Embracing Struggle for a Healthier Lifestyle
The other night I was at dinner with a friend of mine, and she went on and on about how she was trying to lose weight by taking some dietary supplements. This one diet pill she tried made her jittery and she couldn’t function at work, so now she was taking a different one that made her feel less wired.
As this conversation was taking place, I sipped on iced tea, not eating the yummy looking and smelling restaurant food, while my friend on the other hand, was on her second lemon drop martini, eating French fries and a burger.
After listening, I looked at my friend and invited her to join me for my daily sunrise run or gym session. She looked at me and flatly said, “No.” I didn’t bother to even comment on how she was choosing to fuel her body, since she was so unwilling to even consider exercise.
In Order Live a Healthier Lifestyle, One Must be Willing to Struggle
The New Year has arrived and most Americans set resolutions of goals or changes that they want to achieve in 2014. Many of these goals revolve around getting into better shape, eating healthier, and losing weight. It seems like everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded with ad campaigns designed for quick fixes and big promises of success made easy.
How about getting back to the basics of clean eating and exercise? Good health is really quite simple, but in order to be healthy, one must first be willing to struggle.
I’ll admit that sometimes it sucks getting up at 5 a.m. just to be on the trail and running by 5:45, especially when it’s 18 degrees outside and your lungs are burning, but there is also a magic that happens during that time. My body feels recharged and strong as I breathe the cool crisp fresh mountain air and listen to nothing but the sound of my feet striking against the ground.
Clean eating is not always fun. I wish I could sip lemon drops carelessly while dining on French fries and burgers, but surely that would be the demise of me achieving my goal, which is to be the ultimate predator, able to effortlessly climb to the tops of the highest mountains.
Waking up early to exercise and eating clean is a struggle that I gladly endure, so that when I’m on the mountain during hunting season, I’m strong, I’m healthy, and more likely to be successful in my pursuits. There is no pill that will take you to the top of a mountain. You have to want to do the work to get to the top.
The question is not what do you want to achieve; the question is what efforts are you willing to put forth, struggles and all, in order to make your goal a reality? I’m wired for struggle; I thrive on competition; and my biggest competitor is myself. Quit making excuses and start embracing the struggle, for that is what will lead you to triumph.
If your end game is to be on the mountain day after day hunting your dream, then you MUST start to make your health a priority like I have chosen to do.
Hit the Gym
Get out your day planner and pencil in your workout times. Schedule your daily appointments around those workouts. Get them in before working hours, during lunch, or after; figure it out for yourself when you can make time and stick to it. There are plenty of nights that I get less than five hours of sleep so that I can wake up at 5 a.m. to get in my workout. So what if you’re tired? You’re going to have to learn how to get over it. I’m tired on day ten of my western hunts, too, but I don’t quit. If you’re used to being tired, you’ll be better able to deal with fatigue on a hunt and thrive on the mountain.
Fueling your body with clean, whole, natural foods is really important so that you can get the most out of each of your workouts. Remember, food functions as a drug within your body, and how the food you eat is processed will have a significant effect on how you feel. Try to consume as many whole natural, unprocessed foods as possible. Pay attention and make the effort to eat at least two fruits and two vegetables per day. Each one of your meals should include a complete protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat.
Start your day out right by eating your first meal within one hour of waking and then the remainder of your meals every three to four hours throughout the day. Hydration is also important and most of us fall short when it comes to drinking enough water. Drink no less than three liters of water every day and make five liters your goal.
Rarely in life do the things we want come without struggle, be it success on your next hunt or good health. Now is the time to get wired for the struggles that you must overcome in order to have success come fall.