Lesson # 5: Staying the Course to Getting Healthy

Perseverance is one of my favorite words.  It’s such a sexy word.  It gets thrown around a lot, yet few people REALLY understand the significance of it.  Persevering is really hard to do at times, but the payoff is huge.  When it comes to accomplishing anything significant in life you will face endless setbacks and temporary defeat.  It’s your ability to OVERCOME these things and stick with your original decision that matter most.  That’s where perseverance comes in handy.

Study anyone who has done anything significant in life and you will see that the word perseverance is a very important word in their vocabulary.  In most cases, they have struggled and failed temporarily for a very long time UNTIL they reached their goal. And it’s only because they stuck with it that they became successful.

When it comes to losing weight and getting healthy, perseverance is key.  You will face days where you want to quit, where you are tempted to eat junk food, or not exercise.  You will have days when the pizza, ice cream, candy and junk food are screaming your name.  It’s what you do when you feel that way that will ultimately determine whether you reach your fitness goals or not.

For me, losing weight and getting healthy have never been easy.  For instance, my biggest weakness is fast food.  Every time I drive by a fast food joint I have to fight my inner beast not to stop and buy something.  It’s as if my body is craving this junk food that I know isn’t good for me anyway.  I’ve always loved fried food, pizza, greasy burgers and sweets even though I know it made me fat and unhealthy.

Maybe you can relate, maybe not.

I’ve also found that it can be hard to break old habits, especially in the early stages of your weight loss or health journey.  You’ve done things a certain way for so long that it’s hard not to do it that way anymore.

This is where perseverance comes in handy.  Perseverance is what will keep you moving forward and help you to form new habits.

Perseverance will keep you mentally tough and help you eventually succeed.  Perseverance will help you say NO to the temptation.

If getting healthy or losing weight is something you really want to do, then you must have perseverance.

How do you get perseverance?

Every time you are tempted to quit, or cheat, or make a decision that keeps you from reaching your health goals, you have to look back at your WHY.  In other words, why did you want to lose weight or get healthy to begin with?  What is motivating you to get healthy?

You have to ask yourself if eating that cheeseburger or pizza is really worth it.  In other words, is the short-term pleasure worth the long-term defeat?  Is working out hard and eating right for 10 days worth cheating on your 11th day?  I don’t think so.  Cheating on your 11th day almost offsets the 10 days you worked hard!

In many cases, we can be our own worst enemy.  And we do that by not following through with our decisions or goals.  We give up. We don’t persist, because things get hard!  We are forced out of our comfort zones.

Let me tell you something.  Life is hard.  Losing weight is hard.  Getting healthy is hard. That’s why so many people simply give up and refuse to do it!  They would rather stay in their comfort zone than change.  And most people don’t have the willpower to overcome this temptation when they face it.  So they get sidetracked or revert back to their old ways.

To persist, you must have a big WHY.  And you must keep that WHY in front of you at all times.  My WHY is that I want to be a healthy grandpa one day and live to be a very old age.  I want to live life to its fullest and stay healthy.  To me, that is worth persisting for.

Always keep your why in the forefront of your head.  Always remember WHY you got started on your health journey.  Every time you are tempted to cheat on your diet or exercise, look at your WHY.  If your WHY is big enough, nothing else matters.

The bottom line is to stay the course.  If you want to be healthy, form new habits, overcome temptation and stay the course. Follow through with your initial goals, even after the initial enthusiasm fades.  That is what I recommend.  What do you think?

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