Are You A Boiled Frog?



Did you know that if you place a frog in a pot of room temperature water and slowly increase the heat, the frog will adjust to the temperature of the water? If you slowly turn the temperature up, the frog will not feel the difference in the heat of the water and the frog will slowly boil to death. Even as the water starts to boil, the frog will not realize it is too hot and jump out.

This slow, gradual process is the same way we lose the girl we used to know. Life happens and our goals and dreams are diluted to transparency and eventually replaced altogether by to do lists and errands, day to day routines and the priorities of other people. Ever so slowly somewhere along the way, we lose our responsiveness and willingness to fit in important activities we need to maintain our inspirational levels. Not only do our goals and dreams disintegrate, we lose ourselves in our everyday lives. We lose our unique, individual identity and see ourselves only as our roles serving others - mother, wife, daughter - and we lose our ability to see what we could be. We get into an inspirational rut.

Like the boiled frog, our new existence seems normal and we no longer have any alarms going off to warn us that the life we are creating isn't the life we originally wanted to create. We don't realize the mere five pounds a year we gain adds up to 50 pounds in a decade or the $5000 we spent over our annual income can be $50,000 over the same period. From the smallest of actions, over time we gradually produce situations that threaten our health and our livelihood. We slowly lose ourselves to mediocrity. Little by little we become average.

Betty Friedan put it so eloquently when she said, The problem that has no name -- which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities -- is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.

So what can we do about this? I live in a city with the highest rate of obesity in North America. However, that doesn't mean I need to be obese. What side of a statistic do you want to be on? You don't need to be a boiled frog, just because someone tells you a lot of people are becoming one. Acknowledge this as a possibility and then decide not to be one. It's that simple.

Previously published in April 2010.

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