As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
– Henry David Thoreau
Yesterday was Thoreau’s birthday and in looking up quotes of his, I stumbled across this gem that so powerfully speaks to my struggles with weight.
I give up after a few footsteps, then wonder why it wasn’t enough to create a new path to fitness.
Or I try to find a weed-whacker approach to weight loss, because I am fed-up and want to just chop it off quickly, but the pounds spring back like kudzu along a quickly-cut trail. When quickly pursued, the results never last.
And I think that’s what I’m coming to realize over time…there’s no easy way around it: the only way to get fit is through daily, hourly transformation of my steps and my thoughts—repeated daily, over time. Because if I don’t will myself to journey where I want to go, I’m not going to just magically wake up there one day.
Even weight loss surgery, (not that my insurance covers it, or my autoimmune issues would allow me to have it) which is often touted as the “easy way out” (largely by those who have not had it), comes with a huge, permanent burden of responsibility of walking and thinking a whole new path through life.
There is no easy path to fitness; only the doing and re-doing the right things until it is ingrained in us. That’s true of everything we need discipline to change, isn’t it? Whether it’s our marriages that need improvement, an addiction that needs breaking, or a house in need of decluttering, the same principle holds true.
If you’re trying to forge your own path to fitness, I pray this imagery sticks with you as it has me. May we picture in our minds the repeated walking it takes to form a bare path through the forest, and feel encouraged with every step that we are making progress. One day, we’ll see the fruits of our labors and that path we forged will feel like home as we walk it, again and again.
For more Weight Loss Wednesday posts, please visit my friend Alicia’s blog.