The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. synonyms: self-control
Self-discipline is hard. Let me just put that out there to start; if it wasn’t, more people would exercise it. It’s just plain easier to not exercise, to eat what your body is yelling for, and to engage in all sort of activities that backfire on your own well-being.
Since dropping some pounds I’ve been told that I have a lot of self-discipline. 🤔 I never really thought about it; I guess I do, but I never used it much when it came to food…or not as much as I should have.
After some thought, I would say everyone has some measure of self-discipline if you are managing your life to some sufficient degree. I mean, you must discipline yourself to get up and go to work, pay your bills, manage your stuff, be responsible for your ‘people’, etc.
So here are the three ways I use self-discipline while trying to be healthier:
Self Discipline Strategy #1:
I am NOT a gym rat. I don’t like the smell of gyms, not just the body sweat mustiness, but the smell of all the equipment … the rubbery and plastic-ky smell. I would rather get outside and exercise if it weren’t a million degrees here most of the year. 🙄 I prefer to work my exercise into my life as much as possible, which isnt easy considering my job requires that I sit on my rump 8-10 hours per day.
Fortunately, I work for a great company and have one of the best managers ever and he allows me to telecommute a bit. With that, I have a big counter that is actually standing desk height so I started standing up all day. After a couple of weeks of this I started having leg and back pain (moderation please)…so now I stand for 4 hours then sit. Still great for building core and lower body strength.
I also bought a low-end treadmill that folds up out of my way when not being used. No, I don’t jump on that thing for 3 hrs per day, but I do manage to do 20-30 minutes 3 or so days per week. Don’t laugh! It’s better than nothing and after more than a year I’m still doing it. That is part of the goal….to keep it up long term.
Last, I do floor exercises: leg lifts, stretches, etc, that I got from a PT. They help a lot too.
Self Discipline Strategy #2:
I’ve discovered over the past months that one of the best ways I can control my food intake is to simply talk to myself. I did realize I was doing this until one day I heard myself out loud saying, “OK girl, that’s enough. Stop eating.” 😂. Guess what? It worked. It was like I obeyed my own positive commands. I kept talking to myself, especially in the evenings when I KNEW I didn’t need to eat anything else for the day. It works, although I have to say it numerous times on occasion. Apparently, there is power in telling yourself what you will or will not do. I’m sure there is some scientific data behind this somewhere based on psychology or religion or something. I’m not even interested in the research of it, I just realize when I know in my brain that I’ve had enough, I sometimes need to tell my body the news. “Just stop girl!” Maybe that is a basic definition of self discipline.
Self Discipline Strategy #3:
It’s so funny when people see me eating regular food, or so-called unhealthy food they seemed all surprised. 😳 😊. People, that’s the whole point. The reason we (I should say ‘I’) struggle is because the first thing one thinks of when dieting or getting healthy or whatever, is what needs to be eliminated from their diet so suffering can take place until defeat kicks in.
That wasn’t my strategy this time. I still go out with my friends, I still eat what I like, I don’t feel like the last year has been a year of deprivation and torture, and I’ve lost 57 pounds so far. I once heard of a man who explained his secret to a major weight loss. He said, “Well, I only eat once slice of bread instead of the whole loaf.” Yep, that’s pretty much the strategy I’ve adopted … sounds like self discipline to me.
That’s all I’ve got for you this evening people so… go talk to yourselves! I just told myself to go get on the treadmill…for 15 mins 😌
3 thoughts on “Self-discipline: But Who Wants To Do That??”
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LOVE reading your posts, Jan! I’m back on the ‘get healthy’ wagon again after about 18 mos of making every excuse in the book. Joined a gym (yeah, not a fan either but found a program- Orange Theory-that works for me plus my daughter and I go most times together). The food thing for me is one of ‘mindfulness’ so I talk to myself – a lot!- and it helps too. I asked my doctor what he thought and first he told me ‘losing weight at 60 is hard’ (no kidding!) but gave me 4 ‘must do’s’ that will guarantee 10% weight loss. I was so surprised that none of the 4 included exercise, eat less or quit drinking alcohol. It was : SLEEP (aim for 8 a night), WATER (96 oz a day), eat largest meal earlier in the day, and try not to eat after 6 or 7pm. First two are my focus right now, and we are trying to work towards the other two.
Oh thank you Cindy!! I hope to encourage readers… and it’s good to know what I write about is of some benefit! I agree sleep and water are key! Hmmmm…. you might have given me my next blog topic. 😊 Best regards on your renewed journey👍🏽