Monday, September 22, 2014

Grow Your Bamboo, Girl

The past week completely sucked and was probably one of the hardest weeks I’ve had in a long time. I wouldn’t say I completely lost myself and went rogue but I definitely haven’t been limiting the way I should be. Every day, I wake up and tell myself that today is the day I start over and get back to basics, yet every night I go to sleep regretting at least one choice I made that day. My work-life balance has been completely thrown off this week by a huge project I’m involved in ramping up. Cue the stress and pressure. This, coupled with some emotional personal stuff, makes me feel like a hot mess. I often feel like I’m untouchable and sprinting through life. I feel so good about myself and everything is going great and then BAM, everything has changed. I’m 2 pounds above where I need to be to be on track to meeting my goal. This basically equates to a 1-2 week setback. I know it sounds like I’m over dramatizing, which wouldn’t be out of character for me, but this goal is so important. I can’t imagine what it will do to me emotionally if I don’t make it. I’m extremely mad at myself for putting so much pressure on me but I can’t help it. My life has been consumed by food and exercise. I’m obsessed. Today, I was reminded by my momma of a very important lesson. I was griping and she looked at me and said, “Grow your bamboo, girl.”

Several months ago, I called my mom to tell her an inspirational story about growing bamboo that I heard from an extremely successful real estate mogul. I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with Keep Watering Your Bamboo Tree by Eric Aronson but you can read it here. When one attempts to grow Chinese bamboo, it takes 4 years of cultivation before you can see any results. At year 5, the bamboo grows at an astonishing rate, working its way to upwards of 90 feet in just weeks. Can you imagine working on something for 4 years with no visible progression? You can’t miss a season and you can’t give up because you’ll undo everything. While this is usually a story told to groups of entrepreneurs, I can’t help but equate it to weight loss. Just because I don’t see results RIGHT THIS SECOND, which is what I expect, doesn’t mean that changes under the surface aren’t happening. Sure, you can’t see my biceps unless I’m flexing and some weeks the scale won’t budge, but giving up because of those will undo all of it. Giving up would negate 73 lbs, 5 dress sizes, huge fitness gains and a whole lot of happiness. When I first started this journey, I told myself that I would give it a year. “I can do anything for a year,” said idiot Sarah. Reality check, this is life now and forever. All the hard work, sacrifices, tears and sweat are me cultivating my bamboo. Reverting back to the old life after a year won’t get my bamboo to 90 feet tall but it will get me back to 291 lbs. I have to remember that daily choices will lead to healthy and hearty bamboo. Luckily, my body isn’t as finicky as the mighty bamboo tree and little missteps are forgiven. However, the big picture is and always will be never giving up. Never succumb to the voice in your head that says it’s too much work. Never allow one bad day to erase all the good days. Finally, never give up on reaching for what you really want. Put in the time to cultivate your dreams and one day, when the dreams and you are ready, you’ll have something so amazing and significant. So go get growing.

Thank you, mom, for reminding me about the bamboo story. You’re the one who helped me plant the seed, you encourage me through the seasons and I know you’ll be there when I need help harvesting my 90 foot tree. I’ll even give you 5 percent of the profits. Also, thank you, dear reader, for enduring all the metaphors of this post.

4 comments:

Proud Papadopolous said...

If anyone can grow bamboo, you can! I'm already seeing so many terrific results. Keep cultivating!

Kayla Curcio said...

I love this!! My scale number isn't dropping but I know I'm changing & I have to keep telling myself that every day is progress whether it's visible or not!!

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks, pops! You keep cultivating, too! December 5th here we come (4th for me)!

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks, Kayla! I feel you, girl, it's extremely difficult because it's so much easier to give up! Every day you keep going is progress. Keep it up!!