The main reason I make an effort do the workout I don’t want to do, to make the effort to think ahead about what food I am going to eat for the week, to make the effort to drink the water and get to bed at a decent time. The reason I make the effort most of the time is so I can live above the Line Of Life!
Let me explain. I listened to a fantastic podcast a few years ago with the amazing Dr Sean Stevenson who has since sadly passed away. In it he discussed the importance of Impeccable Self Care. He talked about how he carried a pad around with him and marked down all the things he did each day to look after himself. This is something I already did, apart from the carry the pad bit, so don’t worry I am not about to ask you to put your journal in your pocket! He also said that doing all those things made him feel better so when something bad happened he was better equipped to deal with it.
Let me explain in my words and how it works for me.
The Line Of Life is a marker of how you feel and act. 1 being utterly shite and 10 being happy clappy on top of the world. My ideal is to be 5 and above most of the time. That may seem a bit pessimistic for you but I really do not think it is realistic to expect to be 9 or 10 every day. Some people might convince you it’s possible but quite frankly I like taking myself to bed sometimes with an egg sandwich and a box of Lindor Balls because I am having a number 3 low day.
I also think it is important to experience low days, those days where you just can’t be arsed, because then you can appreciate the high days.
You may be questioning then, why this Line Of Life business inspires me so much if I am happy to accept both high and low scores.…well I will tell you!
The reason I like to live ABOVE the Line Of Life, and that is 5 and above, is because it acts as my safety net. I have somewhere to fall when shit happens.
Imagine you go to sleep late because you are binge watching Netflix in bed, having eaten shite all day and sacking off the workout because you couldn’t be arsed to make the effort (I bet you don’t have to imagine too hard!).
You wake the next morning and press the snooze button 3 times. You eventually get up and no longer have time to go and do the early morning walk or workout you promised yourself. You brush your teeth for 5 seconds as you are rushing, you realise you didn’t sort the washing last night and so you have no clean knickers, therefore you waste more time looking for them.
You get dressed and notice your jeans are getting tighter. You check in the mirror and realise that it is not a figment of your imagination and so you call yourself a Fat Bitch!
You don’t drink any water, because you don’t like it and besides all you need is a strong coffee to get you going.
You shout at the children, (if you have any) as they are taking an age to get up. As you have resigned yourself to being a fat bitch, you instantly decide that the diet can wait until Monday and you eat 3 pieces of toast…you will just have to be late for work.
You can’t find your car keys…you really are going to be late. You shout more loudly at the children or anyone who can hear as it’s all their fault anyway. You eventually get out to the car and you see that it’s frozen!!! (Isn’t it just shit when that happens…please tell me I’m not the only one who falls prey to frozen windscreen forgetfulness in winter!). You run back in for some warm water and grab the packet of Hob Nobs to console yourself for your utterly shit morning…you are a Fat Bitch anyway so what difference is a few extra Hob Nobs going to make!!
Your shit morning turns into a shit day.
You didn’t have time to make your lunch this morning so you get a burrito and fries and a full fat coke as your diet starts on Monday. You feel knackered by 4.00pm and pissed off with your choices so you console yourself with a Snickers Duo from the vending machine. (Who the hell invented Duo’s?? The only Duo used to be a Bounty back in the day!) You know you don’t really want it as you still feel a bit sick from the giant piece of chocolate Birthday cake that Fat Janice, (no longer fat because she lost 2.5 stone in Lockdown!) brought in.
As soon as you get home you open the wine, order a takeaway and sit on the sofa for the rest of the evening…hating yourself!
Tomorrow…something very similar…and so it continues.
Carry on like this and you are living way below the Line Of Life, a 2 or 3 at best.
Now imagine something shit happens. You may have a big fall out with your friend, you separate from your Husband, your Mother falls and has to go into hospital, you lose your job…where are you going to fall on the Line Of Life? You will be heading straight down to 1 and what feels like less.
Now just a warning here, and I speak from experience. If you spend a lot of your life living BELOW the Line of Life, and that is 5 and below, you do not need to have something serious to happen to make you fall further. Honestly when I have spent weeks on end in the past, languishing below the number 5, because I have stopped making the effort to look after myself, I only have to ladder my tights and it can send me down to a 1…it’s like I lose my Superpower and my resilience is non existent.
The alternative, and my number one motivation to consistently make the effort to do more things that I know are good for me, is to do what I can to make sure I am living ABOVE the Line Of Life. So when I am consistently doing my workouts, getting up without the snooze and walking, drinking my water, eating well most of the time, enjoying guilt free ice cream, flossing my teeth as well as brushing them for 2 minutes, not having my iPad in bed till 1.00am and getting more than 7 hours sleep most nights, I go to bed with satisfaction and wake up with determination. (A fabulous quote from The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod)
If I keep repeating this, I feel my daily score raising. Ironically the things that seemed such an effort become easier and then less effort is needed to get them done. I can also fasten my jeans without having to hold my breath for 28 seconds!
I find myself living more often than not at number 8 on the line of life. The fact that I can fasten my jeans is the bonus…the biggest win is that if something shit was now to happen, my safety net is now a lot deeper. So if I had to cope with the stress of looking after my Mother after a fall, instead of slipping down to a 1 I may only fall to a 5 or 6. It is manageable and you will still be inspired to look after yourself.
So rather than always thinking you NEED to exercise to get fitter and you NEED to diet to lose weight, because you think you SHOULD, how about changing the NEED to a WANT and say you WANT to make the effort to move and eat well most of the time because it gives you back your Super power, it nudged you up a few points on the Line Of Life and it just bloody well feels good.