Learn a New Trick

An old dog can learn new tricks.

An old dog can learn new tricks.

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”Drake

Over Independence Day leftovers, my grandma and I enjoyed Sunday girltalk. Girltalk for she and I meant her filling me in on the latest happenings around church, the local senior center and of course within our family. I am a firm believer that the secrets of the universe are contained within babies and universal truths reside within our elders. So needless to say, when the elders speak- I listen.

“One of my choir members led a song for the first time today,” she said. This struck me as interesting because let’s just say she sings in a choir of seasoned adults. So I had to clarify-

“Was this her first time ever leading a song?” I asked. Indeed it was. Grandma sings in the senior choir where the majority of members are seniors and have “been there and done that.” So to hear that a sweet, meek and very soft spoken friend of hers, faced her fears and at sixty/seventy/eighty something, accomplished something she’d always wanted to do, really resonated with me.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? New tricks aren’t just reserved for new dogs. It has less to do with age and more to do with willingness and openness to veer off the beaten neurological pathway and try something new. All of the magic that lead us to more fulfilling lives happens off the beaten path. Problem is, our brains are incredibly efficient and creating patterns and pathways based on our consistent behaviors and decisions is its brilliant way of conserving energy. According to this NPR article about forming (and breaking) habits, the more automated a behavior gets (read routine life) the brain starts working less and less.

The good news is your brain has limitless capacity for new pathways. Not to say you’ll learn to play the guitar over night, but over time if you make the choice to take lessons and practice, your brain will create the pathways and before you know I you’ll relish in the learning of a new trick. It all starts with you choosing.

So what does this have to do with weight loss and wellness? Glad you asked. Our current situation is a result of the choices we’ve made. Based on the decisions I consistently made and the behaviors I consistently performed, my brain use to be on auto-pilot and caught in an unhealthy neurological web of over indulgence followed by self-loathing which triggered emotions that cued more over indulgence. By making different choices and performing different behaviors I’ve been able to create new neurological pathways and routines that have helped me not only lose weight, but sustain weight loss.


Love More Loose More Challenge Day 4: We are what we repeatedly do, the road to wellness starts with a choice. You have the power and control to choose differently.  So go ahead and try something new. Try a new hair style, take a different way to work, go to a new coffee shop, or even lead a song. It doesn’t even have to readily do with weight loss. The goal is to make a decision to choose differently, then do it. Get comfortable making new, healthy, positive choices and enjoy stepping outside the worn box of routine.


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