I’ve written about this before, but the idea is that doing the harder thing often benefits you in the long run, because cutting corners almost always costs you more than just doing it well the first time.
Major disclaimer: the fact that this is a life lesson doesn’t mean I pull it off all that well. In fact, it’s the times I’ve gotten it wrong that drive home how true it is. It requires a major hacking of your brain to pull it off, because most of us will trade future misery for present comfort.
I really hate menu planning and grocery shopping, for example. It’s tedious, and for a family of five, unrelenting. Some weeks I just can’t face it. So I’ve blown off going to the store, which later forces me to cobble together a decent meal with, like, frozen pearl onions and ranch dressing. And guess what? That’s even harder, and makes us all grumpy. So I realize, once again, I should have just gone to the dang store.
The hard thing is the easier thing.
This axiom is especially true in areas of fitness and exercise. People wonder how I can get up early to run. Where do you get the discipline? they want to know. It’s a hard thing, getting up when the alarm clock has a 4 in it. I’ll admit that. But it’s sooooo much easier than trying to shoehorn in a run once I’m in a groove at work, or right before the kids get home, or after they’re in bed. That requires way more willpower than I have. I know it sounds crazy, but when I run early, it’s not because I’m disciplined. It’s because I’m lazy.
I’m currently facing the consequences of the easier thing. I lost 40 pounds a few years ago, then watched it creep up a bit and stay there. I was OK with that–my body seemed to be telling me where its ideal weight was. But now it’s crept up again, to the point that I don’t feel healthy. My clothes don’t fit as well. I’m sluggish when I run.
I know I’m fighting age here. But I also know I haven’t been mindful about what I eat, how much, and when. So I need to fire up MyFitnessPal again and see what happens.
Maintaining a weight loss is a very hard thing. Know what’s even harder? Losing it again. And that’s what I get to do. Sigh. Wish me luck.
Have you seen this dynamic at work in your life? Would love to hear about it.