I have to say, I’ve been working out consistently and killing it during many of the sessions. Just like I did last year, I started out on January 1st and got up and put my trainers on and poured sweat and shredded muscle tissue.
It was actually a lot easier this time around, too, because I’m used to it now.
YES. I’M USED TO IT.
Prior to last year, working out was equivalent to eating dog crap but now it’s no thang. It’s weird but kind of awesome.
That’s not to say I haven’t had my bad days. I’ll get up and go through the motions sometimes. And I used to feel bad about it because I feel like if I’m going to work out, it needs to count. I don’t want to waste my time flailing around and not burning enough calories to matter. But I saw a quote on Facebook that said something like the only bad workout is one you didn’t do. Made me feel better. Made me realize it does matter. It does count.
But, as I said, sometimes I really put 110% into the workout and by the end, I’m drenched in sweat and my body hurts and when I wake up in the morning in pain, I like it. I know it’s actually not good for you to be sore like that but it makes me feel like I really did something so I welcome the pain.
I’ve made a lot of plans for myself, mostly just little things to keep me occupied, and I’ve mostly stuck to those plans as well. I get up in the morning and make a mental list of all the things I want to do that day and truly strive to do them. I never get everything on my list done but I actually don’t mind because I know I’m at least working toward a goal.
I used to be so aimless and it saddens me to think of all the time I wasted sitting around and thinking about stuff and not actually doing anything to make those thoughts actions and make those actions accomplishments.
But that’s changed. I’ve been working on my book daily and reading daily and working out daily. I’m exercising my brain and body. I’ve been trying to go to bed early and most importantly, I’ve become a frugal mofo.
I’m ashamed to say I used to never check my bank account. I bought things without checking the price and had no budget. Believe me when I say I was not financially secure enough to do those things. In fact, last month, I finally checked my online statement and saw how dangerously low it was. I was shocked to see it a couple of thousand dollars less than what I ignorantly assumed was there. Oops.
But no more.
I’ve really been paying attention to everything I’ve spent and I’ve been keeping all my receipts. I’m trying to be more fiscally responsible and get in control of my money as well as my mind and body.
I’m not striving toward perfection anymore. I’m striving toward balance and moderation.
I haven’t even done anything drastic. I’ve just made better decisions, performed simple moves to better myself. I like it.
I used to look at my goals as these huge things that would take major time and effort to complete and I knew I had no such time or effort and so I simply didn’t pursue them. I’m an extreme kind of guy. Well, no I’m not. I want to say I’m an all-or-nothing type of person, that whatever I do I will do to the fullest of my ability. In some instances, that’s true. But I’m mostly half-hearted about everything and I guess it’s because, deep down, I am an extreme person but I’m also so tired that I don’t have enough energy to be extreme and so I give 30% effort.
Like when I used to diet, I used to diet hardcore. No sweets. No candy whatsoever. And if I did slip up, it was the end of the world and I ended up eating a whole bag of chips or half a pie just to cope with my idiocy. When I worked out, I went at it for an hour at a time and if I skipped a workout, I was incensed. How could I be such a failure? When I drew pictures or wrote poetry, I did it with the passion and instability of a mental patient. I put my heart on the page and if it wasn’t perfection, I tore it up, ran my pencil across the paper and scratched it out until I ripped the fibers apart.
And that’s just not a way to be.
The idea of moderation makes so much sense but in my irrational mind it added up to nothing. I never realized that a small workout each day can burn as many calories (added up over time) as a hard hour-long workout. I never realized that reading or writing 5 pages a day adds up to 35 pages a week, which is just as good as sitting down and banging out those 35 pages in one day (and then getting burned out on it, which would cause me to put it away for another week or two). It all adds up! What a concept, right?
Just like with the book I’m working on. I usually edit when I’m on my lunch break at work. I end up getting about 5 pages done a day. It’s not much but at the end of the week, I’ve finished 35 pages, which is way more than I would have done had I said, “5 pages is nothing and won’t make a difference so I’m not even going to bother.”
And I’ve already finished reading a book, just by reading a few pages here and there each day. I don’t have to sit down for hours at a time and get engrossed. In fact, I literally can’t because I’ll fall asleep.
I just have to remember it’s not about these huge leaps or grand declarations. It’s small steps, simple moves, tiny affirmations of accomplishment. It’s not about perfection. It’s about acceptance of what I can do and acknowledgment of what I can’t and trying to pull those two concepts as close together as I can.
It’s moderation. It’s feeling good about what I’ve done instead of hating myself for what I didn’t bother to do. It’s about trying not to hate myself at all.
The other great thing about moderation is it’s built in longevity. I don’t think I’m going to get burned out on these changes because they are not extreme. I can keep this up because it doesn’t hurt too much.
I know I’m talking a big game ’cause we’re a whole 18 days into the new year but I think I’m off to a good start, at least. If I fizzle out, that’s okay. I can always go back. I can always start over. There’s no need to wait for a new year to make changes when there’s hundreds of new days to choose from. Mess up today. Start over tomorrow. It’s all about constantly mentally refocusing and resetting your internal thoughts and feelings. Training your guts to get up and get through the gauntlet of life.