New Castle News

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October 10, 2013

Lori Brothers: Change ‘the way it’s always been’

NEW CASTLE — Did I ever tell you the pot roast story?

It is something I heard in church and it really stuck with me. This is my rendition.

A little girl grew up helping her mother in the kitchen. She learned to cook by observing her mother’s methods. The little girl bloomed into a beautiful young woman and married. She was excited to have her own home and to be able to cook in her own kitchen.

One day she telephoned her mother, perplexed by something she had always seen her mom do while preparing the pot roast. She asked, “Mom, why do we always cut the ends off of the roast before we put it in the pan?”

The girl’s mother paused for a moment to ponder the question, then she replied, “I don’t know dear, that’s the way grandma always prepared the pot roast, as do I, we’ll have to ask her.”  The mother and daughter agreed to ask the grandmother for more details about cooking the family pot roast. That very next weekend they set out for their visit.

Over a hot cup of herbal tea, the three generations enjoyed each other’s company and then the conversation turned to the pot roast. The youngest of the three asked the oldest, “Grandmother, why do we cut the ends off of the pot roast before we put it into the pan?”

The girl’s grandmother, who never cared to learn to drive a car, reflected for a moment. Then she said with a gentle laugh while shaking her head, warmly remembering her late husband, “No matter how often I reminded your grandfather to buy the medium-size roast, he always wanted the biggest and the best. I had to cut the ends off of the roast to fit it into the roasting pan. That man was so stubborn,” she declared with a chuckle.

The sermon at church was about reviewing our family traditions and the things we do just because it’s the way that it’s always been done. Sometimes this is a very good practice. Sometimes repetitive behavior can produce unconscious habits that have no sense or wisdom.

It may be wise to become more aware of your habits, cooking or otherwise, to determine the source of what you are creating and why.

I see many people face the old habits established through generations especially when it comes to cooking and eating. Tastes and textures that are familiar can be hard to let go of, even if it means getting well, losing weight or feeling better.

This leads to another question. What do you do when you want to make changes for your health and well-being, and you don’t have all of the right support team?

Sometimes altering a recipe or choosing differently than what others expect may be difficult. You must decide to feel good about your choices even through the criticism, rejection and ridicule. That’s when it’s important to do the best you can do. Always doing your best is an agreement worth living by.

If you make an effort to always meet some part of what you know you intend to achieve, and strive to maintain what you gain, you will develop awareness toward fitness and health. Establish what is personal to you with determined dignity. You are worth it.

Then you become your own coach, leading yourself beyond the limitations of “the way it’s always been” with the power of positivity and choice. With even moderate success, you can win support of family and friends who will see and understand why you are changing old habits and choices to produce new outcomes. Then you will celebrate the new you.

Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can buy a smaller pot roast.

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