Are you reading this blog http://meganmcgrane.com/ ? Megan has a great post this week and it inspired me to write today. If you choose to subscribe to Megan’s blog, her posts will be delivered to your inbox. I enjoy Megan’s posts and follow her because she is building a career and will have more and more to share as her experiences expand and evolve.
Megan’s recent post is about moderation - as in “I do this or that in moderation” or “Everything in moderation!”. I found it to be really entertaining (in my own way) and decided “in moderation” is pretty lame as an approach to many things (I tend to say what I think and do apologize for sounding judgmental)! Megan was more eloquent about the topic. Why do things in moderation? As I thought about it, I failed to come up with a good reason to do things in moderation. It just feels like a way to sit on the fence or avoid taking a plunge. For example, I am an unbeliever (is that a word) in moderation as a way of eating. If I eat cookies in moderation, it is likely a minimum of 6 per day; thus I never say I eat cookies in moderation. I am more likely to admit cookies are part of every meal of the day, breakfast included, when I have them in the house. If you tell me I can eat 1 cookie, I guarantee I will eat 6 because is anyone really satisfied with 1 cookie? I have no idea how to eat cookies in moderation so my house has been void of my favorite food for a couple months!
About 1o years ago, my doctor and physical therapist told me I had to stop running due to back pain/issues. My doctor told me my back issues were unusual for my age and would only advise me to stop running and whatever I did was my decision. I figured I could run…in moderation. I was unable to wrap my head around a workout if I was unable run outside for 2 hours. Elliptical machines were barely a workout in my mind! I tried to run several days a week for 1 hour instead of 2. Then I tried to decrease the time to 30 minutes – yet I was still in pain and the pain repeatedly disrupted my sleep. I am not a quitter but moderation was not cutting it. My choices were: live with pain and possibly bigger issues or change my workout completely. Begrudgingly, I hung up my running shoes and learned to appreciate low impact cardio options like the elliptical machine and walking outside with my dog and picked up weights and high intensity workouts. Another bonus (though I have previously written I am largely anti-social at the gym), I have made several new friends by way of changing my workout.
Very recently I was again guilty of trying to workout in moderation. New back problems popped up and I kept working out in spite of discomfort – when will I ever learn? I then decided I could just workout less (in moderation!) and I would feel better. I cut back to 2 days a week and spent 5 days recovering with ice and Aleve. I woke up one morning in such pain that I had to lie on the floor because I felt like I was going to get sick. I went to see my orthopedist and he prescribed physical therapy and also had the nerve to suggest I add pilates or yoga to my workout routine. Thereafter, though I do believe in the benefits of those forms of exercise, I actually had the nerve to drive home thinking my life is officially over. Am I so decrepit that I will eventually only be able to workout on a mat?? My brother took my feedback and threw this at me, “It’s not like your doctor said you need your foot amputated.” Oh yeah..perspective….there are people I know with horrible medical conditions and I am whining about having to do some sort of core focused workout? My physical therapist told me to go back to the gym and also suggested pilates. She even recanted and said I can learn the right exercises without having to take a pilates class since I like going to the gym and am active. Pilates is derived from methods used by physical therapists. Moderation = fail. Take the bull by the horns = success.
Moderation is a comfort zone and a way of avoiding change and reality. Moderation is easier than transformation and taking the bull by the horns. I believe humans struggle to change for a variety of reasons. Change can cause discomfort and moderation lets you dabble and never actually commit yourself to anything. Sometimes it is really hard to look at yourself in the mirror. We do things in moderation because we are afraid to fail. Change can be scary and resistance is easy (I was actually going to describe resistance with the word comfortable, however, I find resistance is usually really uncomfortable). Sometimes we are unsure how to change so do things in moderation till we can find a way or till we can find someone who knows the way. What are you doing in moderation today because change would be uncomfortable and take effort? We all have to discover change on our own whether through experience, self awareness or the lessons life bestows upon us…and then we have to actually leave the comfort zone and plunge into new things.
Thank you for reading this blog and thank you Megan for all the food for thought (no pun intended)!