(Thanks to my good friend Chris Wright-Martell for the pic! Check out Modern Self-Defense Center for more…)
I’m not a big one for reality TV. In fact, I’m not really one to sit and watch TV at all. Last night I was sucked in to TWO shows on A&E – Intervention and Heavy. Definitely not my usual watching preference either. Speed TV or UFC on Spike are usually more my style. What hooked me in to both of these shows was how much of myself I could see in the people on the shows. No, I haven’t started smoking crack and I’m not eating myself to death but…
We ALL struggle with the same basic issues…
It’s weird how all this stuff works. Last night I could see the basic needs and behaviors that we ALL share as human beings. Is there really THAT much of a difference between the guy who weighs 460lbs and KNOWS he should eat better and take better care of himself – but experiences terrible pain and frustration when he makes the right eating choice or tries to alter his behavior – and the guy (ME) who knows where he wants his training and his writing and his life to be and just can’t seem to step it up to that next level?
I don’t think there’s a lot of difference.
Sure, I’m in a “better” place. You could argue that “struggling” for a 500lb deadlift or to eat perfectly clean or to take 30 seconds off of Fran is a luxury compared to needing to loose 100lbs so you don’t die, but I think the struggle and the thought process and the basic human tendency is the same. No matter the need or the goal, we’re still dealing with the very human tendency to do what’s going to move us AWAY from our goals in the pursuit of instant gratification.
I KNOW what I want. I’ve spent 1000s of hours working on my goals and building knowledge and training and making mistakes and writing out goals and an action plan. And I’ve made HUGE sacrifices and taken some major risks to set my life up so I can live how I want and how I truly believe I NEED to to be happy and successful and live my passion. But I’m just NOT delivering like I could be. And I’m taking a negative view of the not delivering too. I’m not taking it as “feedback” that I can use to change direction I’m just getting more pissed off at myself because I’m falling short on my goals. And my list of “shoulds” is getting longer and more frustrating…
And STRESS is the common denominator…
Something that kind of smacked me in the face last night was that EVERYONE on these shows was doing their destructive behavior of choice in response to STRESS. Pretty incredible. I’ve had a lot of stress lately and it was sobering (pun intended) to see that I was struggling with less-than-positive behavior in response to stress just like the men and women on these shows were. My life situation is different and my behaviors are much less destructive in nature and severity, but the process is exactly the same.
I think dealing with stress is a two-part process. Yes, you need to modify your stress-related behaviors but you also have to lower the stress in your life. I don’t accept that stress just “is” and we have to deal with it. I think we create a lot of it between our own behaviors and society’s ridiculous ideas and norms. But that’s another blog post…
Here’s where I’m screwing up:
- I’m eating clean and Paleo for the most part but I could do MUCH better. I’m not eating enough. I’m not eating on enough of a schedule.
- I’ve gotten really stressed and done some emotional eating – just like EVERY person on Heavy was doing.
- I’ve had some really bad days and slumped on the couch with a few NorCal Margaritas a little to often. The guy “Benny” on intervention would RUN to alcohol the second he got into any kind of stress. Yeah, I’m NOWHERE NEAR that kind of behavior but I can see that the process is the same. Particularly because I’ve never been into drinking and have gone YEARS between drinks for most of my life. Now I have a big bottle of tequila in the house and a bunch of limes in the fridge? WTF?
- Add to that the fact that I KNOW alcohol and emotional eating affects my training negatively.
- I’m not drinking enough water.
- I’m not doing yoga or joint mobility EVERY DAY like I want to and know I should – even though I ALWAYS feel better when I do and I DO have the time.
- I’m not blogging and writing as much as I need to and want to.
- I could be cooking more interesting and tasty Paleo food.
- I’m not pushing through The Dip as well as I could be.
- I’m not training at the level I want to be – and KNOW I can be.
Actually, there’s A LOT more I’m not particularly happy with right now. There are a lot of minor improvements I can make too…
Where can YOU start delivering on your promises to yourself?
It’s sounds silly, but I was REALLY inspired to make some changes last night. Not that I’m in danger of weighing 500lbs or sending my mom out to the package store for me at 10am on a Tuesday but I can see how this shit works and I don’t like it.
Wherever YOU are, whoever YOU are and whatever YOUR goals are, be honest with yourself and your efforts and behaviors. I was particularly inspired by Ashley on Heavy because she made SO MANY brave lifestyle changes. She lost just under 100lbs and was absolutely determined to do what it took to permanently change her lifestyle, stay away from alcohol and get the negative people out of here life – including her alcoholic father. You could see the determination and the work ethic she had and it was inspiring.
So, I looked at that and had to ask myself: If she can do what she’s doing do I REALLY have an excuse for not training at 100% EVERY workout or giving 100% effort on getting my food and water right for the day or getting my yoga and recovery work done? Is there really that much difference between someone who is seriously overweight and feels sad and left out because they can’t play with their kids like they want to or can’t walk or stand for very long and someone who wants to train and run and do Jiu Jitsu and muscle ups more and better than they do now – and feels frustrated when his friends post pics or talk about those things and are doing them better then he is? I don’t think there’s a lot of difference.
To paraphrase Coach Glassman, our needs – the human ones – vary in degree, not in kind…
I’m going to make some changes. I’m looking at where I can change and improve RIGHT NOW and where I’m not delivering the goods and can do better. Spring is about 6 short weeks away and I know where I want to be when the weather gets nice again and this little beach town fills up and gets fun.
What can YOU be doing better?