I have been thinking a lot about the expression "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" in the past couple of days. Me being the old dog on the heels of my almost total failure to achieve anything on my fat to fit challenge. Being an information nerd, I decided to do a little 'digging' into the origin and meaning of the expression and I came up with this:
"This must be one of the oldest proverbial sayings in the language. There are many early citations of it (in Heywood, 1546 etc.) and many of those refer to it as an 'old saying'. The earliest example of it in print is in John Fitzherbert's The boke of husbandry, 1534:
...and he [a shepherd] muste teche his dogge to barke whan he wolde haue hym, to ronne whan he wold haue hym, and to leue ronning whan he wolde haue hym; or els he is not a cunninge shepeherd. The dogge must lerne it, whan he is a whelpe, or els it will not be: for it is harde to make an olde dogge to stoupe.
By 'stoop', Fitzherbert meant 'put its nose to the ground to find a scent', as was the meaning of the verb in the 16th century."
Fitzherbert said HARD, not can't. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but not impossible. This is very encouraging!
My failures have also had me reflecting a bit about my past as a thin person. What was different? I can think of four things:
1. Dancing. Lots and lots and lots of dancing.
2. Serving. This means walking and moving constantly for every shift worked.
3. Not owning a car. This means walking just about everywhere and lugging things home again.
4. A greater social and health awareness. Thinking more carefully about the food I eat, the implications to myself and to the world around me.
It's just a matter of re-acquainting myself if my strong will, my willingness to haul ass, and being more aware of what I am eating. In essence, this old dog has some tricks up her sleeve, they just need to be relearned. The new trick I need to learn is fitting some sort of physical activity and meal planning into a busy life of working, parenting, and volunteering. But this is not impossible, millions of people do it - it just involves a bit of a learning curve and some planning.
Over the course of the last two weeks, I have been having lots of chats with people about thinness, ideal weight, body image, and so on. The crux of it seems to be that your ideal weight is one where you are ultimately healthy - meaning you eat a nice well rounded diet that doesn't have too much salt or sugar and that you do your best to be active a few times a week and feeling happy and comfortable in your own skin. A record year of being overweight - even if just slightly so - has made me realize that I am not happy here.
So it is with great excitement that I announce a big success for me! I have reset the clock on my 30 day shred. As of right now, measurements have been taken, yesterday was the new day one and TODAY I DID MY 30 DAY SHRED FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW! My muscles were sore, I got home late, and I didn't get a chance to "shred it" until 9:45pm - but I did it. Major hurdle jumped.
And for the sake of interest, the Globe and Mail had an interesting news story about sodium regulations in Canadian food. For what it's worth, I find even the beginnings of a conversation about sodium and food regulation to be promising - though the move seems possibly timid and ineffectual. Looks like it will remain up to the individual to shop the outside aisle of the grocery store and watch their own sodium intake.