Just as spring birds are meant to fly in the great outdoors, you are meant to live a healthy life full of vigor. Growing frustrated with your circumstances doesn’t mean that there isn’t an appropriate channel to get to your health & fitness goals. A little bird might teach you all you need to know to live the healthy life you dream about.
A few weeks back I was sitting in my church foyer after a mid-week Bible study waiting for my husband to pick me up on his way home from work. I chose a seat near a large bank of windows overlooking the beautiful green hills and rugged mountains that stand between me and the Pacific Ocean. The sun was setting and the lighting was golden so I figured it would be a good place to catch up on some uninterrupted reading. But it wasn’t long before I was distracted. Was it the rush of the freeway traffic below pulling my focus away from the serenity of the peaceful landscape? Was it my perpetual inability to concentrate in public places that offer innumerably more opportunities for people-watching than for work? No. I then realized it was the sound of constant chirping coming from within the building; the same sound of spring birds that I had been enjoying through open windows in recent days. That was the distraction interrupting my thoughts.
At first I savored it, naively thinking “How great that this place lets birds live in here!” as if it was an aviary when not in use as a sanctuary. When I cast my gaze upwards to try to look for them, I soon realized that it was one lone bird trying to escape through the large expanse of windows soaring 30 feet high. She chirped and chirped, almost in a panic as she attempted her exit through various levels and sections of the glass.
I hate to see animals suffer, and though she wasn’t suffering in an obviously physical sense, I began to imagine that she was hungry, thirsty, or perhaps anxious to get back to baby chicks in her nest. She was so close that she could see it—where she was meant to be, that is. She kept fluttering from right to left, window sill to window sill, working hard to try to get out, but never flying low enough to escape out the door that I would have gladly opened for her. She was not in immediate danger and she could certainly have lived in there among the ficus trees in a controlled atmosphere with plenty of spilled crumbs from leftover Sunday service donuts to keep her full. Yes, she could survive, but she wasn’t where she is supposed to be. She was not doing what she was created to be doing… and she knew it. She desired with every hopeful flutter to be outside where she was meant to be.
As I watched the bird in her exhaustive effort and frustration, it made me realize the parallels that we humans have in our pursuit of the healthy body:
Are we not unlike that little bird with our health & fitness, where we keep trying the same things over and over, knowing that we are so close to our goal that we can see it, yet growing increasingly frustrated and frantic when our actions keep yielding the same results? Perhaps we should ask ourselves: Are you working out hard and furious but still eating fast food? Are you missing your workouts because you’re placing other things like work & convenience in front of your health?
Are we looking for unreasonable and unhealthy shortcuts to our goals the same way the bird was looking for what seemed to be the easy way out? Wouldn’t it just be easier to have gastric bypass surgery or go on The HCG Diet to lose weight? Just because you are frustrated with your circumstances doesn’t mean that there isn’t an appropriate channel to get to your health & fitness goals. Losing weight the “easy & fast” way would be the same as shattering the wall of windows with a wrecking ball to let the bird out. The fast way is never the easier way. It will harm you while costing more time, more money, and leave destruction in the wake to be cleaned up by you and those around you.
Are you doing everything possible to get to your goal the best way possible-without the shortcuts? Are you eating whole nutritious foods? Are you exercising vigorously each week? Are you drinking lots of water and getting lots of rest? If not, then you don’t have the right to be frustrated. You can’t just “break the window” to get to your goal. You have to put in the work to get the results.
Is there a different way out from behind the glass? A more effective way to exercise? A more nutritious way to eat? Something you can do to be more consistent? Maybe you feel like you’re doing the right things. But, if the results aren’t there, it’s probably time to look for a different way. Start with fine tuning your nutrition because 89% of those who lose body fat and keep it off are those who incorporate a proper nutritional protocol in addition to their exercise.
Do you realize that there are people that are willing to help you just as I was willing to hold open the door for the bird? Are there people telling you about nutritious things to eat but you ignore them because you think you already know what to eat? Are you accountable to workout partners or a trainer that will push you to higher limits than you will push yourself?
I was snapped out of my deep philosophical musing with the realization that my ride home would be there any minute. Without thinking, I swiftly packed up my things and headed for the exit—but, not the exit closest to me that I had spent the last hour intending to go out while envisioning a simultaneous and joyful departure with my bird friend as she road out on my shoulder and we both whistled “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” into the setting sun. No, in my haste I went out the main door on the other side of the building. Upon breathing my first breath of fresh spring air, I immediately realized that I “abandoned” the poor bird that I had imagined was relying on me for her sole method of escape. Rounding the building from the outside, I went back to the doors closest to where the bird was, only to find that there were several doors already open all along. I couldn’t see that they were already open from where I sat on the inside which means the bird couldn’t see them either. I had to change my perspective to see that she was already free if she would have just looked for a different way out.
Is the door to your dream and purpose already open? Are you wasting your time & energy hitting your head against a glass wall instead of looking to see if there is a different way to get to your goal? What can you do to change your perspective so you can see the open opportunities that will change your circumstances too?
Like the bird behind the glass was meant to be flying outside, you are meant to be healthy and mobile. You were not created to be frustrated, sick, and weary from eating fast food and spending more time on your duff than being an ambulatory contributor to family, friends, and society. You can be healthy… if you choose. You have help from others… if you choose. You can realize the dream of a life filled with vitality… when you choose to change your perspective and change your actions. Get out from behind the glass and start living your life as it was intended.