Thursday, May 31, 2012

Suffer the Pain of Discipline or Suffer the Pain of Regret

Vacations are a luxury.  They may not always be the type of vacation we dream about but they are a break from the daily grind.  Even 'staycations' are a break even if only from work. We allow ourselves a little detour from our regular routine and grant ourselves a few, otherwise forbidden, indulgences.  However, we have a tendency to go overboard and self sabotage all the work we have done in some arenas, particularly our health and fitness.

It is important to allow your body time to rest and recover to prevent over-training.  However, most people don't train at a level which requires an extended period of time off.  Many people train like beasts in order to get ready for 'vacation' and obtain that body for their bikini. Yet, once they hit the beach or the pool, all that hard work that paid off is quickly cast aside and the slide down the slippery slope begins.  The drinking, the dining out, the snacks, more drinking, more eating, more lying around.  And all of the sudden, vacation is over and you have packed back on the ten pounds you worked so hard to lose, even if it was for all the wrong reasons.

Health is a state of mind as much as it is the condition of your body.  They go hand in hand.  One can not exist without the other.  Obvious you say, but so many don't listen.  We all want to be fit and healthy.  But not every one's version of fit and healthy is the same nor should it be.  My goals are different from your goals thus requiring a vastly different level of training and nutrition.  However, that doesn't mean you get a free pass to eat junk, drink like a fish and workout for two hours a week hoping to achieve miraculous results.

Being fit and healthy takes discipline on many levels.  You must discipline your mind to go workout even when you don't want to. You must discipline yourself to sometimes eat food for nourishment rather than taste. You must push past the pain even though it's easier to just stop.  You must remember the short term reward is far less satisfying than the long term goal.  You must be realistic in your state of mind - how badly do you want it and how hard are you willing to fight for it?  You will have to accept that some sacrifices will have to be made and are you strong enough to step up to the challenge?

This is nothing new.  You have heard it many times.  Yet, again and again, we falter.  Failure is essential to success.  But hopefully with each failure you have learned from your mistakes, otherwise you will continue to fail again and again.  Pick yourself up and try again.  Be more disciplined, be more dedicated or accept where you're at. The choice is yours. Many will help if asked but ultimately, you are responsible for your actions or lack of action.

So that vacation weight you fought so hard to lose can stay off even while on vacation.  But again, it will take a bit of planning and discipline on your part.  Think ahead, check out gyms near your vacation destination. Bring along stretch cords, TRX, a Yoga DVD, jump rope, or scope out a playground with a bench, monkey bars for weighted exercises. Make a realistic commitment, prior to your vacation, to fit your workouts in.  You will feel better, eat healthier while away, and those jeans will still fit when you get home. You can still have fun, it's just up to you when the fun ends and the 'work' begins.  The damage will have less of an impact if you do a little sabotage control along the way - vacation or not.

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