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The Art of Self-Discipline: Check Yo’ Self Before You Wreck Yo’ Self

  Jan 28th, 2013

Self DisciplineThere are droves of ignorant people out there who love to hate on those who live with self-discipline and choose to live life by a higher set of standards than they do.


I’m no psychologist, but it seems to me that their hate mostly flows from the convictions they feel when seeing someone living life the way they know they ought to be living it.


I’ve also personally observed that the “hating” leveled in one’s direction seems to become amplified when the person being targeted used to live by a more relaxed set of standards.


After becoming a born-again Christian nearly seven years ago, the impact the Lord had on my life was dramatic and couldn’t be ignored by those closest to me.


A few people were supportive, but by and large my new life didn’t sit well with those who were used to the old, binge-drinking, uncontrollable me – who interchangeably used four-letter words for every noun and verb in the English language – and they were now uncomfortable with the new Craig.


In their defense, God had completely transformed my mind and spirit virtually overnight. If the tables were turned, and one of them had been “born again”, I imagine that I would have been a little apprehensive as well.


Self-Discipline and the Start of a New Year

Lack of Self DisciplineWith the start of 2013 about 4 weeks back, millions of men and women underwent a smaller-scale, yet analogous, transformation by committing to improving their sedentary, unhealthy, fat-hoarding lifestyles into those that are more conducive to being lean, getting strong and eating healthy.


These individuals, who were previously seen by those in their circles of influence as potato chip eating, couch lounging, activists for dietary freedom, have now become grilled chicken eating, treadmill using, dietary disciplinarians.


While you would think their friends and loved ones would be supportive of such a commitment, this usually isn’t the case.


Again, I don’t honestly believe it’s because they don’t want what’s best for these transformed individuals. It has more to do with their own insecurities.


My Experiences with Haters of Self-Discipline

After allowing myself to get fat, I vividly remember the first few weeks of dedicating myself to a structured training and nutrition plan, and how much flack I received from my friends and co-workers during that time.


I knew that making the kind of dramatic improvements to my health and physique that I desired would take a high level of self-discipline.


I understood that I no longer had the luxury of joining my co-workers for lunch at the local Chinese buffet, driving through McDonald’s for quick and convenient meal, or skipping a workout to go to a happy hour for a beer and appetizers.


I knew that these decisions had no place in my new lifestyle. But, not all of my friends and family members seemed to get the memo.


After a month or so, I had finally convinced them that I was serious about getting ripped and living healthy, but that first month was a constant battle with those who I would’ve expected to be supportive of my lifestyle change tempting me to cheat on the commitments I’d made to myself.


Self Discipline - Grilled Chicken SaladIf I ordered a grilled chicken salad while out for dinner, I’d soon be fielding comments about how eating one cheeseburger and side of fries wouldn’t kill me.


To make matters worse, at times I felt like an outcast when my work buds would head out for pizza and wings and I had to respectfully decline only to hear sarcastic comments made under their breath about how I was “taking the whole ‘healthy eating’ thing a little too seriously”.


To top things off, while my wife was completely supportive of my committing to losing 60 pounds of fat and getting ripped, she didn’t always make life easy on me.


I would swing open the door to come into the house after a 20-minute run around my neighborhood and would be smacked right in the sniffer by the smell of fried chicken, Imo’s pizza, or some other unhealthy, but oh so tasty-smelling food, that was completely off limits.


Self-Discipline Leads to Self-Respect

All of these things could have served as excuses for me, but I didn’t allow that to happen. I knew what I wanted to accomplish and I was determined to achieve my goals, in spite of any and all obstacles in my way.


I’m not writing this to pat myself on the back for how dedicated and self-disciplined I am. I’m writing it to inform and encourage you.


Knowing what you’re up against before it becomes an issue will allow you to prepare for it in advance.


People are going to hate on you for displaying a level of self-discipline that makes them feel uncomfortable.


And their natural response is going to be to bring you back down to living by their standards. You can’t let that happen!


Stick to your guns and resist. Do it with utmost kindness and respect, of course. But do it.


Who knows?


After seeing the results of your self-discipline you may even have a positive impact on the lives of your friends and loved ones who finally realize their need to take control of their health and physical appearance by making similar lifestyle changes.


Above all, I implore you to live a life defined by self-discipline out of respect for yourself, regardless of what others may say or think.


“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”



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