Anyone who has ever decided that THIS YEAR would be the year to get fit, eat better, and exercise more, knows that is much easier said than done. I’m no exception to this rule. I have promised myself, month after month, year after year, that NOW was the time to change my lifestyle, and THIS TIME I would do it right.
Yet, here I am in 2013, with several health and fitness related goals, none of which I have started or seem to have any willpower to get to, one month into the year.
Why is that?
The truth includes two things. A lot of excuses, and a lot of hating how uncomfortable the whole process of CHANGING can be. Really, those two things are very much alike, but there you have it. Every day when I wake up, there’s another excuse in my mind as to why today is NOT the day I’ll be exercising, or eating better, or finding the time to cook some healthy meals.
Linda linked me to an amazing article in my post last week about writing. The piece is called ‘Discomfort‘ and I strongly urge you to go read it, because it is absolutely fantastic. The writer discusses how we all need to learn to be comfortable with discomfort; a notion I’ve come to embrace in many aspects of my life, although it is lacking in many others (like, being healthy for example).
Some points of the article stayed with me more than others, most likely because these are the parts of my life I’ve truly been wanting to focus on- namely, living a healthier lifestyle. Why is it so difficult for me to pick up, say, an apple, instead of reaching for a second cup of coffee?
“Think about this: many people don’t eat vegetables because they don’t like the taste. We’re not talking about soul-wrenching pain here, not Guantanamo torture, but a taste that’s just not something you’re used to. And so they eat what they already like, which is sweets and fried stuff and meats and cheeses and salty things and lots of processed flour.
The simple act of learning to get used to something that tastes different — not really that hard in the grand scheme of life — makes people unhealthy, often overweight.”
And this is exactly the problem, isn’t it? Embracing discomfort in my life doesn’t just mean taking more chances in my everyday life, or focusing more on my writing. It’s about the parts of my life that I’m less apt to pay attention to, like my diet, which can so easily go out the window when I’m stressed and have a million other things to worry about. I don’t want to worry about getting into some kind of new routine- I just want to enjoy the food that I enjoy, and I don’t want to feel guilty about it. Because I’m busy, after all.
Can we just take a step back for a second, and think of how little this makes sense? It’s like I turn into an ostrich when I’m too stressed; I stick my head in the ground and pretend that certain aspects of my life don’t exist, don’t need to be thought about.
I hate when I do it, but I am great at avoiding. I have avoided exercising so far in 2013 because it’s been too inconvenient. I have avoided cutting my daily crappy-food intake because it’s available, it’s easy, and I’m too busy. It’s just too uncomfortable to have to think of more than necessary.
I want to change this way of thinking. I want to spend more time in a zone of discomfort, even if I hate it almost as much as I hate avoiding these things, because at least this way I am doing something that is good for myself in the process.
I’ll start off small, but my hope is to start crossing off those healthy habit goals from my 2013 resolutions very soon. It’s time to get my head out of the ground, and into some good, healthy living habits. The article even states to ‘start small’. Starting somewhere is better than not doing it at all.
Will you join me in a little healthy discomfort?