When you exercise or go on a diet to reach a specific goal, what do you do once you’ve reached that goal?
Let’s say you recognize you are overweight and out of shape, and your 50th High School reunion is coming up in a few months. So you go on a massive diet and exercise program so you will lose weight and shape your body to look good for your old classmates. It’s not only your classmates you are doing it for; you know you have needed and wanted to lose weight and shape up for a long time.
So, let’s say you succeed. You lose twenty-five pounds and your body looks better that it has in thirty years. You’ve had the willingness to set the goals and the discipline to reach them. Your confidence is high and you feel good about yourself. You show up for your reunion and your old classmates gush over how great you look, how much energy you have, and how well you have taken care of yourself over the years.
You feel better than you have felt in years, and you radiate that health and energy that you’ve wanted for so long, and that you worked so hard to get. But next . . .
The reunion is over. What happens next? You really want to keep the way you look and feel more than anything in the world. You feel so good. You look so good.
If you’re like most people in that situation, you start letting yourself ease right back into where you were before. The reality is that what you really want right now is to go back to eating like you used to. You want to finally stop exercising and get back to normal.
So, what’s the answer? Here’s a thought:
“Don’t throw out what you want most for what you want right now.” — Anon
The answer is to think of Health and Fitness as a “long term practice.” And that takes willingness and discipline. Self-discipline. If you had the willingness and the discipline to do what it took to get rid of the weight and flab and re-shape your body, you can continue to do what it takes to keep it. It all starts with the way you’re thinking. It’s a matter of mindset. Think in terms of exercise and good nutrition for their own sake rather than the short term extrinsic rewards you get, even when those extrinsic rewards are positive.
When you are healthy and fit, you are more confident about yourself. When you are more confident about yourself, your posture improves, you hold yourself differently and you think about yourself differently. You are a different — and better — person than the one you were just a few months before your reunion. Don’t throw that away for your short term desire to ease up and go back to normal.
When your 60th reunion rolls around, you will still look and feel good. Some of your classmates will be gone. Your remaining classmates will continue to comment on how young you look and how much energy you have and how well you have taken care of yourself over the years. That’s the extrinsic reward. The real reward is how good you feel about yourself.
Let’s see, it’s mid-August. Reunion time is just a couple of months away.
Thank you for reading.