Isn’t it strange how changing something seems to take forever? Then all of a sudden, like a snap, it’s done and you’re there. And that can feel kind of surreal.
Change is a long damn slog for most of us. Things happen to people overnight that change everything, but I’m not talking about that sort of change. I’m talking about when we want to make changes in ourselves: learn something new, lose weight, change our jobs, our lives. Those kind of changes are bloody hard work.
Why? Because it’s our own bad practices that have got us into whatever situation we are not happy with. These are the habits we need to unlearn before we can learn new ways of doing things. To make things more complicated, there are likely to be deeper reasons for why we are behaving the way we are. Therefore, we need to figure these out, so we can stop doing things that are bad for us.
Sounds simple? In theory it is, but we all know there’s a big step between theory and practice. There’s a lot of work needing done. You might need to confront some painful realities, rip open old wounds. Sometimes you have to start doing things, even if you don’t yet have the faith in them. That first step to change is the hardest of all. Not the admittance that you want to change things. That’s easy in comparison; everyone can say they want to do something. Whether they actually do it or not is another matter.
So that first time you stop doing something that you know you shouldn’t, but you don’t really want to give up, that’s tough. Or when you start doing something that’s hard, or that you don’t like, but it’s a means to an end, so you need to do it. That’s tough too. Even tougher can be a long period of time of no big results, no perceived change, where we just need to stick at it and keep going; even if no sign of the fruits of our labour. That really sucks.
It’s common to have little slips and falls along the way. To have moments of doubt and want to give up. Or attacks of laziness and lethargy and you just want an easy life. You can do that for sure, but who is to say your life will be easy? Shit will still come at you if you’re a sitting duck. Maybe you’ve got a better chance of dodging it as a moving target.
The thing is, if you want to make things different, you’ve just got to keep going, even if you lose the faith that anything will change, because it will. Accept it will be tough along the way. Keep putting the theory into practice, and eventually things will click. The new way becomes natural. And there’s no secrets to it, just persistence and mindfulness about what you are doing.
There are several strands coming together just now. My mini example of this is the Dryathlon and gym stuff. The drinking has been easy during the week, but tough at the weekends. It’s surprised me that the best way to deal with this is not to hide away and avoid the drinky things I would normally do, but to go out and enjoy those things without alcohol. So go to the pub and don’t drink, or go for a nice meal. The main attraction in these instances is the company and food. Alcohol is not needed. Although it is nice, let’s face it.
Associations are being broken. And even better is that it’s 17 days down, 13 to go. Most of the last fortnight, I have felt better than usual, but not great. My skin has been acting like a hormonal teenager, no doubt as a result of my liver detoxifying. There have been several distressing pimples, some of which are still hanging around and frankly It has been pissing me off. I’ve been getting up and going to the gym four times a week and doing okay, but I haven’t beaten the boys again yet.
Then yesterday I pulled my jeans on and realised they felt comfy, no bulges. Oh, you know that’s a good feeling. These jeans are the ones with no stretch to help you out, so I finally plucked up the courage to weigh myself today and I have lost ten pounds since the start of this. I’ve got a good bit more to go, but that’s a good crack at it. The zits are starting to dry up. Now I feel motivated to keep going.
And yesterday I lifted 100 kilos in the gym. It’s not my best weight but it’s a sweet spot. Once I lift that, I feel bloody good, so that gave me a boost even before I tried my jeans on. Other things are starting to happen, bubbling away. Good things. But not based on luck, or chance. More a combination of graft and not being afraid to take a risk. Sling in a measure of boldness there and you’re done.
I might finally be getting it. if you’re not sure yourself, JFDI. Just fuckin’ do it.
Until next time,