If you have been following my journey you will know that running and thankfully, unbelievably finishing the Old Mutual Two Ocean Half Marathon this year almost did me in. I was ridiculously over weight. I put my body through hell and swore blind I would never run that hill forsaken race again! Ever!
I manage to lose between the 20 – 30 kilograms, I need to make it a “kinder” race for my joints, my legs, my lungs and heart! And I say “kinder” because I know of some sleek, fitter athletes that still find it a tough course!
So, I had some hiccups along the way… stop/started my eating plan, started and then stopped running… hit the “fuck it” button several times this year and just could not get into my groove! So a couple of weeks ago (10 to be exact) I decided to carve a new groove… thought that if I was going to be healthy and run a decent distance, and that is anything over 4km for me, I needed to start from scratch and this time I was going to be kinder and smarter (I can only try) to myself. So I challenged myself to eating only “green list” foods. And by that I mean only the foods that Tim Noakes and his mates have published, effectively I am Banting, following a low carb/high fat or even the keto way of eating.
And I am losing, it’s going super slow – FOR REAL! But slowly the lard is dropping and slowly my running seems to be improving… funny that! And I am ok with that… I have to be! I am not starving myself. I don’t feel deprived. Sure! I stick my head in the bag and smell the carby deliciousness of the bread when I make my kids sarmies for school… and I crave/need/have to have some choc during shark week… but that’s ok too! I am but just human!
And lets be honest, I have had “dull” moments and I whine about how slow the weight is coming off… or, I have put on or stalled and I get vocal! My poor husband gets it in the neck! Then one day he muttered “kaizen” to me!
WTF? I thought he had pulled a German curse word out of the bag… “kaizen schmizen”
And then he explained… it’s not a curse word Kel! Its not even German, you bloody peanut! It is in fact a Japanese method of business. Something to do with small changes, continuously, constantly, every day… to reach your ultimate goal.
So this intrigued me… naturally! I scoop up my laptop… call up Wikipedia and this is what I got..
“The Japanese word kaizen simply means “change for better”. The word refers to any improvement, one-time or continuous, large or small, in the same sense as the English word “improvement”.[
And then John introduced me to a little podcast “Kaizen Art of Manlines”! It’s certainly interesting… sprouting wisdom and making so much sense! In principal, you make small changes, improve just 1% everyday… and build on that…
Wait! I will ruin it if I carry on…
“When it comes to self-improvement, most people set big, audacious goals. Setting those goals feels good. It pumps you up and you feel like you can conquer the world. But then . . . it happens. You have a setback and within a matter of days, your fiery ambition to change yourself is extinguished. And so you’re back to where you started, only you’re even worse off than before because you’re saddled with the sting of failure.”
OMG….. that me… is this you too????
But, as in every good infomercial…I have more….
“But what if I said there’s a much more effective way to improve yourself and it just requires getting 1% better each day? It’s called the Kaizen method. It sounds like a mystical Japanese philosophy passed down by wise, bearded sages who lived in secret caves, but it actually has a surprisingly American and modern origin. My guest today has written a book about this philosophy of small, continuous improvement used by Japanese carmakers for over 60 years. His name is Robert Maurer and his book is One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way.”
Now doesn’t improving just 1% each day sound managable?
It’s not intimidating!
Pffft… I can do that!
And you could knock me down… I am doing it!
Slowly but surely!