Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Power of a Number ...

Later today, I'm going to send you an email to set up your Half Way Point fitness evaluation check in, if you'd like to see how you're doing up to this point...

But first, I've had this intense sensation inside of me ... and it's been building and building and building ... until the point that I have to write and articulate something of importance.

So, I encourage you to read this email carefully and all the way through ... it's a critical message that everyone needs to hear.

Imagine that in front of you there are two boxes.

In the first box , there is a number, which is equal to what you think your ideal body weight should be. But there is no visual image of your physical body to go along with that number.


In the second box , there is a picture of your ideal body, but no corresponding number.

Which would you choose?

"Ideal" number on the scale not knowing what your body will look like?

Or "ideal" picture of your body with no corresponding number?

I ask this because that scale causes SERIOUS stress.

Of course for everyone it is different ... so you can never compare YOU to anyone except you.

But what does your body weight do for you? If you weigh X vs Y...

  • Do you have more meaningful relationships? 
  • Are you better at your job? 
  • Are you a better spouse? 
  • Better mom? 
  • Better friend? 
  • Better sister?
Friend, your body is such an amazing thing ...

...but it's incredible that we've worked with people on all ends of the spectrum, from people who were over 400 lbs to high level athletes, teenagers to grandmothers, celebrities and soccer moms, and to this day, not a single person has been happy with where they were physically.

There is always something "wrong" with their body.

I heard LL Cool J complaining to his trainer that his legs weren't muscular compared to his upper body.

Denise Austin told a friend that her arms could be a little more defined.

A client traveling 3 hours for his workout, who ultimately lost 163 lbs at our studio, said the size of his neck and chin bothered him the most.

It is interesting ... and a little saddening.

These are amazing people who are focused on something they perceive as not perfect, or less than. Whether a size 30, size 10, size 2 and everything in between...the grass is always greener.

And, trust me, your favorite trainer IS NOT immune to this either ...

Nor is Olympic Ice dancer and Gold Medal hopeful Tanith Belbin .

So here is your assignment -- homework, if you will.

List 10 things your body does for you or that you like about your body.

  • Maybe because you have strong arms, you can carry your children with ease. 
  • Because you're more fit, you can play with your kids or grandkids without getting out of breath. 
  • If you're training for a race, maybe your fitter body allows you to move at a faster pace than you normally would
The list can go on.

I distinctly remember a time when I was waiting for the elevator with a friend -- and a man wheeled up in his wheelchair without legs. He looked at us, both very able to walk, and he said something I'll never forget: "I wish I had the option of taking the elevator OR the stairs ... I know I would take the stairs every time. But I can't. You both can -- why aren't you walking?"

How thankful we are. And this brings me to a great short story I once read about "The Cracked Pot."

All of us are cracked pots in some capacity.

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without your being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.

The Moral of this Story: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

There is a lot of good out there...and none of it is determined by a number on a scale.

Have a wonderful weekend, Friend, and take some time to really see the beauty in those you interact with over the next few days.

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

HealthStyle Fitness, Inc.
4325 Red Bank Rd Cincinnati, OH 45227
513-407-4665, x-105

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