On Sunday, I was up early and on my way to Bob Evans. If you didn’t guess already, I was on my way to meet old people, because geriatrics are the only population that keeps that mediocre establishment in business. Somehow Bob Evans’ blueberry crepes got it’s high fructose corn syrupy claws into my grandma’s psyche, and now she must have them every Sunday morning or she will pitch a fit. I am resigned to the fact that she will never even consider an upgrade to First Watch, so to good ole’ Bobby E’s I went to catch some quality time with the grandparents.
The point of that background story was that I had the radio on and got sucked into an interview the radio host was having with some sort of business coach named Suzanne Evans. They were talking about how to get people to change their habits and my ears perked up, as I am always interested in new information on this front. Suzanne said something that had me nodding my head vigorously to myself in the car like a loon. On the topic of how one begins to overhaul their current destructive behaviors and habits, she said something to the effect of “You don’t change from inspiration, you change from perspiration”. While this is an excellent slogan for a gym or fitness center, her definition of “perspiration” in this context wasn’t about actual sweat. It was about finding yourself in a situation that made you extremely uncomfortable. A tipping point in your life, if you will. A moment where you realize that you are fed up with how things are going and you realize that a change is necessary as opposed to staying where you are. Now this change might make you sweat, both figuratively and literally, but in that moment, you don’t care because the place you are freaking sucks.
I mulled over her point for awhile, wondering if perspiration really trumped inspiration. Thinking of examples of my own life, I had to agree with her. Taping pictures of Victoria’s Secret models to the fridge so one doesn’t eat junk will only get one so far. While I do think inspiration might fuel our fire for a short burst, it’s really the pain of a current situation that is going to sustain longtime transformations. Tony Robbins has a similar viewpoint on the subject of change, saying, “One of the things that turns virtually anyone around is reaching a pain threshold. This means experiencing pain at such an intense level that you know you must change now-a point at which your brain says, ‘I’ve had it; I can’t spend another day, not another moment, living or feeling this way.’ “
In the world of health, it is quite unfortunate that most of us humans must hit the bottom of a well before we decide to turn it all around. I can’t say it enough, it’s all about prevention, people! To me, it’s easier to eat a salad now than undergo life threatening heart surgery later. But what do I know? So what do you do if you are always telling yourself that you want to get healthier, but never follow through? Maybe making a Pain and Pleasure list would help. On one side, list all the reasons why you are content staying where you are (You love the taste of pizza, you are still getting laid on the reg, eating out is convenient, etc.) On the other side of the list, write down all the reasons the big problem causes you pain. If it is excess weight, do you feel unhappy when you look in the mirror, do you have constant, negative self talk, did you realize you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without being winded, or you can’t do activities with your kids because you are too tired? Think long and hard and make detailed lists for each side. If your pain list is way longer than your pleasure list, perhaps you are closer to rock bottom than you thought. Is it enough to be your catalyst for change? Only you can decide, but the black and white Suck List might be a wake up call for you to make one tiny switch that steers you in the direction you want to go.
Looks like the old adage rings true: NO PAIN, NO GAIN.
I am your partner in health crime. I ask you important questions and create strategy on how to improve your performance. I help you make good choices and am your support system on this winding highway to health.