Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Uncomfortable Path to Success

Some weeks I eat better than I workout. Other weeks I workout better than I eat. But for the most part I'm pretty good at doing both simultaneously. When I consistently do both I get what I deserve and when I don't I also get what I deserve. I know that if I worked a little harder I could really "clean up". But I don't want to work that hard all the time. To some extent we have to be OK to just be. I like to chill here and there and I'm actually more comfortable to “just be” as I am than I am with the work and dedication needed to “clean up.” It's a kind of stalemate. A stand-off between the good, the bad and the ugly. And then something comes up and it's time for action. This occurs when doing nothing is more uncomfortable than doing something. The necessary work is more tolerable than the current physical state.

Recently I was contacted by someone who wanted to start training again. They felt they really need to "step it up" because the pounds had crept back and were too hard to lose. They asked with serious concern: what can i do? what went wrong? how did the weight come back?!?!?! ..."it's not fair! do i have to do this forever?!?!?!" they declared with a foot stomp. Well, simply put - yes. Yes you do. For the rest of your life. If you want to maintain a certain physique, strength and state of health you have to keep doing what you're doing and maybe a little more as you get older. Otherwise get comfortable with the increasing downhill slope to permanent discomfort. Me, I hate the daily tasks necessary to keep a home functioning and somewhat clean. I could do so much more with that time. But I'm more comfortable with the repetitive cleanups over the messy pile ups. New dust bunnies become old dust bunnies and accumulated mess becomes harder to rid over time. Just like our body. It's harder to change it the longer we live with it.

I read about people who have suffered serious health issues and still don't make changes. Why? Perhaps one reason is what I'm talking about – comfort. Medicating is easier than changing. But I also think that preparation and expectations are big factors. If you're not prepared to change and don't know what to expect its hard to stick with it. When I hear diets claim “never feel hungry” I think its b.s. If you're used to eating what you want, when you want at some point during weight loss you will feel hungry. I don't encourage this but I think it should be expected. And yes there are things you can do to get you through those times. I often ask clients if they're comfortable. Surprisingly this simple question is a great measuring tool. Change happens when we push our threshold. So next time you're out for a walk or run and find yourself smiling in the comforts of slight discomfort then you know its time to work a little harder. Throw in some intense intervals – speed up your walk or run for 30 seconds, just enough to feel uncomfortable and then find a recovery pace and repeat as many times as you can. Go ahead, don't be afraid of discomfort; its' paved the way to success and positive change.

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness/gena.