Thursday, July 23, 2009

I can, I will

Following on from yesterday’s post, I spent a good chunk of the day reflecting on why I do what I do. I kept a sheet of paper next to me all day and scribbled notes on what I was thinking at various times when my mind wasn’t occupied with a myriad of pointless important tasks.

I had a few conversations with the lazier, less focused, more negative me and this is the result of my self-interview

Q. Why does it matter if you skip a day of training or good nutrition? A missed day doesn’t really make a big-picture difference, so why exhaust yourself when you’re already tired; push yourself hard when you’d rather be lying on the couch with a bag of Pods? Anyway, you can always start over tomorrow.

A. It matters, dumb-arse, because life is made up of single days, individual hours and minutes. And what we do with those days, hours and minutes has a cumulative effect. To a large degree, becoming a better athlete (or human for that matter) comes down to building habits. The more you do something, the more it becomes part of who you are, and the easier it is to stick with it.

Starting over is never a good idea. If you’re always starting over, then you’re never finishing anything. You miss out on the sense of achievement and pride that comes with completing something important. It’s not always the results that matter – finishing the journey against all odds can mean far more than any prize for outstanding results.

Besides, it’s about living up to your principles. You know - the values that are at the centre of who you are and what you stand for. And if you just crumble every time there’s a minor problem, then how on earth are you ever going to get anywhere?

Q. But surely, if you really don’t feel like it, you should listen to your body…?

A. There’s something to be said for listening to your body, yes. If you’re sick or injured, then you have to be sensible and take time out from training, or work around the injury, whatever’s required. If you’re seriously under-eating, then cravings or hunger are probably happening for good reason. But the “listen to your body” line gets trotted out as an excuse way too often. Sometimes our bodies lie. Outrageously....

I quite often don’t want to train. I quite often want to eat pizza, washed down with wine and followed by large amounts of chocolate. Does that mean that I should? Sometimes, you have to draw on your inner strength and tell the voice that’s whispering in your ear to get lost. Then you just do it, as the slogan goes. Do your training, eat your veggies…. whatever it is that you’re not feeling like doing, just get it done. What I feel like is irrelevant.

Honouring the promises I’ve made to myself is important to me. If I’ve set a goal and committed to a plan of action, then sticking to that matters, the same as if I’d made a promise to family, friends or work colleagues. At the end of the day I want to feel proud of myself and satisfied that I’ve done my best and achieved some worthwhile things. I want to know that I've been true to myself.

Q. So how do you get through these times when everything sucks? What keeps you going? Not the numbers on the scale, that’s for sure.

I remind myself that I’ve been through tough times before, and that bad days always pass eventually. In the meantime I aim to focus on actions, not outcomes. That means that I put my head down, fuel my body with what it needs, get through my workouts and have faith that very soon I will find the joy in the process once again. It might be a day, a week or longer, but I never doubt that it will happen.

As well, based on past experience, I have a strong belief in myself and my ability to complete what I set out to do. It’s not blind faith, it’s the knowledge that if I train, eat and sleep as per my plan, the results will happen. Those things I can control – fat loss will just follow.

I also try to work on some positive thinking, which means that first-up, I do a bit of thought-editing, removing can’t from my vocabulary and replacing it with can and will. That’s usually enough to scare off the negative monsters that live within.

Hey. Where’d you go…?

OK. I guess we’re done here.


ss2306 said...

You CAN and you WILL because you are a tough princess who doesn't give in or give up the fight no matter how strong the opponent is.

I so wish I could just come and take those damn scales away from you.

Unknown said...

Great post... just what I needed to hear after having yoghurt for dinner...tired and lazy..hmm

Sohee said...

Awesome blog post!!

philippa_moore said...

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

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