Discipline over Motivation

Tuesday, March 7, 2017




There is SO MUCH information out there in every corner of the internet about how to lose weight.  There are diet plans to follow, exercise programs to join, support groups that can help you stay accountable.  These are great resources I am sure, and can be very helpful in reaching your goals.

I think for people like me, who are extreme amounts of overweight, all of these things are easier said than done.  I know I need to exercise, I know a calorie dense food from a light yet filling food.

Motivation is what we need!  If we just get properly motivated, then we will want to put the work in and get it done.  We will be excited and poised to conquer all obstacles set before us!

Oh, if I had a dime for every time I was motivated to lose weight.  (Can I get an Amen??)

Motivation isn't what we need at all.  Motivation relies on unsustainable feelings of empowerment.  Motivation is fleeting.  If we were able to just accomplish things we were motivated to do at one point, we'd all be awesome at life and goals and we would be living our dreams.

Motivation isn't enough.

Discipline is what we need. Discipline is action whether or not we feel like it.  Those actions over time will yield the results which is turn motivate us to stay disciplined.

When you think of disciplined individuals, who comes to mind?

Soldiers?
Tiger Moms?
Monks?
Olympic Athletes?

The soldier doesn't check in with his feelings about getting up at 5AM to do PT training.  The Tiger Mom didn't ask her daughter if she would rather watch YouTube instead of practice the violin.  Monks don't achieve holiness by giving into their whims and skipping Mass.  Maybe Simone Biles would have liked to spend weekends at the mall instead of at the gym?  Usain Bolt probably had to miss several late nights throwing back beers with his buddies, but he has achieved record breaking greatness and they have beer guts.

We don't need to achieve the extreme levels of discipline needed to fight a war, or join the New York Philharmonic.  We can use these examples as metaphors in how to better structure our lives to yield successes, weight loss or otherwise.

When taking inventory of my own life, I have concluded that I am not very good at discipline.  I am almost too in-tune with my feelings and whether or not I want to do something.  This is the mentality of a procrastinator, because I usually never want to do something now if it can be done later.  I usually don't do the dishes after dinner, because I'd rather watch tv and relax, I just get to them the next morning.  (terrible I know, don't tell my mom.)  I make sure I've checked all the social media and all of reddit before I will sit down to study for the CPA exam.  I will over eat on calorie laden food and desserts and proclaim 'tomorrow! tomorrow I will lose weight'

How can I be more disciplined?


Discipline is like a muscle, so be proud of your small gains and keep building upon them.  The few little 'discipline' things I do every day without fail have definitely been an asset to me on my weight loss journey.  It isn't very much, but I track my blood sugar levels every morning (I used to not be very consistent with this, which is HORRIBLE for a diabetic person), and I track all my food I eat.  That is it.  Just doing those things and having that knowledge helps me to make better food choices.  When I wake up with 145 blood sugar levels, I know I need to lighten up on the carbs today.  I know that if I go over my calories 4 days in a row, I shouldn't be surprised at what the scale reads.  You just need a tiny bit of motivation to commit to doing something consistently, then it becomes habit.  I'd guess the average fit person engages in several disciplines activities to manage their weight, so if I were to do the same, there is no reason why I can't be fit as well!


Discipline is great too because it puts all the weight management stuff out of your every day mental evaluations and puts it on autopilot.  I don't have to think about if I want to track my food, or whether or not I find it to be a pain in the rear; I just do it.  My feelings about the task at hand don't get counted in the equation.  Much like anything, when you stop worrying about your feelings, they don't rule you so much.  I don't give much energy to the fact that my job isn't my favorite place to be, I just get up and go because I want the money.  I'd prefer to watch Food Network all morning on Sundays, but we decided that going to church is important to us, so I just get up and get ready for church.


Maybe you go visit your Mom every Wednesday, maybe you walk your dog every night without fail.  Maybe you aren't a gross smelly person who does their dishes every night, lol.  There are likely things in your life that you already do in a disciplined way, so use those as a guide for cultivating even more disciplined actions.

In conclusion, we don't have to be slaves to our feelings.  If we learn to side step them in favor of disciplined action, we will be a much more powerful force for goal achievement.












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