERE.
Well I have news for you.
You are THERE.
Jen Mulford, CHHC, CPT
Board Certified Health Coach,
American Association of Drugless Practitioners & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist
National Academy of Sports Medicine
Contact Jen: firstname.lastname@example.org