I have been asked on more than one occasion that if I could be in great shape without eating well or exercising if I would do it.
It is an interesting question and one that is easy to fantasize about from time to time. If there was a pill that you could take that would give you the perfect body regardless of your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle, would you take it?
I can answer that honestly and almost without hesitation; no.
Think about this; in our current world and society, there is little that we can actually control and change. When it comes to eating well and exercising, we can ALWAYS change our situation through nothing else but our own efforts.
I love the feeling of working hard to achieve a great workout, knowing that I pushed through pain, fatigue, and stress to get there. The feeling of completing that last rep during a tough lifting session, or that last minute of a killer cardio workout, or holding that plank for another few seconds to achieve a personal best is something incredibly special. A feeling that I chase on a daily basis.
Sure, I walk by a bakery or fast food joint every now and again and catch a whiff of something that smells amazing and quickly fantasizes about being chin-deep in a pool of baked goods and fried food, eating my way to safety. But then I remember how good it feels to wake up a little bit leaner than I was the day before and seeing the fruits of my hard work and dedication in the mirror.
The ability to work hard, buckle down, and achieve goals is a unique human characteristic that can provide an incredible sense of self-esteem and self-worth like nothing else can. I would never pass up the chance to work hard and know that my progress is nothing else but the result of my own hard work and dedication.
The next time you finish a great workout, or pass up dessert in favor of a healthier option, or wake up to see a few more pounds gone on the scale or a new muscle in the mirror, take a moment to drink in that feeling. Memorize how it feels to be truly proud of yourself for working hard and staying dedicated. Then ask yourself why you would not want to feel that way all of the time?
Do not begrudge healthy eating and diligent exercising, because the opportunity to do so is what separates the dedicated from the passive and can build an insane sense of accomplishment. Do not wish for an easier road, work hard to travel the difficult one!