Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Post Mortem…The Cold, Hard Truth

A lot of people have asked me if doing the Cleanse was hard. And I’ll be honest—yes, the journey was very difficult at times. While I thought it was going to kill me to fast for one day, let alone TEN, that concern ended up being a non-issue. It turned out I felt more like I was going to die of pure boredom from drinking the same darned thing all day, every day.

To help with this, I routinely searched online for possible tips and other people’s experiences in the hopes of finding commonalities and motivation. While I did find some inspiration, I was more surprised to read about the numerous people who had quit after Day 1 or even as far as Days 5 or 6. These were exactly the days that were especially tough for me. So, much to my chagrin, instead of hope and encouragement when I most needed it, I found the human wreckage of resignation.

Sadly, there are straight up quitters everywhere you turn. I’ve seen it my entire life—on the sports field, in school, and in business. It’s true. It is so much easier to quit than it is to put effort into something that goes beyond a little bit of pain. And in our world of insane convenience where everything is wireless, automated, delivered to your door, and pre-made, pre-assembled, pre-cooked so that all you ever have to do is push a button to do anything, it’s certainly no wonder why we are so easily swayed to jump ship the moment things start to get a wee bit difficult.

It is no different with the Master Cleanse. After 3, 4, or 5 days, I read about people starting to feel uncomfortable, uneasy, or it just got too hard. So they’d quit. And here’s the classic part: They’d shower themselves with praise saying, “Yeah! I made it 4 days – Woo hoo-- I ROCK!”

Excuse me? NO. You did less than half.

On an exam, 40% is an F MINUS. And even if I were to eat at Day 9 plus 23 hours, I would still have failed because achieving a goal is black and white. You either do it or you don’t. There’s no such thing as “kind of” achieving it. Don’t give props for that. I wouldn’t want it and you shouldn’t either. You can encourage me to do better next time, or even say good try, but do not confuse it with success. Set a goal and accomplish it. Period.

I digress…

There is an ongoing, disturbing split between what we experience in school versus what we experience in the real world. In school, for example, “trying” counts for something, whereas in real life, it counts for nothing. Only results count.

How often do we hear our coaches and teachers praising students for trying hard and parents praising their kids for trying hard?

“Well you really tried and that’s the most important thing.” (No, it’s not.) So we are taught and conditioned to bitch and moan “but I tried so hard.. I put so much hard work into this.. blah blah” and then expect a pat on the head, gold star or some other reward purely because of our efforts. Somehow, we grow to feel entitled to consideration simply because we tried. Well that’s bullshit. I don’t care how hard you try, just show me your results. Your commitments. Your achieving of set out objectives.

Whilst this Cleanse was, for me, a move towards better health, it ended up becoming just another exercise in working towards my goals. I set goals every day. Achieving these goals means I’m making progress. What more could I want?

So to those people who didn’t make it-- good try, better luck next time. But to the people who commented about how proud they are of those very quitters, save it. Who are you helping?

...Or are you foreseeing yourself quitting and hoping someone will congratulate you for falling short? Sure, let’s just continue the cycle of accepted mediocrity and failure.

That mindset makes me as sick as that damned lemonade.

I didn’t throw my hands up. You didn’t see me making excuses for why I couldn’t tough it out. Yeah, I bitched and complained and whined, but I never said to my hunger or boredom or stir-craziness, “You win. I give up. I can’t.”

That’s not me. And if you accept the challenge of the Cleanse, I certainly hope it won’t be you either.

You’re probably reading this because you, too, are seeking inspiration and encouragement. Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be done. Of course not without significant effort, sacrifice and will power—but yes, it can be done. And as you’ve read, the rewards are equally great.

Take this opportunity to move towards better health AND practice setting and achieving goals. Just remind yourself to turn any obstacles into necessary steps. Instead of stopping, take the necessary steps to keep going. This will make you unstoppable in everything you set out to do.

My mantra: You will only fail if you quit.

Now, off you go.

1 comment:

AudienceOfOne said...

Wow I have a lot of the same opinions/views as you, well at least when it comes to will power. Who has it and who doesn't. I deffinetly do. I am on day 3 & your blogs just helped me get through this entire cleanse. I can't wait to feel amazing about my accomplishment.