In a hundred ways, every day, every hour, there are times I must discipline myself. I am really good at some things and not so good at others. For instance, I have worked out a way to successfully wake myself up each day at 4:00 am without an alarm. Or whatever time I need to. I can just make my unconscious self do it.
Likewise, I am very disciplined about my barn chores. Everything gets done in a certain order and in a certain way. I am not so disciplined about my in-the-house chores. We have hard wood floors and I am good at sweeping. The rest of the cleaning I am not as apt to complete. But you will never find a horse of mine with a dirty water bucket.
Back in Florida, before I turned 40, not too long after Lauren was born, I got into a walking routine. It changed my figure, my size and my outlook. I was a little obsessed about getting my walk in, how many miles I had gone and what my total miles for the week were. I had a calendar that let you record those totals. I walked over a hundred miles a month at one point.
I came to Texas, had to give up my horses, became sedentary and gained weight. Okay, what is the point of this, you are asking.
I saw a couple of examples of discipline this weekend. One when I thought of Sarah, the horse trainer where Pixie is, I know she sets a schedule of what horses get worked when and very little deters her from that schedule. She remarked, when she had our previous pony Mimi, that Mimi did not like working in the dark. But Sarah had five horses to work and not enough daylight so they continued on in the early dusk.
The second one I saw was a family member who had quit smoking after years of doing so. He had successfully quit for over a month. But he had given in and was back to smoking again. I understand somethings, like alcohol and smoking, are not just a question of making a decision and sticking with it. Addiction is another topic.
My daughters and I are all on a diet. We completed the initial 24 day phase. We are into the “just keep dieting because in the end you will feel better, live longer phase”. It is a much more difficult phase. There is nothing hanging over your head to help you keep making good decisions. We have agreed to a goal weight weigh in for October 1st. I sent out a reminder to the girls today. I am about six pounds away from that weight. Lauren is pretty close. Amber and Ally are working at theirs.
For me to lose six pounds this month, means I have to look at everything differently. I have changed a lot of habits (a big one with Chik-fil-a) and another with my best friend, diet Coke. It is taking a lot of discipline.
I want to help my daughters. Help keep them motivated to do well and succeed. I know I have three bright, smart, talented daughters. Why is food such a difficult obstacle for all of us? It almost seems like the more you try to do the right thing the more weight you gain instead of lose. We are genetically pre-disposed to being a little heavy. Both my mother (yes, my tiny little mother) and my father fought their weight. My mom (along with her sisters) tried many different diets. My mother joined Weight Watchers in like 1976, lost weight to become a lifetime member and religiously weighed in every month of her life until she moved to Texas. Now the doctor wants her to gain a little weight and she just cannot let herself do it.
My father would struggle to get back his college football playing weight (225) and he would do so. It would sneak up on him and he would lose weight again. He had the discipline to get it done.
I want to lose this weight for the last and final time. I have a degenerative joint disease. I have one hip replaced and another that needs to be. All of me would be happier (more pain-free) if I was slimmer. I am going to do it this time. Something has just changed in perception of what I need to do. I had waited for this diet and now I am sticking to it. I want to be able to counsel my daughters and help them see the results I am having. We all have to get to our own point when we want the change more than anything else.
I can exercise a lot, but until I slow down the calories, it does not matter, just saying, for me. But I have found, when I do exercise, I am more engaged in my body and tend to treat it a little better.
Discipline, especially for ourselves, is the hardest. We are weakest in our own short comings, and grand in our illusions that this or that will not matter. I wish for all of us, especially my dear children, that this was simpler and more defined. I pray we all find the discipline to beat whatever demon has us entrapped.
Thanks for riding along on my weird diatribe I promise to get back to a heartfelt horse story next!