“And people keep asking how I dropped all this weight
More work and less food on the plate
Man, just a simple plan with a little bit of self discipline
To keep writing, keep spitting, keep em listening
To keep on doing what I do to get a salary
My number one mission is to make my son proud of me”
– From Ordinary Guys by Blue Scholars
I just got back from the gym.
It wasn’t any easier than when I went on Monday.
Sure, my expectations might be a tad unrealistic, but still.
Last month Julie and I went through Michael Hyatt‘s Five Days To Your Best Year Ever course, which is essentially a goal-setting system to help you, well, have your best year ever. One of my goals for this year is weight-related; namely, losing a lot of it. See, I’ve gotten really big. And that needs to change. More than just losing weight, though, it’s really about getting physically healthy.
So, this week I made my S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals and got down to business. I usually love starting things. And I’m pretty good at it. Starting something is awesome. Even if it seems hard, you’re super excited to get moving toward your goal, right? Eventually, though, the difficulty overtakes the excitement and you’re left having to decide whether or not to keep going; to do the right thing. That’s where your “Why?” comes in. Why do I want to get healthy? I want to have more energy. I want to look good and feel good for my wife. I want to be a good example for my kids; I want them to be proud of me. Those are the biggies and I’m going to need them throughout this process.
Deciding to get physically healthy after letting yourself go for so long is really good, but also incredibly challenging. My workout at this point is embarrassingly simple. I’m unable to do as much as I want to do and it bothers the junk out of me knowing it’s my own fault that it’ll take a while to get there. While I’ll see the pounds roll off the scale here at the beginning, it’ll be a while before I see any definition. And that’s ok, but it makes it difficult to keep at it.
In Hyatt’s course, there was a session about “closing the door on last year.” Oftentimes it’s hard to move forward if we’re carrying baggage from our past into our future and this principle holds true for my weight loss goals, too. The fact is, I am where I am. No amount of regret or self-loathing will change it or help in any way. There’s also a little part of me that’s afraid. I’m hesitant to admit this, but, it’s part of my process, so… Back in November I lost ten pounds in one week (that’s how big I’ve gotten), but the morning I weighed myself to see that awesome change was the same morning my dad committed suicide. From then until now, I’ve not been disciplined in any way in regards to my eating or exercising habits and part of me thinks that subliminally I’ve been afraid to start again because I don’t want something bad to happen. Like I said, I know that probably sounds super weird, but it’s a door I need to close if I’m going to move forward toward this goal. I also know that heart issues run in my family, so it’s this double-edged sword; I need to exercise so my heart can get healthy, but I’m afraid to overdo it and cause a problem. These are realities I have to do deal with if I’m going to get healthy.
Ultimately, I have to remember that even small, incremental changes lead to big results. In fact, we kind of have to start with small changes, right? And that’s the same with any undertaking in our life. You want to write a book? Write the first page. And then another one. And another. You want to run a race? Quite literally, put one foot in front of the other. And then the other. And then the other. For, like, three or thirteen miles or whatever.
For now, I’ll keep eating my yogurt and turkey chili and doing step-ups at the gym.
And one day soon, I’ll look back and smile and say, “I did it.”
What strategies have you found most helpful to help you reach your goals? Especially when the going gets tough?