Posted by: molander | September 23, 2009

Kaisen

I heard something TWICE yesterday that rattled me. I thought about it all day and hoped a good night’s sleep would mellow my thoughts but alas… it didn’t.

It all started with confirmation of a rumor I’ve heard for a few years now. A CNN article states ” … in recent years, as the American population has become generally more overweight, brands from the luxury names to the mass retail chains have scaled down the size labels on their clothing.” I, myself, have fallen victim to this marketing ploy! For the past several years I’ve been buying a size 6 from Target but a 4 at Ann Taylor. “Oh, look… I’m ok. I’m not as slim as I used to be but if I can wear a size 4, well good for me!” Well, NOT good for me. I was 10-15 lbs overweight with bad cholesterol numbers and a ridiculously low cardiovascular endurance.

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time...

High School Rifle Skirt ((Hahahaha!))

High School Rifle Skirt ((Hahahaha!))

Now get this: I’m 11 lbs lighter, inches smaller and have no cholesterol problems and I wear a size 2 at Target. Yes, you read that right. Preposterous, huh? Haven’t been to Ann Taylor yet but can you imagine what size that will be?? That would put me back at my high school weight and I assure you… I’m not there! Just for kicks, I dragged out one of the few things I still have from high school: my old rifle skirt. ((Hahahaha!)) And there’s your proof. I’m not a size 0/2 based on the sizing from 1978-1980!

So what does this mean? It appears we’re getting lulled into complacency and that’s just not good no matter how  you slice it. Consider this word I learned from Renee Stephens and her Inside Our Weight Loss podcast:

Kaizen (pronounced KAY-ZON) is a Japanese word (which, btw, is used by Toyota Total Quality Control) that means “continuous improvement” – I’m so glad to have a name for this because I’m all about learning/changing/growing!

A conflicting concept may be “be happy with who you are” but I have a couple problems with this.

  1. I think it’s important to be happy with yourself; to LIKE yourself but should you be so “happy with who you are” that you see no room for improvement??
  2. When we screw up, is it acceptable to ask forgiveness and then just repeat the same mistakes?
    1. Imagine having an employee that repeats the same screw-ups over and over!
    2. If you happen to be Christian, we’re supposed to always be striving for the [unobtainable] goal of being Christ-like. Even if we know we’re not going to be perfect in this life, we’re still not off the hook for attempting to emulate our role model. (WWJD?)

So… if we feel no need to improve and are happy to remain complacent, what will we gain by hiding our head in the sand?? America is getter fatter by the day. 67% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. Rather than correct the problem, are we to simply stop viewing it as a problem? Let’s just change our clothes sizes and not our bodies?! With this attitude, what are the long-term ramifications for our health?

The thing about Kaizen is – if you’re “continuing to improve” then you must be BUILDING on what you’ve already accomplished. Right? There will be times when we take a day off from building. We may even knock down a few of the bricks we’ve already put in place. But the key thing is not to abandon the project. Even if it’s hard, will take forever, etc… remember that every brick we put in place brings us one step closer to the goal!

Thoughts?

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