I often say we are who we are today because of the total thoughts, actions, habits we’ve done over time in our lives.
Everyday is a new day and we are a new person, but at the same time, we also have to deal with our old self. When we allow the old self to rule, we will follow our feelings instead of operating in self-control. Self-control is a fruit of our new nature, and all we need to do is develop it. We can develop self-control by using it, just as we can develop muscles by using them.
Exercising self-control is a form of freedom. You don’t have to do what you feel like doing. You’re free to do what you know is wise. Discipline and self-control will help you be the person you want to be. Don’t ever say, “I just don’t have any self-control,” because the truth is that you do have it, but it needs to be exercised in order to be strong.
Our recent Progression NOT Perfection challenge had a TON of great example of participants operating in self control. Here is one…
I think I will start by saying the challenge was as much mental as it was physical. Meal planning and organizing grocery trips was tough but the actual meal prep and cooking in batches big enough so that we could have compliant leftovers required a big change to our eating routine! My wife and I have never planned meals out for a week or done much in the way of crockpot meals/casseroles. We’d often make choices with convenience in mind; picking up fast food or ordering pizza was a common occurrence, we knew it wasn’t healthy, but with two young boys we thought it was what we had time for.
I could tell you what a healthy meal looked like, what I might eat if I only ever had the time to make it… Shocking to me was that for the entire challenge we ate compliant and ate all but three meals at home (two at Ode and one at Pappy’s). I used to drink diet mt. dew like water and now I drink water like its water and damn if I’ve had one caffeine headache from my San Pallegrino. I’ve often wondered what all our Tupperware and food storage containers were for and wouldn’t you know it, veggies, meat, salads, potatoes, even berries all fit really nice and make packing lunches for hospital shifts really easy! I’m sure everyone that has done a whole30 has read the line, “it’s not that I can’t have something (ice cream, alcohol, a whole loaf of cinnamon raisin bread) it’s that I’m choosing not to.” and that self-empowering concept, that I’m in control of my food choices and that good food nourishes my whole self, body and mind, is something I am thankfully taking away from the challenge and carrying forward on this fitness journey.
The hardest part of the challenge was talking myself into doing it. Chris texted me about setting up a nutrition meeting, which I’d been putting off for months because I knew that I wasn’t making good choices and didn’t want to hear it from someone else, and he mentioned the upcoming challenge. I joked back, “what’s the challenge? Who can eat the least?” I was being a smart*ss, I also didn’t know how wrong I would be about the portions! It took me until the last day to sign up. I told myself, if I really do this challenge I have to make it an investment in myself; so I gave Annie $60 in cash so that I had a real, tangible moment in which I committed myself to making a change.
I’m a 3x/week member and with work, my family, jobs around the house I had been making excuses since September, when I joined CPM, as to why I couldn’t always make it to all 3 classes any given week. With the flexibility of only going 3 times a week I would cherry-pick my workouts and skip a day if the workout looked too difficult or daunting. So to make it to 4x/week, no more excuses. I had to go workout everyday I wasn’t working at the hospital, had to juggle my boys with my wife’s schedule, had to get out of bed at some ungodly hour like 6am and make my way to the Western Mall knowing that I’d never get my boys to nap at the same time and let me make up my missed sleep. For the first week or two it was a lot of “had” to’s but as the challenge continued I started seeing all the things I “got” to do. I got to see results from the workouts and in the way my clothes were fitting, got to cook for and with my family lots of new recipes and foods, and got to wake up with more clarity and energy. The workouts have gotten better, not easier. I surprise myself with new PR lifts, faster rowing/running, longer stretches of double unders without misses, better form/technique, and shorter breaks to catch my breath. The challenge was Progress not Perfection…in 5 weeks I’ve seen a lot of progress and I can’t wait to see what happens going forward!
Great job Dan “the man” Lindquist