Beginner’s mind

I have said, “Today is Day 1 of my training schedule/diet/making my bed every day” so many times that I made it into a joke: Day 1 Daily. Every day is Day 1, forever, or until I am out of days, whichever comes first.

I don’t mean to imply that I never get anywhere or that I intend to stay forever at the same starting block. It’s more of a commitment to having a “beginner’s mind”: keeping the humility and openness of a beginner, even as I learn and grow.

Right now I have a goal I’m pretty excited about: I’m returning my body to a weight that it’s comfortable at by changing my eating habits. If I ate healthfully 100% of the time it would be easy, but I’d have to become a robot. I woke up as a human again today, so until my sexy six pack robot-body gets delivered, I’ll have to deal with my human imperfections and be willing to “fall down seven times, get up eight.”

I loved something a fellow weight watcher, Anna, wrote on Connect this morning. It was as much about weight loss for her as it was about another challenge she’s facing: student teaching.

“I’m reflecting this morning because I know mistakes are part of the growing process. Anyone who has been successful has gotten to where they are because they learned from these mistakes. This is such a stupidly simple concept but somehow we expect ourselves to be on a higher standard.

Any teacher I ever looked up to went through this, any weight loss blog I follow had moments of weakness, so why do I expect myself, as a beginner, to get it right completely, when someone who is more experienced didn’t?

What is standing in the way of my goals, whether in my professional life or my weight loss journey, is not my mistakes but my reaction to them. Eating under stress will not solve either of my problems. I’m gonna keep going.”

I love how she’s returning to a beginner’s mind. Some things I want to make a habit are…

  • Experiencing the moment fully. Delight, discomfort, fear, fullness, hunger, all of it.
  • Focusing on questions, not answers.
  • Focusing on the next step instead of how long I think it “should” take to do something.


Stay tuned for the next post, in which I will fully experience my feelings of discomfort and fear around an upcoming girls’ weekend when I will wear a bathing suit with several of my friends who do ultra-marathons and Ironman triathlons, and who never, ever eat lemon flavored icing from the tub.


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