Moving SUCKS. I mean really, does anyone actually enjoy the process of loading everything they own into a vehicle, U-Haul or truck only to have to unload it and put it all away again somewhere else? If anyone said yes, they probably have never actually had to do it. But the only times we move (usually) are for good reasons – reasons that bring us somewhere that we need or want to be.
To say that I’ve moved a lot would be like the understatement of the century – some moves have been good, some just ‘transitions’ and others not so good – but ultimately, I always had a reason for changing my geography, not always a good reason, but a reason nonetheless. I recently moved again (yeah, I know – I just moved from Austin, TX to Colorado Springs in July…), this time from Colorado Springs back to South Dakota. So, in the past 2 years, I’ve moved 3 times (and before that I had moved 4 times in the prior 3 years – no joke – and yes, I am in therapy…). This time I moved back ‘home’ to be closer to my family and it feels right – I even bought furniture (which in my world is like having a kid – a BIG DEAL).
On the drive, sometime between hour 5 and 6 in the middle of nowhere Nebraska, where only one radio station comes in – sometimes; I was doing some thinking about all this moving stuff. I came to the realization that many aspects of our lives are like moving – including how we eat, workout and choose to stay healthy (so that means that this post is actually going to go somewhere useful – I hope…). I know, you’re all asking, “What do you mean, Amy?” – Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to tell you.
We all ‘live’ somewhere all of the time – this is true with diet and exercise too. Maybe you live on Paleo Parkway, Vegetarian Boulevard, Keto Avenue, Low-Fat Lane, Weight Watchers Way or “See Food” Street (that’s where you eat whatever the heck you want or see) and hangout at CrossFit Community Center, Globo Gym, Yoga World, Pilates Station or at the uber popular club, The Couch. Regardless of where it is – you’re always ‘somewhere’ – it might that you’ve lived in the exact same spot for years, move around every couple months or just pop-in for a visit to see what it’s all about (enter intermittent fasting, carb backloading, macrobiotic, juicing, etc….). There are lots of ‘roads’ and ‘destinations’ on the map that you have in your hands and so many ways to get to the same places. It’s hard to know which turns to take and unfortunately, there’s no Google map for this stuff – but I think I heard that someone is working on an app…
There are signs and billboards (articles, advertisements, blog posts, friends, jobs, family, etc.) everywhere – all of them trying to steer you a certain direction or to get you to turn in, stop and/or stay awhile. Ultimately, the decision is yours. You plot out your course and you have a destination in mind – but that destination isn’t always where you belong and sometimes it results in a MAJOR wreck or having to backtrack and choose another route. Along the way you might take some wrong turns, encounter some road work and take detours (this is called ‘life’ – having kids, work circumstances, etc.) that slow you down on the journey. But eventually, you arrive at the place that seems the best at the time and you settle in. Sometimes that place is exactly where you need to be but often times, it’s not and you have to get back on the road or maybe just move down the block (make a few small tweaks, stop for directions, change your workouts, etc.) to get where you belong next.
What’s important to remember is that the journey never ends and just because something is working right now and you’re living happily – it doesn’t mean things won’t need to change, even the best places sometimes need a little remodeling, right? The same is true in the health, diet and exercise realm. It’s important to listen to your gut (and your body) if something doesn’t feel right, if ‘home’ doesn’t feel like ‘home’, regardless of what everyone (experts, friends, blogs, family, etc.) tells you, you’re probably not where you belong and ignoring those ‘signs’ will likely lead to a crash – or at least a traffic ticket – it won’t be without consequences, let’s just put it that way. There are other times, when maybe you need to ‘check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self’ – maybe you’re falling asleep at the wheel or being pulled by the pretty signs or a lucrative short cut (quick fixes, diet drugs, cleanses, supplements that promise the world, etc.). When you’re a little out of control and the people that really care about you take notice – it’s probably time to stop the vehicle and ask for directions and/or look at the condition of your current living environment (your body), or at least slow down, stop for a while and look at the map.
Consider your ultimate ‘destination’ (your goals, your happiness, your REAL (non-food and exercise) life). Is the ‘road’ or where you’re living now getting you closer to that spot or further away? Or maybe it’s going to dead end? Is the place you’re living going be around for a while or is it under foreclosure or in danger of being torn down (or of tearing you down)? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it might be time to turn off and take a new route for a while or vacate your current premises.
Your health, your happiness, your family, your friends/community the stuff that matter to you – these are the things that you need to base your destination on – not the perfect body, a pristine diet, a workout routine or what everyone else is doing or telling you to do. If we let ourselves be directed by every sign on the highway – we’d all be eating at McDonald’s and staying at the Super 8, right? Determine where you want to be and that will tell you a lot about the path you need to take to get there.
Is the journey always easy? No. Is the route or path always clear? No. Is your chosen destination where you belong forever? Most likely not – or at least not without some remodeling or a move up the street. Ultimately though, this is your journey – you hold the map, you choose the roads. Is it going to perfect – without detours, without wrong turns, without a flat tire or a gas stop? Nope. (Sorry, just being honest.) The decisions (moves) you make and the turns you take are what we call life. So, put your seat belt on and enjoy the trip. If you’re not enjoying it – you might be going the wrong way.