Monday, August 6, 2012

My Son, The Olympics, The Easy Way Out, & Why Clean Eating Is Tough For Some

      The other night, my son and I were watching the Olympics - the Men's swimming, to be precise. Keep in mind my son is 11, scary smart ( a la Sheldon Cooper sometimes ), and very techno savvy. He turned to me and asked "Those men sure are in shape." And I smiled and said "Yes, they are. Those men have been working out for years: swim practice, gym, endurance training...and all the prep they've done for years was for this week - in some cases - for a single race."

     He looked at me with a quizzical look on his face and said casually "Seems like a waste of time. Devoting all that time and energy for less than 2 minutes of their life." I studied his face - he was serious. I said "I think you are missing the point. These young men have devoted their lives to being the best swimmers they can possibly be. The best. In order to be the best, you have to make certain sacrifices and commit to your goal. "

     Now, my son is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Why his experience training towards this goal versus what the Olympians commit to didn't make a connection for him had me at a loss...until I considered his personality and his work ethic. While shockingly smart, he has a poor work ethic and will always take the easy way out if it is an option. Homework? Do it at the last possible second, if at all. Do chores around the house? Naah - rather play video games or fib about it. Eat healthy? Pfft - why bother learning to cook when McDonald's is so convenient?

     Looking at him watching the swimmers, it dawned on me that he doesn't make the connection between hard work, commitment and end results. Sure - he understands that in order to get something, effort must be made. But he hasn't internalized it yet. He hasn't made it part of his core being.

If you're an adult - a hard working, "show up to work early and be the last to leave the office" kind of employee, you've internalized the value of hard work plus consistency plus time equals results. You know your success in the work place hinges on your putting in the effort to get results. Reports are filed on time, computer programs are written by the deadline, and financial gain and recognition are the reward.

 But what about your body? Your health?

Internalize it - you will get zero results health and fitness wise if you put little to no effort into achieving results. For some, Clean Eating is hard work. It takes focus and dedication more than simple willpower. Think about what you have to do - what sacrifices you have to make, what changes to your routine you need to make - in order to achieve healthy results. It isn't always easy. For some, it is hard work. But hard work coupled with consistency and time achieve results. Stick with Clean Eating - stay on path. And over time, you'll begin to see results. You'll feel better. Your skin tone and complexion will improve. Your overall health will improve. Your mood will improve. YOU will improve.