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“It’s easy for you.” 

That’s a refrain I’ve gotten a lot over the years. I’ve been told that I can’t understand the difficulty others face. It was obviously easy for me to drop weight and keep it off. What I did can’t possibly work for others, somehow I’m special. 

Really? It’s easy is it? I wish I’d known that at the time. At the time I had 60 pounds to drop it was anything but easy. Breaking a lifetime of habits doesn’t happen overnight. It happens one brutally difficult day at a time. Making a decision to walk past the comforting foods, and pick vegetables I didn’t like was not easy. Eating those vegetables and not leaving them to rot in the fridge wasn’t easy. Telling my friends “no thank you” when they offered me fresh kettle corn was not easy. 

Getting up an hour earlier every morning to workout was not easy. On more than one occasion I ended up in tears because I was so frustrated. All I wanted was a donut and a Pepsi to make all the stress go away. I didn’t want to eat spinach, or drink protein shakes. I didn’t want to eat salmon every time I went out to eat. 

What I really didn’t want was to go backwards. I didn’t want to go back to being fat. I didn’t want to split my pants again. I didn’t want to look at fit people with envy and mutter, “I could do that if I really wanted to.” So I kept fighting. Every single day I made decisions that took me forward, even when it was easier to go back. If it was a hard decision, odds were good it was the right one. 

Walk past a fast food place when hungry:

Easy way- go in and grab something “healthy”, which probably wasn’t actually healthy.

Hard way- keep walking past and get a protein bar out of my car. 

 

Go out to dinner with friends:

Easy way- go wherever they want and hope I could find something okay to eat.

Hard way- tell them “this is where we are going”, then bail on the event if they refused.

 

Miss a morning workout:

Easy way- call the day a miss and try to make it up the next day.

Hard way- turn off the tv, and do the workout at 11 at night knowing I needed to be up again at 5:30am.

Gradually it did get easier. By forcing myself to do hard things, day in and day out, they got less hard. I learned how to make those hard things easy. That’s how this process works. You force yourself to do hard things until they get easier. It takes time, and it’s not fun. 

The rewards at the end of the day? Having people look at you and say, “man you have it easy.” 

I smile and say, “yes, yes I do. I got there the hard way.”