Baby Steps

In Diet and Weight, Excercise on June 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm
Baby Steps on doctorfoodtruth

I wrote about Dr Henry Cloud several posts ago and want to return to his powerful writing and thinking about personal development.

In his book 9 Things You Simply Must Do, Dr. Cloud describes a life lesson he learned watching an ant farm. Each ant carried a single grain of sand, doing what seemed a tiny, almost meaningless amount of work. But as ants do, they kept at it, eventually building an entire ant city, with tunnels, streets, and rooms. One grain at a time!

Dr. Cloud was so struck by the comparison that he says it changed his entire view of things. Tiny steps, so small they were easy to ignore, built a city. But without the tiny steps, there would have been just a sand pile instead of an ant metropolis.

The same principle applies to all of life, he says. The small, steady steps are what leads to changed lives and improved health. Know why crash diets never work in the long haul? Because skipping the small, steady steps of adopting a healthy lifestyle and trying to ‘cheat’ the body and force rapid weight loss hasn’t really changed anything.

A person that is too impatient for change skips the steps that lead to new habits and easier self-control. Without these changes, weight loss (or any other health improvement), won’t last.

The whole world hinges on small, steady changes. Snowdrifts don’t just appear, they grow one flake at a time. An oak tree comes from an acorn by countless tiny steps, a high school kid doesn’t just ‘become’ a doctor, and complicated machines like a computer don’t just happen.

We could all come up with dozens of other examples like this, because deep down, we all know this is how the world works.

Somehow, between microwaves and McDonald’s we have forgotten that our bodies change this same way. Nobody goes to bed thin, strong, and healthy and wakes the next morning obese and sick. Why would anyone expect the opposite?

Being healthy or not is most often the result of years of tiny, seemingly insignificant choices and actions. Apple or donut? Couch or bike? Stairs or elevator? Coke or water?

One choice, one grain at a time, we are building our future selves. Are you building a city or a sand pile?

Choose Healthfully, Live Fully Healthy!

  1. So true! Every body wants a quick fix not taking the time to build the foundation.

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