Fighting: Here is what I wrote on that other martial arts blog, covering when “it” happens…

I thought a week in of not being able to eat out and completely changing my diet would either produce a divorce with my wife or broken furniture around the house… And neither happened. I know several of my students want to know exactly what I do training and diet wise, and I promise to put that all out for you guys… promise.

But, I want to cover something much more important right now.

Running the business that I do I see "it" happen all of the time. "It" is something which comes up at the onset of taking on or starting a goal. You try to stop smoking and someone invites you to a fine cigar party outing with the guys. You start a diet on Monday, and on Tuesday your girlfriends invite you out to your favorite fast food place to catch up on old times. You are dedicated to start running one morning, and your dog chews a hole in the sole the night before. You try to mend a relationship, but the other person stonewalls you with excuses and lies.

In my line of work, "it" comes up in some form in the first 90 days – many times in the first 30. A person signs up for self-defense lessons to get fit and learn to protect themselves or a parent enrolls their child to improve confidence and self-control… and "it" shows up. On the first day of lessons your child gets sick, or on the second class day you get a flat tire. A random old credit card bill shows up, and now your budget tightens making "extra" activities more difficult. On the second month you stub your toe, making it hard for any physical activity… Or, 12 weeks in your child is in a bad mood and doesn’t want to go.

For me, my first week with a brand new training schedule and diet overhaul was met with several challenges just like you. Grocery shopping with my wife took twice as long, and caused some riffs which lead to a couple "tiffs" (I also like to call them spirited debates). I took on a project which committed half of my work day, and I got sick by Tuesday. The start on my root canal helped my tooth chip, and put a nice bite in my tongue making it difficult to eat anything – much less new food I wasn’t used to. Because of the new workout, I literally couldn’t kick above my knee, forcing me to cut out my partner martial arts workouts (like I had time any way…).

By week’s end I was ready to ditch the diet, ignore my wife for a week, stop the teaching project, lay in bed and moan through the weekend.

But then I thought about what would that really be teaching me?

If I just gave up I wouldn’t have gotten any stronger than when I started. I would be back at square one, just like before I started… and that is what I try to pass onto my students. If you do nothing, you won’t change a bit, and you’ll be in the exact same painful place you were in a day, week, month or ten years ago.

These little hick cups at the start weed out those who say they want change from those who will pay the price to actually improve their lives. If being fit, having well adjusted children and confidence soaring was so easy, we wouldn’t be the most obese country in history, with overweight kids who score average against other industrialized countries. Ok, I’ll get down off of my soap box, but until we all kill the little convenient excuses which seem rational to make, we will never get better and live happier. Never.

So, I bucked up, stopped whining, and pressed on. I settled the issue with Stephanie (my wife… mostly by saying sorry a dozen times), kept showing up for the teaching project while having an instructor cover the last easier day as I went into the dentist to fix my tooth. The sickness stayed with me until Saturday, so with ibuprofen and a better attitude I took it day by day, checked off my responsibilities and made it to the weekend where I could rest a bit more. For the workouts, I skipped my partner ones, and did what I could on my own instead to save time and customize due to my physical limitations. My cardio and weight workouts were not fun, but starting a new program rarely is.

The fun was at the end of the week, namely last night. I felt 95% better, was able to support my wife who is stressed out as well, spend time with my kids, plan my upcoming week, and woke up to a powerful workout and weighing three pounds less. Here is what I taught myself: If you want a different life or results, stop doing the same thing and opting out from things which will improve your life… even if those things come with a price. The price is well worth it.

I’ll post two weeks of specific diet menus in a couple days. See you back here.

Lee, Love and Life,

Sifu Matt

Family: Keeping the kids well during this flu season… that is my mission. 😉

Faith: I had the chance during church this last Sunday to pray with a couple dozen people who wanted a new start to a new year. It was so inspiring as although they wanted a new start, they really are getting a new ending.