Do you tend your garden?

I know several gardeners.  I’m not one.  Used to be, but don’t have time for it anymore – but I digress.

Changing your health is like planting a garden from seed.  You have to prepare the soil.  You have to plant seeds.  You have to provide essentials like water, sunlight, plant food, fertilizer…you know – the stuff those little seeds need to sprout. And then you wait.   You check and you wait.  It may take several weeks before seedlings appear.  And then you have to protect them from the whether.  Tend to them.  More waiting.  Need to pull those weeds.  Need to protect against bugs.  And then there are outside elements you can’t control, like the weather, that will challenge the success fo the garden.  Eventually there will be flowers or veggies, but it’s not something that happens in a week or two.  It’s nature and the gardener knows what to expect.  Tending and waiting.  Tending and waiting.

But that same gardener may start and quit new program for their own health before those seedlings break the soil.   Why?  Impatience.  The body changes as soon as nutrients are ingested.  It changes as soon as it moves.  But the changes are microscopic.  It takes consistent care – “tending” – for as long as it takes to see results.  The body’s garden needs to be “weeded” of toxins – processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, refined sugar…you know.  The stuff we think we crave for a good reason, when the real reason is that these things rewire our brain to crave them – a lot like how a drug addict’s brain is rewired.  Sugar is an especially nasty drug to kick.  I still crave it everyday.  Changing body composition is especially a long, long process.  Months and months of consistency will do it.

I used to jump from one program to another one too quickly.  “Programs” advertised to produce results in x amount of time.  If I didn’t get results, I’d quit.  I see people doing this now all the time.  They do fad things – P90X, Insanity, BeachBody, workouts they find online – whatever.  Not that any of these programs are bad programs, but they are basically exercise programs.  The secret is that you have to keep doing them for weeks, for months, for years to give the biology a chance to work.  The exercise program has to be supported with the right nutrient program.   I don’t see many people with the discipline to tend to their health like a garden.  They get bored and switch programs thinking it’s “not working”.  The truth is that it IS working, it HAS to work because it’s our biology, but the changes are small at first.  We need to change a LOT of cells before we see things changing in the mirror or on the scale.

It takes nature’s time to change your whole body one cell at a time.  Starts with the brain cells.  Starts with the thinking and the attitude.  And it’s hard at first.  The first year was the worst for me.  Sheer force of will got me through the first phase until the habits were so ingrained that NOT working out and NOT logging my food felt weird.  Now, exercise is my oxygen.  It’s my coping mechanism.  If I eat junk (and I do – on purpose – about twice a month), I feel it the next day.  My body and mind just doesn’t work as well on those days.  I imagine it’s a little like watering a garden with soda.

Just a thought.  Time for me to take this garden to bed.  Up too late already.


Filed under Life, Motivation

11 responses to “Do you tend your garden?

  1. Sanctified Brother

    I think this is especially useful as we age. Sometimes we believe the clock is ticking faster for us and the impatience gets the better of our senses, causing the boredom and skipping from program to program. I trained on and off for years, getting bored, and reverting back to a standard program of squats and deadlifts that always seemed to produce results.

    My current program is based on calisthenics and I see results that are coming along smoothly. I believe it’s interesting enough to allow me time to get those nutrients in and pull up the weeds.

    Thanks for the illustration. It was useful!


  2. Yep, so true. The mainstream media tends to compartmentalize results into 30, 60 and 90 day windows, so the average unfit Joe thinks it can be done in that time. It’s great information for those just starting out, and an excellent reminder for those of us who’ve been on the path for a while.


  3. Reblogged this on 43fitness and commented:
    The mainstream media tends to compartmentaize results into 30, 60 and 90 windows. Which in most cases is very unrealistic for the average person. Great information for those just starting out, and an excellent reminder for those of us who’ve been on the path for a while.


  4. Love, love, love this post! Would like to reblog it myself if you don’t mind.


  5. Colin DeWaay

    Great article! I will be sharing this with a couple of people I know for sure. 🙂

    How’s the leg healing?


  6. losing50laps

    I do have good sunlight in my yard for a garden. However, I have been researching the hydroponic indoor gardens. I would love to grow my own veggies for the family.


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