Why Work isn't a 4-Letter Word
Throughout my own journey of health overcoming the mentality that I should always be comfortable was a mental obstacle that would keep me from moving forward. Once I overcame it, that became a catalyst for so many good things in my life. I am not sure where along the way the message got out that life should be easy, we should always feel full, and our bodies should never feel uncomfortable. It was never a thought to me to not satisfy my cravings immediately, to wait them out, to allow my body to feel hungry. In many ways I believe this mentality is what kept me fat. I never wanted to feel pain, which meant I didn’t want to deal with the emotional issues that had led me to get there in the first place, that would be painful and require work. Comfort was what kept me where I was, eating horribly and not moving at all.
When I made the decision to change and started attending Weight Watchers, I began to learn to that I was going to have to work to be successful, I would have to plan, I would have to measure, I would have to write things down, and I would have to learn to accept the uncomfortable nature of having to work for something. At first, I felt like a toddler who wanted to throw a tantrum. Why do I have to do this? Why me? This is hard? I should be able to do what I want and be healthy and fit. There were moments early on where I thought, this just isn’t worth it. Why must I say no to the nachos because I have eaten enough today? Everyone else is eating them and they look so happy. Despite my frustration concerning all the “work” I was having to do, I stayed the course and started to see results. That long held desire to be comfortable all the time slowly started to shift and the more I worked the better I felt. It wasn’t just losing weight, it was that sense of accomplishment that comes with being in control of something, having success that is solely based on your own efforts, working at bettering yourself every day. Running was the final nail in my “comfortable” coffin. Talk about work! It was so hard at first and I thought I would never be able to run for more then a mile. But as I developed the discipline to train and saw the miles begin to click by, I realized that I loved working for something. I wanted to be uncomfortable now because that is where the change happens. I want fall into bed every night feeling like I pursued my life with energy and purpose, and you can’t do that if you are afraid of work.
Perhaps this isn’t what you want to hear and that I should present a healthy life as easy and comfortable, but honestly, how does that help you? We have a society that is geared towards making all of us obese. Fast food, Netflix, and convenience have lulled all of us into this idea that the things we want, no matter what they are, should be easy. I have news for you, if you want to be healthy you are going to have to work at it, period. You aren’t just going to have to work at it now, but for the rest of your life. At this point you are likely saying “um Gina you aren’t really making this whole healthy life sound appealing”. Here is what I say to you, the work that you will have to do will be the most satisfying thing you have ever done. The benefits of being in control of your body are endless. The sense of accomplishment that you feel when you know that because of your work, you no longer have to take diabetes medication, you can run a 5k, you don’t have to worry about whether you will fit into a seat, you can move in this world with a freedom that you never imagined possible, there is no greater feeling.
There is a reason that there are a million quotes about “stepping out of your comfort zone”. When you are willing to do some work, great things happen. Your life changes, you become more confident and not because of the external results, but because you are putting forth effort and seeing the fruits of your labor. This kind of mentality changes how you operate in the world. You will no longer want to take the easy way out, your instinct will tell you to work at it, whatever it is because you know that will help you grow.
Take some time today to be honest with yourself about how hard you are working at making your life a healthy one. If you see that there are areas where you have wanted to remain comfortable, but you have been frustrated with the results, then now is the time to start making that shift. Choose one thing that you can work harder at, identify the steps that you need to take, and get to work. I promise you won’t regret it!