Monday, April 10, 2017

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

In one of my favorite movies, Sylvester Stallone reprises his iconic role as Rocky Balboa. During one of the film’s most memorable scenes he confronts his son, who has allowed living in the “shadow” of Rocky to become an excuse for why he is not succeeding in the way that he wants. Rocky launches into an iconic speech explaining that the world can be tough, but “it’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forwards”.

My weight loss journey has been a lot like that. In fact, life seemed to get harder the longer I continued to lose weight. Even now, I’ve been consistently losing weight for almost a year and I am still having “tough days” which push me and try me. There are days when I want to fall back into old patterns of eating for comfort, and it would be so easy.

So why haven’t I given in and had a “cheat meal”? After 11 months, I can honestly say I have not had a single meal where I have broken down and eaten something outside of my profile for eating. People have asked how I have accomplished that. It comes down to one simple statement:

It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it to blow an 11-month track record for something that might taste good at the moment but that will leave a sour aftertaste long after it’s gone. It’s not worth it to put a question in my head as to my willpower. It’s not worth it because after eating something with high carbohydrates I will probably feel bloated, stupid and annoyed at myself.

The truth is, even when it looks like it, it wouldn’t be worth it.

For me, my weight loss is not just about losing weight or “getting into shape”. My weight loss is linked to much more. My weight loss is linked to transforming my life, becoming who I should be, transforming not just my waistline but my worldview and experiencing life at a whole new level.

When I keep that in mind, then the rest of it fades away. So far I have not forsaken when I want the long term for what looks good in the short term. I have my eye focused on my long-term goals. Does that mean I don’t have tough days? Absolutely not. As I write this, today has been one of those days where it seems that if it can go wrong, it’s going to try to.

But as Rocky reminds me, it’s not how hard I can get, it’s how hard I can get hit.

Sometimes you can’t punch back at life in the way you want to. All you can do is double down your efforts and continue to do what you know will work, even when it takes time, when what you really want is to be able to strike back at the universe and all its unfairness. Truth is, that gets you nowhere. Repaying frustration with anger would wound you twice. You have to move beyond, focus on who you can help and who you can serve, and then just double down and go for it.

The universe doesn’t play fair. Mother nature plays dirty, and sometimes Murphy just doesn’t know when to quit.

But if you keep your eye on the prize, and learn to keep punching even after you have been hit harder than you can ever imagine, eventually you’ll arrive at where you want to be.