So, let’s use an analogy that relates to pain, fitness, and growth, to my experience as it relates to the tiny house. When I teach/train people, whether as a personal trainer or a group fitness instructor, I talk a lot about form, breathing, focus, and diet, all necessary to grow in personal fitness goals. Form is of utmost importance in being able to do what you are asking your body to do without creating muscle imbalances, straining or pulling muscles. If you don’t use correct form, it is only a matter of time before you are “benched” and have to lose time on your goals while you repair damage you’ve created by not heeding correct form.
Breathing is also extremely important. Lack of breathing will 1, make you pass out, 2 not help regulate getting oxygen to the muscles you are demanding work from, and 3 will not allow your body to work as a whole unit. You see, the core (middle) of our body, needs to be strong and work with our legs and arms to get a job done. Without using proper breathing techniques, our body cannot work as a strong whole unit. For example, when your brother, or someone, asks you to punch them in the stomach, what do they do? They tighten their core so they don’t feel the blow as much, leading them to feel like a machine. (I think that might be why they do it?!) We like feeling strong and secure.
Focus. This is something that I find hard to find with 4 kids! Can you relate?! I often try to multitask on my never ending list of to-dos, and I have a lot to do in this season of life! In the gym, however, focus is super important. You can work out without it, but that doesn’t mean you should! Not focusing mentally means that your form and breathing will be less productive. In hence, your goals will take longer to achieve. So I remind my clients to choose one thing to focus on mentally. I tell them to fix their eyes on something to help them keep their balance and focus specific and their follow through controlled.
And last, but not least, diet. You can’t out train a bad diet. It’s true. What you put into your body has a direct correlation on your goals being met, how quickly your muscles recover, and your mood/hormones, impacting future training sessions/work outs. So to lose weight and gain muscle, a faster metabolism, and a more positive outlook on life, I would say it’s quite fair to say that form, breathing, focus, and diet are all major players in maintaining balance and meeting your individual goals.
Isn’t this a post on Tiny Houses? Yep! Loss comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It hurts, like your muscles hurt. It helps you learn how to breathe through pain and disappointment. It helps you remember how to focus on what really matters. And pain/loss may indicate that a diet/lifestyle change is necessary for optimum results.
Our goal in going tiny is to gain more. More time, more financial stability, more quality relationships with other people in person, better focus on the things that matter most to us, teaching our children to be good stewards with what they have, and the world around them, time to breathe and relax more, and creating a better structure for our lives; all great reasons for making a dramatic change. This does not happen over-night, all at once, and is not always easy.
Having MORE comes with a cost. It means saying goodbye to a way of living that has thus far been pretty comfortable or known. It means saying goodbye to old dreams. What did you dream about growing up; or what did you envision your life looking like? I am soon to be 34 years old, and that has changed so incredibly much since graduating high school. I used to feel like I would have “arrived” when I had a career, my own family and a big comfy house to raise them in. I have arrived under those standards. In fact, our nest at home has almost become exactly what I thought I wanted. Keeping in mind my career, I have a full gym in my basement that kicks some major butt, an organic box patio garden in our yard, a beautifully built chicken coop with organically amazing eggs (thanks Darren), a comfortable and welcoming living room, an open large kitchen, all bedrooms together upstairs, my own bathroom in my bedroom, and we were half way through the process of turning our big family room into a music studio, which I will come back to.
You know what? I REALLY love our current house! I mean, I really really love it! It’s in a safe neighborhood with really great neighbors, close to schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, and Trader Joes! So why change? Why kill that dream just as it is coming to its fruition? For me the answer is simple. As my heart has changed, my dreams have changed, my desires have changed. I also realize, though I struggle with this often, that there are different seasons in life for different dreams. For example, my number one dream is still to be a singer/songwriter and travel the world using my gift to love and encourage others, but that door has not yet opened, and this is not the season for that dream. I have my hands full at home with my small children and teenager. I’d also love to grow as a personal trainer and in the fitness industry. I love training people and spend a few hours each week doing that, but soon my children will be older and there will be more time for that in another season. And finally, saying goodbye to “stuff.” How interesting that we grow so attached to particular things, yet giving them away has been such a rich and rewarding experience. The stress release it has brought is mind boggling!
Losing isn’t all bad, and neither is saying goodbye. In order to welcome a new dream, I have to say goodbye to an old dream. I say goodbye to what has been comfortable and known, for something that is yes, very different, but fulfilling in a very different way. I firmly believe the new dream will be more comfortable than my current situation. So we press on, boldly leaving behind how we have culturally been raised, to a new standard of living. It’s going to take a lot of FOCUSing on what is important to us, having a good FORMed out plan, time to breathe and relax so we don’t burn out in midst of changes, and of course a good DIET. What I mean by diet is mentally what we feed ourselves. In Ephesians 4:22-24, the Bible states to throw off your old sinful nature and way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception, and let God’s Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes, so we can have a new nature that is righteous and holy. This verse is not talking about moving into a tiny house but about the state of our hearts as we put our trust and hope in Jesus. It has however been very encouraging to me and come to mind several times through the process thus far, as well as this quote by Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose!”
Melody is a full time mother, CEO of the Mike household, NASM certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Beach Body Coach, Norwex Representative, Singer/Songwriter, Organizer, Jesus Lover, Wife, and well, you get the idea, a woman of many hats. Adventurous and creative, she loves spending time outdoors and encouraging others to be Lean, Clean, & Green.