When you are very strict with your diet and smash yourself in the gym on a daily basis, you are constantly aware of the effort you are putting in. It feels like hard work and generates a low level of anxiety and stress. You believe that you are making short term sacrifices for long term gains.
Having paid the price in blood, sweat and tears you expect a reward for all this pain and sacrifice. You expect your jeans to feel looser, you expect the scales to go down, and you keenly anticipate looking better and better every day. When none of these things happen, you feel like you have been ripped off. It is like paying a lot of money for a very expensive item that doesn’t work as well as you expected.
If you relax and eat a little more and train without wanting to vomit, you feel better immediately. You sleep like a baby and have energy to burn during the day. Although your former belief system might be telling you that you are just going for immediate gratification, you stop constantly counting the hours to your next meal, and tossing and turning at night because you are hungry and it hurts every time you roll over.
You are not expecting anything. So when your jeans feel looser and your stomach looks flatter you are amazed. Your good day just got better! It is like buying a costume jewellery ring that you absolutely adore at a garage sale and then discovering it is real diamonds. The cost is small but the reward is much greater than you expected.
Why do we want to be thinner and more muscular? Do we think that besides the perceived happiness and confidence it will give us, we DESERVE to be lean and strong after all our effort? What if the extreme stress we put on ourselves is the very thing that prevents this from happening? Is the cost worth the result?
What if you could be happy today eating plenty of healthy food, training for enjoyment rather than punishment, without worrying about the fitting into those size 8 jeans? What if choosing this way of living actually propels you towards your goal without all the pain? and what if after living this way for a while, the size 8 jeans you can easily fit in to, don’t even matter any more?
Think about the price you are willing to pay and make sure that you are getting value for money. Being hungry, tired, sore and emotional in order to hopefully achieve the body you’ve always dreamed of, may not be a smart investment after all.
(I think I have mixed my metaphors far too much but … it doesn’t matter!)