‘It’s as hard as you make it’

Posted: May 26, 2011 in CrossFit, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Uncategorized, Weight Loss
Tags: , , , , ,

(If you were expecting the last installment in the “Feeding the machine” series, prepare to be disappointed. I didn’t do it today, but I will get to it.)

Today, the young man at the local grocery store said it to me in reference to his job: “It’s as hard as you make it.”

“That applies to many things,” I replied. He looked confused. “You’re a philosopher.” Yet more bafflement.

That’s okay. I get that a lot. But it hit me, as I walked in the house carrying more groceries than usual and pleased with myself that I was stronger, that the reason the statement reverberated with me is that it summed up the answer to the problem I have been having for the last couple of days.

Change is hard if you want it to last. And I’ve been making some serious lifestyle changes, all dealing with consistency. I’ve been fortunate to have my personal cheering section made up of my husband (which is a change for him, too; it took him a while to understand my need for constant pats on the head), my daughter and my daughter-in-law.

But the last couple of days, two things have been happening. First, I’ve just been exhausted and can’t figure out why. Second, I’ve been extremely prickly (my husband’s nice way of saying I’ve been a heinous bitch).

I can’t seem to find anything chronicling the progression of someone who has been sedentary through to fitness to see if this is a common phenomenon; that is, am I alone in having this onset of exhaustion several weeks into the fitness routine? Or maybe it’s that I wasn’t practicing what I have been preaching; instead of eating over the day, I’ve gotten focused on other things and allowed myself to run out of gas. Don’t know, but I’m really glad today is a rest day.

As for the prickly pear version of me, that’s relatively easy to figure out. I’ve been stressing out again because I’m afraid I won’t make this a permanent change. No one seems to be able to give an accurate body count, but CBS News estimated that 45 million Americans diet each year, and millions fall off the wagon. As for persisting in a new exercise program, one site estimates 50 percent of people joining gyms quit within the year (I don’t know if this is just an assertion or backed up by anything; I couldn’t find any source I’d count as authoritative that gave a number).

All I know is that lasting change is damnably difficult. But fretting over it just makes it worse. I’ve been losing my temper over silly things, but like most temper flares, the little things represent bigger issues to me. I’ve been dropping and breaking things a bunch, something that generally only makes me shrug and pick up, but that was when I was resigned to being a klutz. Now I’m assigning the clumsiness too much meaning, as proof that I can’t/won’t improve.

That’s just idiotic on my part. Like the young man said, “It’s as hard as you make it.” I just need to choose to make it easy. So much of change is a mind game, and if I choose to believe that I will change, instead of waiting for me to revert to old habits, it won’t be so hard.

And that’s why I didn’t write about the Zone vs. Paleo today. It just was more than I wanted to think about today, and I was putting too much pressure on myself to get it done. Think I’ll go collect on my foot rub instead.

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Comments
  1. Laura says:

    Wow! Great blog. I love seeing things that weren’t intended come out raw and honest. I see where I make workouts I don’t want to do much harder. I whine and spit and scream until I come to grips and just do it (actually I do that when I have to write paper or study as well). I’ll be thinking about this a lot. Thanks for writing this! You’re doing great, just keep going… Oh and don’t tell your husband… he’ll start using this headline as an extra push when we are already mad ;?)

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