What I Learned From Running a Stop Sign…
What can getting a ticket for running a stop sign earlier today possibly teach me? Trust me, it goes well beyond ‘Don’t run stop signs, douche bag!’
It’s a warm, sunny day in my part of Long Island, and after I’m done writing this to you, I’m heading to my last client of the day, and then my buddy’s to drive over to tonight’s softball games. Unfortunately, I rolled my ankle yesterday, and while it’s significantly better than it was at this time yesterday, I’m going to be smart and hold off on playing until this coming weekend once the swelling has subsided, and I’ve regained stability on that side of my foot/ankle complex.
Anyhow, I was on the way to my previous client, and I was running a little late. He lives in Hicksville (the town over from me), and I take these back roads to get there. It saves me a ton of time driving on Hempstead Turnpike, which, if you live on Long Island, is a logjam most hours of the day!
Unfortunately, I was blowing through the backroads, when I got pulled over by a cop. He asked me why I thought I was pulled over, I told him I knew, I apologized, was respectful, gave him my license and registration, and was out of the stop in about five minutes.
‘Pete,’ you may be asking yourself, ‘What the hell does you getting a moving violation have to do with health and permanent weight loss?’
Life throws us curveballs. While this curveball was certainly well-deserved, I’ve sped through these same backroads hundreds of times in the past year, and NEVER once saw a cop, let alone got a ticket. Today, one just happened to be in the neighborhood, and he got me.
I could have been disrespectful, I could have played dumb, but I was wrong, and I owned up to it right away. The result was a quick stop, a little hassle, but a lesson learned…
Was I running late? Yes. Did I own up to my mistake? Yes. But what did this whole experience teach me outside of never speeding in that neighborhood again?
It taught me to enjoy the journey…
You see, for years, I’ve always had my eye on the prize. I would think three steps ahead, instead of thinking about where I am right now, and the tiny, repeated steps that needed to be taken to get there.
On my weight loss journey, the goal was losing 100 lbs. There were starts and stops, there was a two year plateau smack dab in the middle, but I NEVER gave up! I found what worked, and I eventually got to the promised land after nearly six years!
While I can look back and appreciate the journey, I NEVER appreciated it as it was happening. During that journey, I was frustrated due to the starts and stops I mentioned before, and would let that frustration derail me from both a nutritional and a fitness perspective.
Had I stayed the course, perhaps the six years would have been cut down to three. Four tops. I have no idea what it would have taken, but that’s not something to concern myself with…
A mentor of mine recently turned me on to Dr. Wayne Dyer, and more specifically, a talk he gave a few years ago. While it was a little hippy-dippy for my taste, Dyer talked about how one of the best things you can do when you’re looking to achieve something is to submit to life, know that not everything is in your control, and that the only thing you CAN control is how you react and adapt to the conditions you’re experiencing.
Case In Point: When I hit my two year plateau, I could have fallen off the wagon for a lot longer than the week or two I’d allow myself to slip. Something inside me kept telling me to keep trying, to find a different means, and to not stop until I reached my goal. While I didn’t appreciate the journey at the time, I never let the continual setbacks I saw during this difficult time affect me.
I’ve also mentioned that I had a couple of clients a week or so ago who were upset with having a ‘bad week’ as it relates to what the scale said. I don’t mean ‘bad’ in terms of them gaining weight, I mean ‘bad’ in terms of them not losing the amount they would have liked to have lost in that given week.
Again, I wish success on your weight loss journey came in a straight, upward slope — But it doesn’t! There are ups, downs, zigs and zags. What distinguishes those who succeed versus those who never quite get there is how they react to the ‘down periods.’
When I discussed this with one of my clients, I asked her to take the scale out of the equation, and ask herself the following questions, ‘How do you feel? ‘How’s your energy?’ ‘Are your clothes fitting any differently?’ ‘Are you noticing any physical changes when you look in the mirror?’
She answered ‘Yes’ to all of the above questions, so I told her to stay positive and keep going! That the scale isn’t the only thing to measure your progress by, and that in all other means of measure, she was doing very well!
We often neglect to enjoy the journey. Because of our instant gratification society, we expect fast results, and when we realize that we’re not going to lose 50 lbs overnight, and that not every week is going to be a ‘good’ week, we tend to lose motivation at the amount of work and discipline that needs to take place in order for our goal(s) to be reached.
Like I mentioned in yesterday’s message, sticking with your nutrition and your exercise despite cravings and pressures not to is SIMPLE! Look at it as a test when everything is telling you NOT to continue making positive changes. You’re going to be a little uncomfortable during this defining period, whether it be craving sugar, being sore from a workout, or what have you, but try to appreciate those days!
Once you come out the other side, you’ll be a stronger person, and you’ll be well on a way to crushing your goals :-)
P.S. If you’re READY to start your health and weight loss journey, then you’re definitely going to want to download my FREE report!
This report details the five strategies I personally used to lose 100 lbs, and KEEP IT OFF! These are the same five strategies I teach my personal weight loss clients when they start their journeys.
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