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Monday, October 24, 2016

Fighting Frustrations

I got frustrated last week because I wasn't as flexible as I wanted to be. I mean, it's only been 36 years of me trying not to stretch, why can't a perfect it in 2 weeks, right? Ridiculous, right? I laughed it off until I realize I do it all the time.

I remember, I spent years tying to perfect a way to quit smoking. Guess what? The right conditions never fell into place. The puzzle never solved itself for me.

Outside Half Priced Books, I scrambled to get far enough away from my 9 month boy, John to light a cigarette. When I did, he reached up his read to see where I was and what I was doing, then frowned a heartbreaking frown. It was that moment when the distance between where I was and where I wanted to be became too painful. there, I decided to take my first imperfect step to quit.

Guess what? I didn't get it right the first time. I stumbled and immediately reached again for a cigarette. Many times I did this on my imperfect journey quitting. But in the end, giving up was no longer an option for me.

Through pain I decided giving up was no longer an option. No matter how imperfectly I traveled toward my goal, I'd get there, somehow.

I also remember spending years trying to find perfect ways to lose weight. I've always been big, even in the army. Every weigh in, I skirted the cusp of obesity and military ineligibility. Of course, I constantly considered losing weight but figured not every way would work. What's more, it just wasn't worth my time unless I knew which way was right and had the time to commit to the action.

That recipe helped me pack on 100 pounds of fat. I also lost my libido as well as my general passion for the world. In the end, I chalked it all up as it's just who I was. But one day while sitting on a bench watching my kids run about, I decided to try something. Just one imperfect step towards healthier life. 5 minutes later, I stumbled, out of breath. But after the kids went to bed, I decided giving up was no longer an option for me. The pain between where I was. Me, a lazy, obese, a depressed shell of a person. And where I wanted to be, the coolest dad on face of this planet.

That distance was too painful for me to remain were I was. The pain got too great. After tucking the kids to bed, I started walking the block.

I remember that weekend, I got a bag of kale to try. After all, it's a super food and I wanted to become a super dad and a super husband It the nastiest thing I tasted! But there where lots of nutrients in it. It was, no doubt, better for me than the double serving of cinnamon toast crunch I slurped down each morning.

So I learned how to blend it with frozen blueberries to mask the taste. Later, I bought a nutribullet to mask the texture. It was worth it.

Now, instead of sugar crashing at 10 and starving by 11, I have natural energy into the 2 pm hour. Then, I enjoy a sizable nutritious lunch which is surprisingly pretty low in calories. That meal sails me right through the calm waters of the day until dinner. It also helped me drop 90 pounds in a year.

So yeah, I get frustrated. I get frustrated at the lack of immediate progress I make day to day. But that's not what real change is. It's about a consistent change applied over an amount of time.

Anything worth while costs time. What I'm saying is anything worth while takes a while. But someone spinning around every week lunging in new directions each time won't get far. Pick a direction and stick to it for some time. I recommend 6 weeks. Then look at your progress and adjust. Last off, be prepare to get uncomfortable. There's a pain in change but as I've said before, you only grow out of your comfort zone.

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