I keep the horses’ grain in an old chest freezer in the barn. When we bought the farm in 2002, the springs for the freezer lid to keep it open were long past broken. So, I propped a wooden dowel in one corner when I scooped out feed. The dowel worked fine for a dozen and a half years.
Then, one day it stopped working. My system played out…
What this meant was that when I bent over into the chest, on my tip-toes with my head down, bottom up to scrape the last of the pellets from the end of the bag, the dowel slipped out of the corner and the freezer lid thumped down on my mid-back.
Now, I feed the horses twice a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so, this became the new normal for me. It didn’t hurt as much as it was a nuisance. A nuisance that I muttered and complained about to the three barn cats but, that wasn’t worth dealing with as we only have three horses and the process takes less than a minute.
I started to expect it. I got used to it. I accepted it. It was the new normal.
One day last summer, I realized that it stopped happening. Somehow, the jury-rigged system just healed-up on its own. It was great! No more getting whacked on the back while feeding the nags. Yay!
Then, it started happening again late last fall. And that’s when I figured it out…
Rita, the barn cat, rubbed against the dowel while she waited to be fed first (even though, technically she eats last as she is low man on the totem pole). I’d lean over, she’d rub the dowel, it would dislodge and the lid would fall on my back.
Like I said, my system worked for a dozen plus years! Now, math is my kryptonite but, Rita will be three-years-old this summer. The freezer lid system hasn’t worked for two and a half years. Upon reflection, this makes sense. Rita was feral for the first six months she was here—you couldn’t get near her. Then, she had a litter of kittens and she’s been a love bug ever since. She is always around and loves people.
And, Rita never misses a meal.
I realized that the reason the dowel system started working again last summer was because we got our puppy ‘Vivian’. Rita was not immediately sold on Viv’s arrival at the farm. So, the cat did not jump on the counter next to the freezer to eat until I left the barn with Viv. This meant that the lid stayed in place while I fed the cats and mixed grain for the horses.
Fast forward a few months into Viv’s residency and Rita and Viv are now buddies. So, Rita is back on the counter next to the freezer, back to rubbing on the dowel and the freezer lid is back to folding me in half.
When I realized what the problem was I solved the problem—I just changed sides for the dowel. I put the lid holder on the other corner of the freezer, against the wall, where there is no counter and where Rita can’t rub on it.
Problem solved. Solution found. An easy fix.
I’m sharing this silly story barn story with you because maybe you have a new normal that you tolerate?
It wasn’t until I stopped for a moment and paid attention that I finally figured out what the issue was. Then, I could find a solution.
For my nutrition coaching clients, figuring out their food is like this. Instead of wondering why, worrying about or just plain accepting that they feel low energy, can’t sleep, are anxious and are hanging onto excess body fat, they follow a system I created called TAAP.
TAAP stands for
It’s simple: record what you eat, think about what you are getting for what you are eating, tweak your food choices a bit to find what works for you and enjoy life!
And, it works.
In fact, people are stunned at how easy learning a few things about nutrition is compared to complicated dieting tactics that eventually fail anyway.
TAAPing combined with paying attention to what we call our four Wellness Compasses—which are the quality of our sleep, digestion, energy and mood—help to keep us in what we call flow.
Last week I asked you to fill out a survey on flow. Thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts! I told you I’d share a few nuggets from what you said. As promised, here are some of the results
And, here are some of the responses I got from the Eat MORE! Exercise LESS! Facebook group (EMEL) on why people don’t want to TRACK (which, by the way, takes them out of flow)
And here are the reasons to TRACK
I invited some of my private nutrition coaching alumni in EMEL to join me in an online, Round Table Discussion about Flow. It was great to connect online and chat about flow! We discussed
- what flow feels like,
- how to get into flow,
- what happens when we lose our sense of flow
- and how to get back into flow when you lose it.
The consensus is that everyone seems to like the idea of being ‘in flow’ rather than being ‘good’ or being ‘bad’ or staying ‘on the wagon’ or ‘falling off the wagon’ or, in some cases lying underneath the wagon!
Feedback is the breakfast of champions. -Ken Blanchard
Seriously. If you have never tracked your food, try it! You’ll be amazed at what you learn about what you are getting (or not getting) from what you are eating (or not eating). And, I’m not just talking about calories and carbs—I’m talking about nutrition. Nutrition that can affect the quality of your sleep, digestion, mood and energy in seemingly effortless ways you may never have even dreamed!
I love learning from all of you as we connect and learn to go with the flow. Our own, individual flow…because if I’ve learned anything it is that food is intensely personal. There is no one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter diet that serves everyone.
Curiosity hasn’t killed this cat yet…
Thanks for playing all in. If you need anything at all, just let me know. I am here to help.
Cait Lynch, B.A.
Nutrition, Fitness & Momentum Coach
Owner | Custom Fit Vitality
P.S. In the Round Table chat I offered my number one tip for how once you are in flow you can actually take a proactive break from TRACKing if you replace it with these two things. Want to know what they are? To find out, log in and listen or sign-up and join us.
P.P.S. There’s a brand new, 14 minute Pilates mat work out in the library now too! Yay!