The Shoulds

Life isn't fair, I should just be like...

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
-Theodore Roosevelt

There is a terrible new disease creeping into my life. Actually, it’s probably been there a lot longer than I want to admit.

It goes sort of like this: “I’ve been working really hard at doing a push up just like Jane, but I still can’t do one. I should be able to do at least one.”

Or sometimes I hear it like this: “I’ve stuck to my nutrition plan almost 100% and I’ve lost 3 pounds but I should be able to lose at least 3 pounds in a week.”

I’ve even heard it this way: “I’ve been training in the gym for almost a year and I also eat really well. The amount of spinach I buy is ridiculous. I should see really great results on the scale.”

It’s easy to say, “You’re right, you should be able to do a push up” …. and, “You should lose more weight than that” …. or even, “After all that spinach you should be as strong and looking just like Popeye.”

Hold on there, Superman.

First of all, let me clear this up - you are not Superman. Although you are wonderful and sweet and kind and work hard, and you are strong and full of smiles, and smart…you are not Superman.

Since we live like all other humans on this earth,

  • We grow old.
  • We can get hurt.
  • We have weaknesses, more then kryptonite and someone called Lois.
  • We gain strength by training hard in the gym, not getting closer to the sun.
  • We are unique, although similar.

If we lived the in the realm where “shoulds” and “musts” and “have tos” exist, then this is what would happen when you do your yearly tax paperwork…

After you do hours of work, find all your receipts, fill in all the boxes on your tax returns, cross all the T’s and dot all your I’s; you’ll be soon holding a check written to you. It’s guaranteed, it happens. NOT.

We all know things can go wrong. Sometimes it’s on our end, sometimes it on their end. Sometimes it’s out of our control and a tornado wipes out the computer system and all our tax documents are lost.

You get the idea. While you can do everything right, the end is not guaranteed. It might take more work. It might take A LOT more work for you to get the same result as the next person.

Here comes the disease of the “Shoulds”.

Give yourself a break. Realize you are not the same person as everyone else at the gym. Remember you had surgery last year? Shoulder surgery can leave you immobile for 2 months. It will affect how your body is for a long time. It just will. Or maybe you have health challenges that make it harder for you than others to recover from physical exercise. You might be on a medication that has a side effect of weight gain. Now you have to battle twice as hard for the same two pounds others seem to easily lose.

I read recently in The Grateful Plate’s ProCoach focus times how to cure the “I shoulds”.

  • Take two "what IS" pills.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Check in to your real life.
  • Repeat daily.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

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