“I’ve eaten the same thing for lunch every day at work for the last eighteen months,” I told her.
“You mean you eat one thing for a week, then switch to something else?”
“No, I’ve eaten the same thing every single day, week after week after week, 99 percent of the time.”
“Oh, I could NEVER do that!” she responded, in a mix of disbelief and exasperation.
Well, I thought, this is a person who appears to be healthy and fit. Maybe she can eat different things all the time and maintain her health. Maybe she doesn’t struggle with using food as entertainment / food as comforter / food as problem solver like I do. If not, good for her. For me, what has worked with sorting out my nutrition is basically monotony.
I figured out what seems to work and for the most part I stick with it. Fat-free higher-protein yogurt and coffee with measured creamer for breakfast, chicken Mike Nuggets and protein chips for lunch with lots of infused water. A handful of beef jerky if I am really hungry between meals. Dinner has a little more flexibility but I prep protein each weekend and choose from there. If I keep to this all week and don’t go insane over the weekend, my energy, my strength, and the scale number tend to stay in the range where I feel good. What works for me won’t work for everyone. Maybe it won’t work for anyone else at all, and that’s fine. Not a big revelation there, really.
But, what really stayed with me was the word NEVER.
I could NEVER do that.
What would I say I could NEVER do?
There are the nevers I just don’t like. For example, I could never eat shrimp for breakfast. I could never own an orange car. I could never be a school bus driver. Never is really too strong for all of these…If I had to do any of these things, I would. But I’d really *really* rather not. Maybe this is the type of never my friend was mentioning when it comes to my monotonous lunches.
But then I also think about other nevers I have said in the past. I could *never* do CrossFit. I could *never* run a half-marathon. I could *never* weigh under 200 pounds again. All of these nevers have now gone from to-do to ta-da! All of them took effort. All of them took facing fears. All of them took questioning myself and the limits I place on me. These are not just preferences. They are self-doubts. Limits. Roadblocks by choice.
Some of these once-upon-a-time nevers have become among my proudest accomplishments.
As George Addair said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
As I think about my goals for 2020, I’m listening for the nevers in my self-talk. Are my nevers “I don’t wannas?” Are they “I’m scared to try”? Are they “I’m scared to fail”? And if they are fears, maybe that’s a sign I need to put them toward the top of my to-do list?
What are your nevers? And what are they holding you back from?