You Can Do Hard Things

- POSTED ON: Aug 31, 2012

I recently ran across this inspiring post:

"The Best Advice:

I've had some success-- I suppose I can admit as much at this point, although it feels weird. So now I get a lot of people who PM asking for advice, or saying they look up to me, and flattering though that is, it's silly, because I pretty much just follow the rules (okay, the ones that make sense) and it all comes out in the wash. So I usually don't have much to add when people ask how you get where I have gotten, there's no great mystery: the reason I have been successful in some ways that others have failed I usually pass off as luck.

But that's not entirely true. I just realized it. There actually *is* one more piece, and because I love ya, I am going to share it with you now. Sounds trifling, but it contains volumes.

Here it is: YOU CAN do hard things.

I know, you're saying, "What's your point?"

Sometimes, when faced with a challenge-- especially if you're a recovering addict as so many of us are, when you approach something difficult, your inner voice says, "Holy crap-- I can't DO that"...and you do an about-face-- you reach for the drug (or food) of choice. To feel uncomfortable..and not to comfort yourself, is a hard thing --

but you can do hard things.

When it's late and you're tired, and you know you are supposed to walk, you said you would, and it's looking like it might rain-- it's hard as hell to lace those sneakers up and get out there---

but you can do hard things.

Protein shakes can taste yucky. It's hard to remember all those calcium supplements. It's hard to get 64 oz of water in. It's hard to plan meals, buy expensive and healthy choices, stay out of the cake in the lounge at work--

but you can do hard things.

You don't have to self-medicate. You don't have to eat those chips. You don't have to duck and avoid every unpleasant, difficult challenge in your path. Sometimes, the best bet is to admit their existance..."Yes, hard things, I see you trying to get in my way, but you know what? I CAN DO HARD THINGS!"

Sometimes this means having to survive a host of feelings you never felt before because you never let yourself feel them before-- stress, confusion, anger, rage. You can't numb them out or sand off their edges-- you have to stand right in your space and let them have a go at you-- and grit your teeth, and say to yourself, "Go ahead, get in my way. I'll get through this. I can do hard things."

And you will find that you will survive them. And as you survive them, you will face new ones, standing a little taller, because in time you will eventually understand and rely on the fact that you can do hard things. And eventually the "pass me some Ben and Jerry's--my boss is a jackass" response gives way to something new-- something that sounds more like this:

"Go ahead, Boss, bring it on. I'll have that on your desk by five."
"No thanks, Nancy, it's gorgeous but I really can't have an eclair right now."
"I guess I could just park back there and walk."
"It's only 8 ounces and I don't have to love the stuff, I'll just drink it quickly."
"If I spend ten minutes planning now, I won't be faced with tough choices later."

This message was posted back in 2009 by a member of one of the forums that I visit frequently.

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Existing Comments:

On Sep 01, 2012 TheTrout wrote:
This will help me today. I'm struggling with some of these issues.

On Sep 01, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi TheTrout, It's helping me too. I sometimes have a tendency to think that I should "get a pass" from watching my food intake when Life gets hard.... which, of course, is only Wishful Thinking, and not at all the Truth. =)

On Sep 01, 2012 Alma wrote:
I can do HARD THINGS but have difficulty sticking to dieting. I know I will eventually get my head on straight as I did with smoking. I coerced my husband into the realization that his OWN diet is why his diabetic numbers were high and started carb/calorie counting with him. He is still doing it and I slid into the DITCH. I know it is a matter of making a PLAN and carrying through. I faltered when I no longer pre-planned the containers of foods like 'half water' jello blocks, lean meat cubes, cheese cubes, celery blocks, dried fruits bits, etc. which blocked me from grabbing the wrong thing. Regrouping is a hard thing but I am doing it. Protein shakes are yucky but I will use one when necessary.

On Sep 01, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Alma, I also share in this difficulty. Eating only the amount that it takes to maintain my body at a normal size is hard. But... for me... being fat is no longer tolerable, and I continue on with my daily struggle to eat appropriately to maintain my large weight-loss.

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