Ah the new year. This is the time when so many of us sit down and evaluate who we’ve been, and who we want to be. It’s the season of goals, resolutions, and dreams….and pain..
My husband, like so many others, is seeking to lose weight and become a healthier person this year. And, for the sake of being a supportive wife (and to perhaps ditch the ever-so-attractive “mom pooch” I’ve developed), I’ve decided to join him. (Yay?)
This isn’t the first time we’ve made this goal. We’ve gone through seasons of making changes in our diet, exercise habits, and overall lifestyle. We worked hard, and we saw changes. And like millions of other Americans, we got tired of putting in the effort and gave up.
How can we say we want something, if we’re not willing to do what it takes to get it?
I’ll be really honest with you – I loathe exercising. Counting calories and giving up mindless eating is no picnic, but it’s easier for me than the exercise portion of “becoming a healthier person.” I struggle to understand my friends who genuinely LOVE to work out. I always want to ask them what part of pain they enjoy….or maybe it’s the sweating they like?
Here’s what I sent to one of my best friends last night, as I was cursing Jillian Michaels under my breath while simultaneously wishing I looked that good in sweatpant capris….I did not enjoy the workout, and I wanted to quit – several times – but I didn’t. You know why? I decided that the change is worth the pain.
Today, I’m walking around the house like an elderly woman with severe arthritis. Everything hurts. (Did you know your armpits have muscles that can hurt?!)
As I was doing my 30 Day Shred video last night, Jillian said something to the effect of, “You’ll never see any change without pain.” She pointed to the perfect abs of one of the women in the video and said, “these results don’t come for free.” #TRUTH
And it’s true. For our muscles to grow and get stronger – they first have to tear. While some of us may experience a time of growth or reach a goal without physical or emotional pain – most of us will need to learn to fight for what we want….to push on when it hurts.
Frederick Douglass (a true hero you should read up on), said “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” We get stronger and we experience growth in the midst of the struggle. The challenges are what build our strength and our character. When the going gets tough – we get to find out what we’re made of, and what our dreams and goals are really worth to us.
Whatever you’re seeking to change this year, I encourage you to push through the pain. Changing who we are is difficult – but the thought of becoming who we want to be (who we are MEANT to be!) – that makes the pain worth it. So, as I seek to become healthier, as I try to become more intentional, more present, and less anxious – I WILL feel pain. Results aren’t free – but the pain is worth the change.
And so, tonight, I pick up my hand weights, throw on my yoga pants and press on. (And if you see me tomorrow, don’t mind my hobbling – it’s just a sign of the fight.)
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck in a place you don’t belong.” N. R. Narayan Murthy