Editors Note: I wrote this post several months ago, but thought it was worth recycling. Come January 1st, we all make resolutions and are gung-ho. If you’re like me, come January 21st, you’re losing your enthusiasm. Maybe this post will re-ignite the fire in you… and me. I’ve lost 15# since I originally posted this–not as much as I would have like to have lost, but it’s a loss and I’m grateful for that.
This may be one of the hardest posts I’ve written, so much so, I’ve held on to it for a few weeks. Rather than just giving you useful information, I’m going to be sharing my own struggles in hope it might encourage you.
Whether your focus is on Preparedness, Self-Reliance or Self-Sufficiency, fitness is and should be a big part of your efforts. However, for many of us, fitness is an area we fall victim to cognitive dissonance.
- the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
There are several ways this happens. Ignoring. Alteration. Creation.
You can, like me, ignore the issue, you can alter your beliefs about the problem, (wait, I do that too) and/or you can create a new cognition (ugh, and this one too). You can employ one or all of these techniques – each works to remove the internal conflict.
Let me give you a few example of this in my own life:
Living a self-sufficient lifestyle doesn’t leave much room for being out of shape, so the 40 pounds I’ve gained back this year is really making my life harder than it needs to be.
My clothes don’t fit like the used to and some, not at all. I should have thrown out the ‘fat’ clothes when I had the chance because now it’s just easier for me to feel justified throwing on the next size up (example of altering my belief – well, I have them, might as well wear them.)
Hunting isn’t even remotely appealing this year; I find myself trying to convince myself and my family, we don’t really have room in the freezer for a deer this year (example of creating truth.)
The lies we tell others are nothing compared to the lies we tell ourselves
Finally, I find myself ignoring that any of it really matters in the bigger picture, and I can always start tomorrow, even though I know I won’t.
However, you can only ignore the issue for so long. Eventually, something will happen that grabs your attention and wakes you up. It could be a failure in health or as simple as your jeans not fitting. For me, both of these have been wake up calls.
Except for a few times in my young adult life, I have never been ‘thin’ and when I was, I had to work Really HARD for it – exercise like a maniac and eat less than 600 calories a day, otherwise, my body fought me all the way. Pair this with the fact that I have a strong tendency to turn to junk food when stressed, well, you get the picture.
How many of you find yourself in a similar situation? You have dreams of preparedness and self-sufficiency, yet your physical health and wellbeing has gotten in the way?
Do you feel confident you can take care of yourself and your loved ones, not only during your day to day homestead activities but, during a disaster? Some disasters will require evacuation on foot. Have you considered how easy (or difficult) packing out your BOB will be? Add stress or illness and life just got a whole lot harder.
Answering that question for myself, I have to say, “No”. And, that’s ok… for now.
The first part of solving any problem is seeing there is a problem. It’s not going to be comfortable, but Preparedness, Self-Reliance or Self-Sufficiency requires not just knowledge and time, it requires a certain amount of energy and endurance – fitness. You and your family’s wellbeing depend on it. The fastest way to mitigate dissonance is to STOP! We have to stop rationalizing and justifying thoughts, decisions, and behaviors that work against our goals.
By being purposeful in tracking my movement and my caloric intake, I hope to make a positive change. I’m using an app called MyFitnessPal to help me with this goal. If you’re a member of MyFitnessPal, you can find me here: MistyMeadowsHomestead. I’ll be using this app and it’s blogging feature, to hold myself accountable. Come find me – we can help each other, there really is strength in numbers.
Cognitive dissonance doesn’t just affect fitness. If you look, you may find other areas of your life being affected by it.
When it comes to fitness, what are some of the lies you tell yourself? Be brave – leave a comment below.
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