Health and Fitness

No Bargaining: You Either Want It Or You Don’t

Earlier this week, I was speaking to a woman who wants to lose about 60lbs. She’s been trying to lose the same 60lbs. for over a year. Even hypertension and a borderline diabetes diagnosis have not helped motivate her to lose the 60lbs. “It’s the chips. My husband keeps buying chips.”

My response to her was that she can’t expect everyone to be supportive of her goals to the point of sacrificing their own desires. The world does not stop just because she needs to lose 60lbs. After that response, she started to ask my opinion on how she could indulge in her chips, ice cream bars, sweet tea, etc.. and still manage to lose the 60lbs. She hadn’t even started her journey and already wanted to know how to finagle her way out of the work.

I asked her, “would you recommend a cocaine addict just snort a little here and there on their road to break their addiction?” I could tell it dawned on her what I was saying.

In my comparatively short life so far, I’ve learned what I call a truism. People do what they want to do and don’t do what they don’t want to do. Looking after our health and fitness can be hard; especially if we didn’t grow up seeing proper nutrition and physical activity habits modeled for us. Health and fitness is one of those things where once we start to spiral, it can be hell trying to get back on the wagon and course-correct. That’s why, although there is no problem with a cheat meal (MEAL…not DAY), it’s important to understand that full commitment is what it takes to reach your goals.

Working on our health, particularly our weight can be tedious and require a lot of sacrifices. I’d advise you to ignore the ads that are made to make you think it’s not (side-eyeing Instagram ads for waist trainers). However, when you want something, you put up with the tedium and sacrifice for as long as you need to until you reach your goal.

What about balance? There is balance. I love Dove chocolate. The problem is that those little squares are addictive and just like Lay’s, I couldn’t eat just one. So once a month, I get the 100 calorie Dove chocolate bar to meet my desire for something decadent.

That’s it?!

Yes. Another issue is our perspective on balance. We’ve gotten the impression that “balance” is doing okay for 4 days out of the week and eating as if there is a looming famine the other three days. Or we think that 2 hours of exercise over four days “entitles” us to five days of dessert after dinner. Or we freestyle it and call it “modified.”

When we only lose a half pound after a month, we swear something is wrong with our body, we’re going through “starvation mode” (I’ll burst your bubble on that topic in another article someday), or that maybe we’re just meant to live in a body that is not as optimally functional as it could be. But the truth is, we didn’t even try.

If nothing worthwhile comes easily, we cannot expect to meet our health and fitness goals without getting uncomfortable. If that means skipping the mac n’ cheese at the family dinner or dedicating the hour you normally lay around to a high-impact workout instead, do it if only to experience what it’s like to understand that not having or doing what you’ve always thought you must, can actually benefit you more than your habit.

You are worth more than bargaining your way out of your best life.

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