Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby, you need to sweep off your own porch first…….

This is was one of the gazillion sayings that I remember my maternal grandmother using when I was a child. Some of the ones she used make no more sense today than they did 30 years ago when I first heard them, but this one, I think of often. Basically it means, take a look at yourself before you criticize or have something to say about others. As a child, I remember her using it on either me or my brother when we were in that annoying tattletale mode. I can remember rolling my eyes in annoyance because of course I wanted her to take my side and slap the taste out of my little brother’s mouth. After all, HE was the pest, not me!!! No, seriously, he really was.

Most recently I was reminded of this saying during an exchange regarding diet/training/adherence etc. For the most part when it comes to diet and exercise, I’m not very helpful. I don’t offer a lot of specific information about what I eat, how I train etc. I don’t do this for a multitude of reasons. It’s not that don’t want people to succeed or that what I’m doing is top secret, it’s mainly because like my Nanny said, “I haven’t sweep off my own porch yet.” I think it’s easy after dropping a few pounds and sticking to whatever program you’re doing for a few months, to start feeling like you are qualified to give advice to others when you feel as if they aren’t “serious” about making changes, are whining, just don’t want it as badly as you think they should or you feel that their methods are just plain stupid. This behavior reminds me of the behavior of a “born-again Christian” who just found “religion” a few months ago and now thinks they are qualified to point out all of your “sins” when in fact they were the same sins they were doing even to a higher extent and sometimes still falls back into the “sinful” pattern more than they'd ever admit. I feel strongly that everyone must find out what works for them regardless of the number of times they slip up or the method they choose .There are many paths to this goal and yes some of them are stupid, but that’s why we have the power of choice and the ability to research. I may not choose to starve myself on one meal a day and 2 hrs of cardio, but it’s not my place to criticize either, being that some days I’m a hot fudge sundae away from eating enough to bust through the seams of my pants. If asked directly what my methods are, I will direct someone to certain websites so they can do their own research or I will give a brief overview of what I’m doing. Sometimes my information is of benefit to them, sometimes it’s not and that’s ok. I choose to share information, not advice because I still have way too much dirt on my own porch for that. A 20lb weight loss and a few months dietary adherence does not an expert make.