Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pardon Me While I Contradict Myself

They say that pride goeth before a fall, but now I see that pride also goeth before a jump... on my bathroom scale.

How did I fool myself?  Let me count the ways.  Here are some past statements made by... oh yeah, that was me.

"I'm never working out again."
"Fitness should be recreational!"
"I can eat unlimited amounts of the right foods."
"I lost five pounds without breaking a sweat."
"This is Atkins, I don't have to track calories."
"Hey, why is everybody working so hard?"

And finally,

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

Wait, that wasn't me.  That was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

All this time, ever since I figured out that by putting right thinking, eating, and moving together I could change my body for the better, I thought that the fuel for my transformation would always be enthusiasm.  It didn't occur to me, or maybe I refused to believe that it would take so much... effort.

I should have known.  How many times have I choreographed or directed a young performer and thought, "How good she could be if she would just work a little bit instead of coasting on the talent she was born with."  Or, "If he was willing to take a risk and dig a little deeper we might get some subtext here."  I guess figure transformation is just like talent for anything else, you may have a gift, but without work you'll never get it open.

How many times have I said that acceptance was the key to transformation?  For too long I have been unwilling to accept  this bit of wisdom:

Fat loss is easy once you accept how hard it is.

I love going to the gym.  I really do.  I love the iron and the bars and the sweat, and yes the music and the mirror too.  There is a strong element of vanity in the way I feel about the gym, and that is a fault, but intend to mine my faults for gold and use them to show me how to change, as much as I can.  What I don't love so much is curtailing how much I eat.

Back when I was using the Venus Index workout, I got pretty judgmental at the end.  I told myself that the winners had cut calories too hard and worked too long.  What I didn't want to look at was the fact that I had turned away from what I wanted to achieve because I didn't want to work as hard as they had.

Maybe my expectations of myself are unreasonable now.  Perhaps I do want to be leaner only so that I can reflect the current ideal,  and grab whatever perks come along with that particular brand of triumph over biology.  I have to know if I can do it, what it feels like once I do, and I must answer this burning question:

When I get to my goal, will it all have been worth it?

Only then will I feel really free to call myself a coach.  Last year I wrote, "Leave the pain to the professionals."  That was before I became a professional trainer myself.  I still don't believe that pain is required, but effort, discipline, perseverance, and good old garden variety planning and organization are.

Its just like Jaquelyn Rodgers wrote in her book,  "You can quit smoking":

"You're going to have to grow up that last little bit."

Later, I'll write about what this commitment means from a practical point of view.  The eating, the exercise, the mentality that's needed.  Right now, I just know that I won't be eating any more almonds today.