Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for the willpower to make things happen.
Day #17 – I WILL Do This!
As a kid growing up, lots of things came pretty easy for me – all of my classes at school, picking up musical instruments, and even baseball was pretty natural for me as a young kid. While that seems like all ‘upside’, the reality is that when it comes easy – you don’t have to work as hard. As a result ‘study habits’ were something I had to learn later on in life.
One thing that also came pretty easily for me as I hit puberty and beyond was gaining weight. Always a big kid with a late-to-arrive ‘full belly’ signal, during junior high, high school and college the pounds just piled on. I knew I should do two basic things: eat less and exercise more (duh). But I didn’t … I always put weight loss lower on the priority scale.
So when I made a decision at the beginning of 1989 to really get my stuff together in terms of being healthy … I was scared. I didn’t tell anyone because I assumed I would fail. I didn’t think I could do it.
But then I discovered something – willpower and control. I didn’t realize they were there all the time. All of those times I pulled an all-nighter for college finishing a project, writing up an engineering lab report or whatever – those were willpower moments, times of self-control.
But instead of feeling good about how I applied my strength of will like never before and lost nearly 200lbs in 1989, I felt ashamed … felt bad because what I was saw was that weight loss came easily like other things and was something I should have done years before. Maybe I could have … maybe not – but the important thing was I did it.
Losing 110lbs in 2012 showed me something – first that I CAN do it, and second that it is NOT trivial. I was so much more self-aware this time, partially because it wasn’t the first time, partially because I was more mature, and partially because now I was also training for a marathon and ramping my mileage.
Funny thing about fueling for a marathon while also losing an extreme amount of weight? It is a HUGE challenge! Just losing weight is much easier (for me) – I could just leverage my control and do unhealthy food restriction and celebrate my hunger and watch the pounds drop off as I was running just a few miles daily.
But when I was running 50+ miles, working to cut my pace and do weekend long runs … I needed FUEL. That meant eating things I KNEW were calorie and protein and fat dense. And THAT was hard.
But I did it … and I have maintained it for 2.5 years now, with no intention of letting it go.
Point is – I sold myself short by thinking it was easy. It never was … it was really hard, and I have my strong will and self-control to thank.
Do things come easily to you or do you have to put your all into what you do?
Not gonna lie – ran this song through my head more than a few times when I was first losing weight back in ’89 …