Torres column: The hard way can make life more pleasant
People often ask me: “What did you eat this morning?” “How come you have so much energy?” or “Do you ever get tired?”
I answer honestly: There is nothing special about me. There is only one thing that I think I do differently from others — I practice the things that many people think are painful.
I have conditioned my brain to work toward the things that matter instead of trying to take the easy way. I know how rewarding the more difficult habits are compared to the ones that are easy.
When I had my knee surgeries, I took only two Advil after both surgeries. The reason is very simple: The narcotic that I took the first time getting out of the hospital made me nauseous, and gave me a headache, stomach ache and mental pain, making sleep difficult. Plus these medications have other negative side effects. I preferred to just have the knee pain than take the pill.
Let me explain myself:
While the narcotic will get rid of my knee pain, the side effects are worse in the long run. I am trading pain for pain. To me it sounds better to have knee pain than be nauseous, have headaches, stomach aches and mental pain. I usually I apply this in other areas of my life.
For example, if I don’t push hard while exercising: My body and mind will become weaker; I will start aging; I’ll become dependent on others; I won’t reach my goals; I’ll regret wasting my time; I’ll be average; and next time it will be easy to slack off again, starting a slide down the slope.
If I don’t eat healthily: I’ll have a greater likelihood of getting a disease; I’ll be tired and my body will feel heavy; and I won’t be able help others to eat healthily because I’ll gain weight and will be a poor role model.
If I shower with warm water: It will be harder to focus; it will take longer be aware and wake up, and my energy levels will be low.
My belief is that all these habits are painful. However, I don’t want to be without energy when everything becomes hard; I don’t want to be sick, and I don’t want to be dependent; I don’t want to have the body that bad habits create; I don’t want to be helpless; I don’t want to be distracted from my goals; I don’t want to have a lazy day when I say “This is difficult” or “I can’t do this.” That is real pain for me.
Now let’s find the logic:
I exercise and do my best even when it’s hard because: I want to be my best; I want to improve my psychology and accept that difficulties are only temporary; I want to be strong and independent; I want to help others, not need help because I’ve become helpless due to my weaknesses; I want to be young; I want to achieve all my goals and leave a legacy for others to follow; I never want to regret; I want to look back and say, “I did my best”; and I want to challenge myself knowing that I can always do better.
I eat healthily because: I want to be aware; I want to be healthy; I want my body to look amazing; I want to feel light; and I want my body to get the best fuel ever (It is more important and more valuable than a Ferrari, Lamborghini, R8, Rolls Royce or any other luxury fast car). I need to take care of the vehicle I was given for life.
I take a cold shower because: I want to be wake; I want to be aware; and I want my body to heal faster and relieve soreness.
Maybe these habits cause some discomfort when practiced, but the pain is nothing compared to what bad habits bring.
It is not the pain that I look forward to: It’s the reward I get from the habits I practice. It might not be easy to practice good habits, but doing so may explain why I am reaching my goals, I have lots of energy and I am super happy.
I have a lot of energy because I take care of myself by practicing the habits that others think are painful.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.
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