In my post, Pick One Thing, I wrote about the importance of focusing on one thing in order to accomplish it. I picked focusing on my diet and shedding some pounds since this is such a challenge for me. Have I mentioned how much I hate bringing this up? I’m in physical agony typing these words. I hate writing about weight, dieting, and my own body issues. It may be because so often these topics turn into trash talking and a self-hate fest, rather than a productive practice where I take care of myself. Mad props to my friend, Vicky, for expressing this so clearly in her own article, Unpopular Opinion: Please Shut Up About Your Body Issues.
The truth is: I don’t want to write about weight or losing weight or Paleo. However, because I chose it as my focus for August, I feel that it is the most relevant to write about for a number of reasons. First, it is so hard for me and I am so uncomfortable doing so, that it seems reason enough for me to explore it. Second, I have such a difficult time sticking to any kind of diet or making even an inch of progress. This brings me to point three, which is that this goal unveils all kinds of other larger issues such as asking for help, managing what you measure, motivation versus inspiration, and sticking to your guns even when shit gets tough.
Whew. This is taking a lot out of me.
I have spent the entire weekend making exceptions to Paleo and as a result am feeling congested and tired. The beer after work yesterday went straight to my head (but was soooo delicious). I picked up a book the other night called What You Can Change… and What You Can’t* The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement. NERD ALERT! It is one of many psychology/self-help books I own. Judge Away! There is a chapter titled Dieting: A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind that basically says that dieting is bullshit because you can lose a ton of weight on just about any diet, but ultimately you will gain it all back, even if it takes a few years.
This is where I begin to feel totally depressed, hopeless, and like I am totally wasting my time. I give up on this goal all the time because I want it to be natural and easy, but it is the opposite. For me, being meticulous and calculated about food is stress-inducing and endlessly annoying and sad. Thank God for Leo Babauta. Reading this stupid self-help book chapter made me feel pathetic, but Leo crept into my mind and I thought of his awesome post, The Obstacle is the Path.
And then it begins… Things get rough and you cope out? Seriously? I thought you were tough? You think anyone can do this? Persistence and consistency win. Always. One day at a time. You want long term change? This shit ain’t magic, it’s one foot in front of another. Just like biking across the fucking country. It’s not all down hill sailing, wind in your hair and cupcakes. It’s hard work. You spend twice the amount of time on the uphill, a quarter amount of time on the down. One hill after another in 100 degree weather with humidity. It’s falling off your bike, it’s vomiting in someone’s yard, it’s riding 100 miles for 3 days in a row, it’s having the sorest ass you’ve ever had and getting back on the saddle. You want results? Put in the work and make yourself sweat. Sit there and cry if you have to. Write about how difficult it is. Feel bad for yourself, but know that it won’t help in the long term.