Enjoying the Grind

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A big part of accomplishing awesome things is dealing with the daily grind that makes them possible. Chances are, if you’re attempting to do something awesome, the steps that take you there won’t be easy–after all, if things weren’t difficult, they wouldn’t be alluring. Doing great things requires lots of hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance–there’s no way around it.

One of my goals since last October has been to lose weight (specifically, to get down to 10% body fat). To me, that’s a worthwhile goal. It will help me feel confident in myself, proud of my hard work, and teach me lots of new things along the way. Since October, I’ve lost ~80 lbs, and ~11% of my body fat (down from 35% to 24%).

The daily grind was not easy (or pleasurable). It was extremely difficult to get used to at first–eating less fast food, exercising, gradually learning more about proper diet and nutrition. Self-discipline is a difficult thing to build, especially when you’ve never had any before. But over the weeks and months I’ve come to enjoy the daily grind. I now enjoy reading new nutrition and health books, and learning how the body works. I enjoy preparing, cooking, and eating my own healthy meals. And I even look forward to pushing myself harder and harder during workouts.

Struggling through my weight loss journey has really changed my perspectives on a lot of things. Most notably, the daily grind.

Throughout my life, I was always told to dream big, and reach for the stars, but I had no idea how to. When I started losing weight, I would just tell myself “ok, only XXX more days of diet and exercise till you get there”. It worked (mainly because I was so determined at first), but wasn’t sustainable. Instead of viewing every day as a chore, you should view it as an opportunity. After I started losing weight and feeling better, I realized that what I wanted wasn’t to just ‘be thin’ or ‘be in better shape’, but that I wanted the willpower to make good choices, and have the persistence to keep making them, over and over again. It is the sum of your actions that define who you are– the little things you do everyday that contribute to your character, personality, and pride.

Now-a-days, instead of looking at diet and exercise as a chore, I view it as an opportunity. An opportunity to become a better person, to transcend my limits, and build myself into the person I want to someday be. When I make a decision to do something, whether it be health, personal, or work related–I now realize that it is up to me to determine the outcome. All the hard work, frustration, and disappointments along the way are what make the journey worthwhile. It’s the growing you do as you work towards your goals that makes you happy.