A friend of mine recently moved out of state. An avid “crossfitter” and “paleo(r)” he told me that when he got to his new home, he found himself out of rhythm. The weather was different, environment was different, day in day out life was different. In going through the adjustment, it became easier and easier to put off heading to the box and eating clean and eventually it only became a hint of what he knew he should be doing to take care of himself. His body began to nag him. What I loved about this conversation was how honest he was with himself …. and consequently with me. He said: “Overall, I just feel awful. It’s my fault. I know it. I did this to myself.” I admire that.
Being honest is realizing that whatever I do to myself ….. ‘I do to myself.’ It really doesn’t matter if anyone sees or knows. It really doesn’t matter if I’m on a paleo plan and have too many treat days, choosing to pay the burpee penalty. Or if I justify ‘binging’ by calling it a treat day (one is healthy the other extremely unhealthy;) Burpees or not, at the end of the day, I still didn’t eat clean. I did it to myself and I know.
It’s not the big things in life that I’m dishonest with myself about, it’s more the little things …. justifying, rationalizing, blaming, circumventing the truth, exaggerating …. it’s all dishonesty. Last week I waited an hour and 45 minutes at the doctor’s office. I was frustrated. I stopped at the grocery, but had forgotten my list at home; I had a slight mom worry about one of my children; and I needed to make a phone call that was going to make me terribly uncomfortable. I was stressed. I needed a Snickers. Fortunately, before I caved, I thought …. “Really?” “You NEED a Snickers?” And working on being as honest with myself as my friend, I realized that I ‘wanted’ a Snickers. I didn’t ‘need’ a Snickers. What I really ‘needed’ was to be okay with being uncomfortable for a while and instead of eating a Snickers, I needed to work on being patient.
It got me thinking about the different words we use to lure ourselves into dishonesty…. our justifying and rationalizing. Words like I “deserve,” or I “need.” They placate; they appease. I “deserve” cake and ice cream because it’s my birthday. My mouth doesn’t know it’s my birthday. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important that you take into account how much you’ve invested in developing a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve gotten off of sugar and processed foods, etc., eating veggies and meat and you’re making progress, then saying you ‘deserve’ cake and ice cream is like saying you ‘deserve’ to eat rat poison because it’s your birthday. Sugar kills. Let’s be honest. Many of us are truly addicted to sugar.
And that truth, makes it ‘off limits’ for us. One piece of cake will just not be enough. One will be two, and two will be three. And if it’s still around tomorrow, we’ll fight that battle again. What you really ‘deserve’ if you’ve worked that hard, is to enjoy the satisfaction that accompanies accomplishment. Remind yourself that you are awesome and that you are worth feeling good about yourself. Stand tall. Go to a movie. Hang out with friends. Find something to laugh about.
It’s also true when it comes to performance. It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be in the box, as long as you are honest about why. Are you too new at this? Do you have to get stronger? Are you not working hard on it right now because life is pretty hectic? Or even, you don’t eat clean and you know that has a huge bearing on your performance but you’re just not into it right now? At least that’s honest. But to get frustrated with the outcome of your performance … and say that you’re doing your best in the other important areas of your life (sleeping, eating, drinking, mobilizing, etc.) when you know that you really aren’t ….. that’s dishonest and the real reason that you did it to yourself. All of the excuses, rationalizations and justifications in the world can’t make dishonesty, honest.
SInce being honest is realizing that whatever you do to yourself … “you do to yourself,” my friend decided he was tired of feeling awful. By being man enough to admit to himself that he was to blame for the choices he was making …. then he also knew that he was the one with the power to make necessary choices to feel good again; back in the box, back eating clean.
That’s the beauty of honesty. It keeps the things that are within your control in the forefront and gives you the power to make the necessary changes ….. regardless of the season, regardless of the celebration, regardless of the people you spend time wtih. Being honest is powerful. It’s free. And it’s available to everyone. Own it. Because it’s in the “getting honest” that things change.