Why Am I Doing This to Myself?

I think most people ask themselves that while they are exercising at some point.  For me, it’s usually when it’s 4:30 am and I am tying my shoes, getting ready to do an hour or so of cardio before work, or when I realize that I need to do 53 consecutive pushups to finish my pushup workout.  Those moments are the hardest, when it is so easy to just walk away, or lie back down, and say: Tomorrow.  I can do it tomorrow.

It’s been a difficult transition, but that thought is happening less and less often.  It’s no longer “what am I doing to myself”, but rather, “Look what I am doing for myself,” or “Look what I didn’t think I could do.”  Now, it’s when I look at a box of doughnuts in my office’s breakroom and contemplate calories that I ask that question: “What am I doing to myself?”  Why am I ingesting chemicals and preservatives and sugars that wreck me and derail all the hard work I’m doing?  Sure, they taste good, but not that good.  The donut I eat in my mind is always 10,000 times tastier than one in reality.

I’ve come to realize that it’s about perspective and will.  Realizing that the bad foods I am eating are actually reducing my lifespan, actually counting up the calories I consume in a day – this is gaining perspective.  The nice little white lies I tell myself ring hollow when I know exactly how much crap is in what I want to eat, or how long I need to work out to burn off that Burrito Supreme.  The perspective shift has helped me tremendously.

“Willpower” is a word that gets tossed around all the time, especially dealing with weight loss.  Easy to say.  I even hear plenty of people say, “I have no willpower when it comes to ____”.  I’ve realized that mentality is a copout.  It’s another white lie to tell yourself that it’s OK to underachieve.  I’m done with that.  I absolutely believe now that, if you set your mind on something, you can make it happen.  I wrote a novel that way, and it made me feel so good that I’ve started another.  I have worked out seriously hard for the last 3 months, and I am right now in the best shape of my life.  I’ve never been stronger or healthier, but I know tomorrow, I’ll be even stronger and healthier than I was the day before.  Why?  Because it’s what I want.  For me, will is the ability to say, “I want this,” then making it happen.

Do it.  Make it happen today.  And tomorrow.  And the rest of the week.  Because you can.  If I can, you can.  I’m not special.  So go do it.  Inspire someone else.  Make a difference in your world and your life.  Tell the naysayers and those around you who prefer that you’d fail so they can feel better about themselves to…well, I’ll keep this polite.  Instead, ignore them.  Stay away from them.  You’ve got one chance at this life.  I have a new mantra: Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Don’t f*ck it up.  Make it yours, or find one you like better.  Nothing feels better than success against the odds.  Go out today, and succeed.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on July 29, 2010, in Self Reflection and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great post! Your words are very motivating. By the way, after you don’t eat chemicals etc. for a year or so, they stop tasting good. Then they are plain gross.
    Good luck! :]

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