What is the Value of Going Slow?

What value does slow have in our modern society?

Slow has a negative connotation.

Slow is old, stodgy, unwanted.

Fast is new, exciting, trendy.

In my nursing career I can call to mind a few instances of wrong site surgery related to me by co-workers.

In each case root cause analysis indicated speed led to lack of mindfulness during the time out period that preceded a wrong site surgery or injection.

Speed is not a friend to true mindfulness. It is the cohort of mindless, automatic, unconscious behavior.

Today, something became clear to me. Speed in weight loss is the antithesis of success in weight loss. For myself, the faster I desire to lose weight the more frustrated I become with any lack of progress. This leads me to find another method of losing weight that will work faster and therefore better. This is a habit loop I have recently discovered in my brain which will invariably keep me on the same treadmill of weight loss followed by weight gain.

To step off this treadmill I have started a program of meditation, 10 minutes a day, first thing in the morning. A simple, easy to implement habit to calm my mind and begin to implement patience with myself in my weight loss.

Five weeks into my new meditation practice I am calmer in the mind and starting to connect with my body. I still feel frustration with the slow progress. My brain tells me several times a day that I’m not losing weight fast enough, I should be farther along, I can find another way to speed things up!

However, I remind myself to take the time to be mindful of what has really happened in the past five weeks:

  • I now fit well enough into my OR scrubs where the waist tie doesn’t feel like a tourniquet by the end of the day.
  • My cravings for sugar and flour foods are completely absent.
  • Feelings of hunger outside of my 3 meals a day is gone.
  • I have energy for 16 hours a day (previously only 14).
  • My ability to focus and keep information in my head has improved tremendously. I no longer forget what I am doing during a complex task even though I may be repeatedly interrupted.
  • Work feels calmer despite the fact we are now constantly dealing with shortages in the supply chain, partially due to the coronavirus in China.
  • I drive a slower speed to and from work, saving me a quarter tank of gas a week and about $20/month!
  • I am 10 pounds lighter than 5 weeks ago.
  • My neck is no longer stiff and my joints no longer ache.

After reviewing this list I would have to be crazy to not want slow progress in my weight loss. Look how much it has gifted me. I am using meditation to remind myself that I am enough, my patience has already been rewarded, and I can keep on my current path, slowly seeing how it unfolds.


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