When it comes to being diligent about sticking to a 'diet' (for want of a better word), I find excuses to wander. I feel stressed, so I wander. I really need a little bit of candy, so I wander. A small cookie won't hurt, so I wander. After such a heavy workout, I deserve a bigger portion, so I wander. The cook brought the wrong food so I wander. I'm carbo-loading, so I wander. Let's not waste those french fries you're not going to eat, so I wander...
Of course that is not being honest with myself. There will always be an excuse to wander. Until that changes - and I can stop giving myself permission to wander, no matter how good the excuse - I am in the same camp as an addict. There is no way to handle a small 'transgression' just this one time, thinking that I will be able to do better tomorrow. In the end, tomorrow is just like today. If I can't handle the temptation now, why will I be able to do it next week?
Hence the resolution. Not to eat less or lose a certain amount of weight or run faster or run further or lift more. No. Just to stop rationalizing bad choices and stop giving myself permission for the small 'deviations' which can derail even the best plans or intentions. It is all about discipline, or the lack of it. Nobody has ever achieved a worthwhile goal or adopted a desirable habit without discipline. And hand in hand with discipline goes motivation. It is the latter that is lacking.
I've been thinking and talking about breaking the 21-minute mark in the 5K for many months now. It's time to get specific. There is a small 5K race here on October 23 - the 'Energy Capital 5K' - which I will use as my target race for going sub-21 minutes. By late October the worst of the summer heat should be gone. Also, there's enough time between now and then (20 weeks) to refresh my nutritional goals in order to shed the 10 to 12 pounds of flab which I am lugging around unnecessarily. Bring it on!
I literally squelched through six easy miles this morning, first with the two dogs for their 3/4 mile each and then on my own along Terry Hershey Trail. It was so humid you could literally see it - hopefully that wasn't ozone - and within minutes I was dripping wet from head to toe. Welcome to the Gulf Coast in summer! Nonetheless, by the time I got back home and stripped off the soggy running clothes, I immediately felt energized and enthusiastic about the challenges of the day and the remainder of the week. It is quite amazing that after 40 years of running, even a routine run-of-the-mill 6-mile training session can have a positive impact on my general mood and sense of well-being.