The Ox Is Slow, But The Earth is Patient

….well, the Earth may be; but, I’m not!

High_Road_to_ChinaIn the 1983 movie High Road to China, Patrick O’Malley (Tom Selleck, not Phil Harris in the Aristocats), is advised by a local to remember that, “The ox is slow, but the Earth is patient.”  I saw the movie in theaters; so, I don’t remember exactly what the man was telling O’Malley to cool his jets about.  Regardless, the adage is a good one and one that I must remember all the time.

Progress takes time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. All the flowers of all of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

But, don’t we all want Mr. Rourke to work his magic?  Don’t we want to go to sleep fat and wake up thin?  We’ve made up our minds, after all, shouldn’t the commitment be enough? Well, sugar, there’s a reason that show was called Fantasy Island.  That little trick worked only for Adrienne Barbeau and, even then, only for the weekend.  For lasting results for everyone, we have to work and we have to work hard.

We have to work on our food choices.  We have to work on our exercise habits.  Mostly, we have to work on the Why.  We have to identify and neutralize our triggers.  Stress, boredom and depression are huge triggers for me, to the point where you might actually find me sitting in the ice cream freezer at the grocery store if I’m dealing with more than one of them at a time. Wave as you go by, won’t you?

I watch for signs of any of these three triggers; but, I’m finding that just watching for the signs isn’t really enough.  To be most effective, I have to suss out the triggers’ triggers.  Let’s face it, for people who have only ever been five pounds overweight, they likely have holiday food issues. Step away from the cookie tray and they’re back to normal in no time.  But, for those of us who have been 20, 40, 90, 150 pounds overweight, food isn’t REALLY our issue.  We have to find out what that issue is and deal with it.  Until we excise that spiritual cancer, we aren’t really going to make any permanent progress.  And sometimes even a great support system isn’t enough to help us identify and neutralize the issues.  In that case, consider consulting a mental health professional – holistic, TCM, Western medicine, whatever.  Talk to your priest, your pastor, your minister.  Red Baron and Lorna Doone are not going to be able to help you. Use every weapon you can get your hands on when fighting for yourself.

It’s a difficult, life-long fight.  I know that.  I know I didn’t put weight on overnight and I know that it’s not going to come off overnight.  I know that I have to cut  myself some slack and count all progress as good.

It just sounds a lot more zen to talk about oxen and Earth.


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