Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Slow Steady Drip

“With dripping drops of water, even a water jug is filled.” Dhammapada 121-122

How many times have you read an inspiring quote like this and said, “Yeah…I’m going to remember that,” only to fall back five minutes later into the same old same old?

It’s one reason I took off an “inspirational widget” from this blog. Even I, author of this blog, wasn’t reading it every day. And when I did, it looked good for the moment, then eventually (like…within a mouse click), I’d forget about it.

This quote, though…I need to give this quote props. When I read it on Tuesday night, I was distracted by the sound of water dripping in the kitchen. Thinking I’d left the faucet slightly on, I figured I’d check it out on my next visit to the kitchen. A few minutes later, I heard “splat, splat, splat” and I knew it wasn’t the faucet. We were having an ice storm, and what I found was water dripping from a leak in the roof.

I dug out a bowl and a towel and laid them under the drip. Water dripped slowly with an off-beat cadence for another few hours. Eventually it stopped and the bowl had filled to a few inches. I could have dumped it into the sink, but then I thought, What the heck? and watered one of my plants instead.

It was just a little serendipitous outcome, but one I thought about at length. If my original plan had been to generate enough water from the leaky roof to water my plants, I’d have been ticked off at all the time it took to gather a few inches of water. But my plan was to merely save my kitchen floor from a mini flood. The bonus wasn’t foreseen.

A “diet” and its real results are the same thing - the diet being a bucket and towel and only one hopeful outcome and the results being the water gathered for a plant. When you stick to your rudimentary plan, it will reap greater benefit. That’s what most people who aspire to lose weight miss.

I remember when I weighed 300 pounds and all I wanted was to lose weight IMMEDIATELY! As in RIGHT NOW, the moment I joined Weight Watchers. But it didn’t work that way. Right now, Weight Watchers centers and gyms all across the country are filled with people wanting a torrential wave of weight loss. I wish there was a way to let them all know that they have to chill, to drip, to gather water slowly. It will be worth it in the end.

Four years ago, when I started this journey, if someone had told me I’d still be grappling with weight issues after the big 168-pound loss, I’m not sure I’d have kept it up. But plugging along month after month with the drip, drip, drip of a pound here and a pound there, isn't so bad. I've learned so much and met so many awesome people that I wouldn't give that time up for anything.

So to those of you new to all this, please, stay in the moment. Day after day. Count your calories, Points, fat grams, carbs, whatever, but stay with it. Stay with the drip. Your bucket will fill up eventually (and your ass will diminish). Be patient. Be still.

Inspiration is fleeting. Dedication is key. And remember, roofing contractors don’t usually work in the winter. You’re on your own :)

20 comments:

  1. I'm not sure it's weight issues we work with as much as it is health issues... and where does weight and eating fit into that picture. So many foods that are calorically dense are not nutritionally so proportionately, and that's always there. A grilled cheese sandwich is SOOOOO delicious. But where does that delicous buttery sandwich fit into a whole life? It has its place, but not center stage. You're so right though, one day at a time. One choice at a time. love, V

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  2. Thanks, I needed this tonight. I've been getting sick of the dripping.

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  3. I am glad you decided to highlight this quote. The timing is perfect for me as I just started a blog today and where I have always gone wrong in the past is impatience. But I am dedicated to the result... I must be content with the dripping. Thanks for the tip. Glad to have found you, look forward to returning over time :)
    Ally

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  4. Dedication is the key! Nice post Lynn always can count on you for inspiration.

    Mara
    http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

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  5. I had a moment of frustrated impatience just this morning on the scale! Wishing the last 30 pounds would go away NOW...thinking, hey, I'll just stop eating till that happens...realizing, no, that won't work.
    Instead, it's the slow & steady (drip drip drip) pace that wins this race.

    Thanks for sharing this, today, to firm up my resolve! I sure needed it.

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  6. A diminishing ass would be really great....no matter how much dripping is involved. ;)

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  7. Very timely - I've been fighting the impulse to look for a magic bullet to take off the few lbs I've put on instead of simply returning to the basics and being patient with the results. This fight created quite a bit of inner turmoil and I decided it wasn't worth it. I know what to do and know that slow steady progress at this stage in my journey will be far more healthy to accomplish than drastic measures. Thanks for the re-enforcement!

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  8. Very valuable insight! Thank you! I'm going to absorb this one over a period of time...

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  9. Hey guys! Another phrase I like that is similar to the dripping water is something like "Wishing doesn't make it happen." As much as I wish I could maintain my weight and eat cheese sandwiches every day with abandon (thanks for the reminder how much I love those, V!! lol), it won't happen without my constant diligence and action to stay in maintenance.

    It's always something, isn't it? Thanks for your great comments.

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  10. great post and how true! roni had something just like this on her blog today too, so i may link to both of you... it's so easy to want to give up when things are working like they used too - things change, people change, bodies change... we need to learn patience as much as anything else so i will be focusing on that since starting WW again... :)

    p.s. i had to giggle at the granny pants! ;)

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  11. Have I told you lately that i love you? 'cause I do. So needed this today. Thank you.

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  12. good posting - when it started I thought you were going to say a burst water pipe - we have had parts of our area hit with power outages and then frozen pipes bursting as it comes back on again. Glad yours was one bowl only.

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  13. What a relavant post! I am constantly trying to remember slow and steady wins the race. Now I'll think of the drips. Maybe you've blogged about this before but I'd be curious to know how you handled the compliments once your weight loss became evident to others. Since I've seen you on Oprah, I know you are confident and enjoy your new body. Was it always like that? I feel self concious like evrybody is checking me out when that has happened in th past. This time around I am trying to prepare for it.

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  14. I've only been reading your blog for a few weeks, and I always seem to find something in your posts that strikes a chord with me. I'm 14 months into my weight loss journey and I've lost 56 pounds. In the past, I would have been so frustrated by my slow weight loss, but somewhere along the line, I finally realized that those .2 and .4 losses do add up. I am dripping my way to my goal.

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  15. {{deanna}} thanks for the love, chicka.

    Anna, I'm STILL trying to get comfortable with the new body. If I looked confident on Oprah, it was all nerves. Having said that, I'm not afraid of what I look like now (or what I looked like before, either, but hindsight is 20/20).

    Anonymous...congrats on the 56 pounds gone! Yup. .2 and .4 and all those other point somethings add up. I'm glad you found my blog and I hope the people who post here can also be a source of inspiration. There are so many awesome people blogging out there.

    Dripping just seems like a really dirty word, though, doesn't it? *giggle*

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  16. So true, so true. I want the weight gone yesterday, but am trying to be patient with the slowness of it all.

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  17. journey of a thousand miles start with just one step.
    Healthy Wealthy Wise

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  18. This is so true. I lost 130 lbs and have finished several ultra marathons. If there is one thing I learned through all of it, it is that slow and steady and not giving up will take you to goal/finish line. Great post.
    http://run4change.wordpress.com

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  19. Lynn, I found your blog on the web and have been reading it for awhile and I need to send you a THANKS! for all of time that I have read your blog and gotten motivated. Today is no different. Great metaphor for my slow wt. loss. I have lost 50 lbs in 14 months but I refuse to give up. When I need to be inspired I visit your site and you never fail to inspire me.
    Hope 2009 is a great year for you!
    Beverly in NC

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