I say this in love, y’all. I do. But the self-defeatist thought patterns have got to stop in 2012. I mean it!
I even see it in the comments sometimes, and I just think to myself, dang… if I thought like you I would’ve probably given up a long time ago. Even with all the jokes and the seriousness, I’m pretty much a big wuss. If I’m not surrounding myself with daisies and positivity, I’m setting myself up for failure.
That being said, I offer up to you five things I’ma need y’all to stop saying to yourselves in 2012:
1) “I’ll start Monday!” – No, you won’t. You’ll start at the next meal.
You and I both know full darn well what “I’ll start Monday!” means – it means you’re giving yourself the next however many days before Monday to go bananas and wile out on everything you can find. Monday will arrive, and you’ll find yourself worse off than you were when you decided Monday was the day. Just exhale – you don’t even have to announce it to anyone, and I’d rather you not – and just resolve to use your next meal as your opportunity to get it together.
2) “I haven’t gone to the gym in days, weeks, months…” – And? So what? Does that mean you can’t go today? Tomorrow? Does that mean you are legally prevented from being able to create a schedule that you can adhere to for the future? You learn from the past, but you certainly aren’t bound by it.
3) “Tough love…” – I’m sorry, but I’m a firm believer in the idea that love isn’t “tough.” It is “loving.” It is sensitive. It tries to be kind. People crudely talking to themselves or their loved ones about their weight is just a way for people to lord over each other. It’s one thing to state the facts, and the facts be hurtful to hear. But cracking jokes on yourself or your loved one, tugging at their or your tummy roll and asking “So, when are you going to do something about this?” and various phrases like “I’m/you’re as big as a house!” have no place in a healthy relationship with one’s body or food, and that’s an integral part of living a fit and happy life.
Sometimes, I’m pretty damned positive that “tough love” is just something people say to excuse the fact they weren’t thinking about how well their message would be received, because they thought they were being witty, wise or benevolent in delivering it in the first place. To hell with that.
4) “I’m not giving up [insert junk food]…” – Right, because the best way to make permanent changes and figure out the best way to live a more fit life is to start out, straight out of the gate, making hard limits.
Changing how you live is an exploratory venture. You have to figure out what your body likes, what it responds to the best, what it despises, what makes you ill. Does something make you nauseous? Do certain quantities make you feel lethargic? Are you lactose intolerant, and didn’t know it?
These things matter. You might be getting those daily headaches you complain about because of the splenda you use in your morning coffee. You might be experiencing an allergic reaction to the kinds of ingredients in your chocolate – it might not be the chocolate, but the soy in it might be giving you grief – and you’d never know it because you’re too busy trying to declare what isn’t on the chopping block. I promise you this: let go of everything. Accept the fact that you have to detach. Look forward to change, and consider your efforts to let go a “green light,” so to speak, to find new, healthier snacks.
5) “I can’t do that…” – That’s not a reason to never try.
You know what I said I could never do? I said I could never be flexible, or do a split. I said I could never flip upside down on my pole. (Yes, I have a pole in the house. Don’t ask questions.) I said I could never run a mile.
I think that the misconception that those of us who started out inactive have is… you just wake up one day, and you have these abilities. You wake up, and boom – you can drop down into a split, stripper style. (That’s the third stripper-reference in two days. What is going on with me?) You lace up your shoes, and instantly your body is capable of handling running not only one mile, but three. You rub your hands together and, like magic, you can flip upside down on your pole.
It has never happened that way, and it never will. And maybe that’s a little soul-crushing for those of us who think all this stuff looks so easy, but it shouldn’t be. It should be inspiring.
Developing abilities is hard work. Are there people who are born flexible? Yes. Are there people who have always been active since childhood and are naturally athletic? Absolutely. Are there people already strong enough to be able to sustain their own weight upside down vertically? Of course. But if that’s not you? It takes hard damn work to get there. It means you have to dedicate yourself to developing that ability. It means you have to commit to developing that talent. It means it might take a month, six weeks or a year, but as long as you keep at it, you have nothing to worry about.
In other words, be gentle to yourselves, and see how much of a difference it makes. It’s very rare that kindness fails to beget progress.
So tell me, y’all… what do you think you need to stop saying to yourself in 2012?