- What's the point of even trying to eat right today, when I'll maybe lose half a pound this week and it won't make a difference in the grand scheme of the giant amount of weight I have to lose?
- Why participate in that 5K when I'm going to have to walk part of it?
- If I didn't knock myself out with a workout, it didn't really count as exercising.
- I feel useless because the amount of money I make is completely insignificant in terms of our overall household income and expenditures.
- Why bother cleaning any part of my house (slash car slash garage) when there's so much mess that it won't make a difference?
The attitudes I should take are more like:
- Every little bit of weight loss helps in terms of your health and overall appearance. Even if you aren't at your goal weight, people might start saying things like, Wow, you've lost weight, or your clothes might feel looser. (The clothes thing is a big problem for me. Even in my most successful weight-loss endeavors, I've never lost enough weight to necessitate a whole new wardrobe. It's always more like, Oh, now I really wear a size 14, instead of before where I was cramming myself into too-tight jeans to pretend I wore a size 14.) Also, you kind of have to lose half a pound (or a pound, or 2 pounds) at a time in order to achieve any sort of cumulative weight-loss total. I think this attitude is probably easiest to change because you can make use of visual aids: As in, Oh look, there's a 5-pound barbell. I used to be carrying that barbell on my body all the time, and now I'm not.
- Why not participate in a 5K where you mix running and walking? Are running and walking not both exercise? And an organized race pushes you more than running around the park by yourself. Also: fun. Also: free t-shirt.
- Any workout you do is better than sitting on your couch eating Cheetos. I struggle with this concept tremendously, again when it comes to the issue that I'm not able to run very long without walking. The triathlon training book outlined a schedule where the baseline time you were supposed to be able to run from the get-go was 15 minutes, and that was after a 45-minute bike ride. I still can't run 15 minutes. Half the time I'm walking the entire 15 minutes after a bike ride. I feel terrible about myself. But the reality is that I have gotten to a point where I need less recovery time walking between running intervals, which is a shades of gray sort of improvement that was not what I expected, and I still get all hung up on the issue that it's all or nothing and why can't I run the whole time? Except, aren't intervals in exercise a good thing? And isn't walking still exercise? And also, shut up, Self.
- While it's true that the $50 I earned writing a blog post is just a drop in the bucket in terms of our overall expenditures, it's $50 more than we would have had otherwise. And yes it's frustrating that a trip to the grocery store can easily cost $100, twice what I earned on that blog post, but at least that means our net expenditure from our monthly income is only $50 instead of the full hundred. (Also it's true that writing a blog post hardly knocked me out, so $50 is a pretty good amount for the effort I put in. But I'm refraining from talking about my earnings in my actual freelance work, because who puts that stuff on the Internet?)
- How is the house going to get clean if you don't clean it in small chunks? Sounds logical, but this one is actually the hardest attitude to change because of the actual, very real fact that when I clean in small chunks, my family seems to turn around and mess the place up again in very large chunks. So that's why 2-car garage still only fits one car, and why that car looks like it could be a contender for Hoarders: Car Edition.
So, my goal for the summer is to get better at recognizing the shades of gray. That and to make the perfect vegetable sandwich.
This random kitty from the Internet says, Shades of gray are beautiful!