beauty + fitness growth + wellness

In Search of Discipline

July 11, 2011

How does one accomplish all of this, anyway?

As I’ve mentioned numerous times to anyone who will listen/read, I have practically NO self-discipline. For whatever reason, it is extremely difficult for me to stick to a set schedule or deprive myself of something I really want. I think the freedom of grad school has done me in. I haven’t had to take classes since my 2nd year and I pretty much come and go to work as I please (and when I don’t please #siamese). I tend to operate best when I have structure but for whatever reason I can’t seem to set the structure myself. It’s like a need a constant parent or instructor to constantly tell me what to do, when to do it, and to punish me if I don’t obey. And that’s pathetic!!!

So in my attempt to restore some normalcy and discipline into my life, I’m going on a diet. The Abs Diet to be exact. A girl friend of mine bought the book and mentioned going on the diet to me and some other girl friends. Since many of us are on a quest to get fit and develop better eating habits, we all decided we wanted to do the diet together. Since the Abs Diet is much more of a lifestyle diet than a fad diet, it seemed like a great way to help lose some unwanted pounds–especially around the belly region–and get toned up.

While most of my friends doing the diet are smaller than me and in better shape, I feel extremely confident joining them as we embark on this quest to better fitness. With a team of us doing the diet, we can lean on each other for support and motivation. It’s not going to be easy to adjust to eating certain types of foods for 6 small meals a day (since none of us currently eat that way) but we’ll all be in the struggle together. We’ll all have to plan ahead and stick to a schedule. And it’s reassuring to know that I can count on my girls to know my #fatgirlswag pain when I’m craving an Oreo McFlurry when I drive past McDonald’s to get to the Trader Joe’s for groceries. We’ll all be in the same boat and holding each other accountable!!

Though I don’t have an ideal size or weight that I’m trying to reach, I really just want to be fit and lean again. For high school and most of college, I was in great shape. But this last year of grad school has been cruel to my figure. I’ve gained a lot of weight and I’m hardly fitting into my clothes. And though I workout regularly, I haven’t been able to lose the weight I’ve gained, just maintain it and not gain anymore. I know eating properly and in controlled portions is the only thing that will complement my workouts.  I want to get back to some normalcy. I want to get back into a 2 piece and actually look good in it. I want to be able to wear tight fitting clothing without having to worry about a muffin top. I want to wave without having a wing dangling from my arm. Is that too much to ask?!?!?!

All that to say, I’m really excited about this Abs Diet. Not just for the fitness benefits, but also because it’s the first step (of many, hopefully) to gaining some discipline and putting some structure into my life. By committing to this Abs Diet–which requires sticking to an eating schedule and planning ahead for my meals–I am also committing to taking control of other parts of my life. I have a dissertation to finish and many personal goals I want to reach. This diet is just the beginning!!

I can do this. I will do this. I am all in!

Have you struggled with discipline in any area of your life? Do you stick to a set schedule or do you freestyle day to day like me? Do you find it easier to commit to something (i.e. a diet) if other people are holding you accountable?

Committed to the cause,

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  • Reply Muze July 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

    this is ME.

    i can’t set a strict schedule to save my life. and even when i do, keeping it on my own is extremely difficult. that’s why i’m always more productive when in a relationship. sad but true. having a personal cheerleader/scolder keeps me on task.

    this abs diet sounds interesting. i may have to check it out. working with a group towards the same individual goal is always fun. good luck and look forward to hearing about the journey. 🙂

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

      i can’t set a strict schedule to save my life.

      we are the same person. except you’re like half my size and an awesome writer LOL.

      that said, i dont see why the abs diet is something you even need to consider. from what i can tell, you’re in great shape. im tryna get on that level. thanks for wishing me luck, ima need it!!

  • Reply Wu Young, Agent of M.E. July 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hmmm things I have will power & discipline issues avec…

    1. Working out. I could very easily get back to my fighting weight but I have yet to buckle down and do so. Having a reliable partner helps too! I’m lazy and I will admit that fact everytime and I won’t talk about the beer consumption. I used to be a beast but something happened.
    2. Writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post or my novel I will dither. I will waffle on storylines, characters, themes… ugh.
    3. Ironing clothes for work. I know I should do this crap before I go to bed but oh no. Out of the five days in the work week I’m lucky if iron my clothes the night before on two of those days.

    Good luck on the Abs Diet… Use the force Gemmie!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

      i think for most ppl, a reliable workout/accountability partner is KEY! although i truly enjoy working out, i dont stick to a set schedule and sometimes let myself slack in the gym. but with a partner, i keep it all da way turnt up!!

      you and me are >>>here<<< with not consistently writing. but its ok, what we do post is usually pretty interesting, so we at least have substance lol

      ironing is horrible. if i have to iron it, i probably wont wear it. im def not doin it the night before. i avoid ironing as much as possible–thank goodness for a lab job

  • Reply NinaFontaine July 11, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I am with you – since I secured this current gig – which is so free (i work from home most days), I work at my own pace other than scheduled con-call/meetings I am been unable to maintain any set schedule. Even though I’m working out with a trainer I still haven’t settled on days and times with him. So its taking me much longer to reach my goal because there is NO DISCIPLINE whatsoever in my life and hasn’t been for years now.

    We are >>>>here<<<

    Good luck on the diet – I am going to try journaling to help me. (started today actually) so far I missed breakfast! :/ womp!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

      yeah, having too much freedom can be damning!!! although, i know some ppl who dont work but have a set routine EVERY day. early wake ups, exercise, cleaning. i need that will power in my life!!

      thanks for wishing me luck. i need to start a journal for this too so i can track my progress and struggles. 🙂

      best to you as well!

  • Reply jrsirmans July 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Good luck. You can do it! Why? Small things to a giant.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

      awww thanks!! #confidenceboost

  • Reply max July 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I am so with you on this. I can’t get anything done in life if I’m not accountable to someone. I wish so much that I could be more determined and just get things done without a babysitter, but for some reason I’m just completely useless if no one is checking to make sure I get ish done.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:06 am

      my sentiments, exactly max!!! like, i feel as a grown ass woman i shouldnt need a babysitter, but thats actually EXACTLY what i need to be more consistent and get ish done.

      to this day i still ask my mom to check in on me about certain things. because i know she’ll nag me to death about it and its actually quite effective most of the time *shrug*

  • Reply keisha brown July 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    you may now preach to the choir…

    this is the SOLE reason why i got a personal trainer. i know it makes me sound like a baller (i am not…really), but knowing that my evening schedule is so hard to control, and that i am the opposite of a morning person…i get out of bed KNOWING she is driving to my house, come rain, sleet, snow… it seems to be paying off (according to other people, not so much myself..but that’s also me being impatient)

    i am good at planning, but sometimes need that extra kick in the pants, notice in the mail, email alert that i am running out of time to procrastinate with.

    you took a right step in getting support! you are 80% more likely to be successful!!

    you can dooooeeet!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

      so glad to hear your work with your personal trainer is paying off!!! thats exactly what we need sometimes to keep ourselves going–good for you, kb!!

      thanks for the encouragement–im really excited about this!

  • Reply ellemarie360 July 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    This is me all day..and you are looking at the Vice President of the “I am a”
    I find I work better with a set goal, if there is no deadline then it goes to the back burner..sad but true..I’m a work in progress 🙂
    Good luck on the can do it!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

      i have made an art of procrastination over the years. i cant say im proud of it, but at least i accomplished something, right?? lol

      yeah i need hard deadlines that some one is actually going to be checking up on. i swear if my advisor had me checking in with her id get more ish done. but since she doesnt, i put ish off. like ya know, graduating with a phd *smh*

  • Reply That Damn African July 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    What did I call it? The pretending-you’re-on-your-grind grind? Yeah, that. It’s truly an art.

    I’m like you. Even with a well thought out schedule, stuff doesn’t really get done. The “last minute” or having other people rely on me is my best motivator. It plagues a lot of people (as you can see by all these comments). I’m way too undisciplined when it comes to my research and my diet & exercise routine. I stay wasting time in lab when I should be writing analysis code or thinking of new trials to run. And once my metabolism slows down, I’m gonna be in big trouble with how little I exercise. I’m working on it though. I definitely agree that having a motivator/support group/sponsor would do wonders for my discipline problems.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

      yeah, the pretending-you’re-on-your-grind grind is an art i know all too well. SMH

      grad school only makes one’s lack of discipline and ability to set a schedule even worse. grad school ruiins lives while under the guise of making scientific/medical advancements. what a rip off!!!

  • Reply *Yoles* July 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    i feel your pain… i can’t do schedules and also can’t stick to anything… not a career, a lifestyle choice, a hairstyle, a political party nothing.. i do need some major discipline and i am sure that you are aware that i could stand to lose some lbs myself!!

    i wish you luck, power of the universe, good will, sending up prayers and all that in your quest to take control of your life!! i am hoping that you succeed and look back at me the little people and give us guidance from the shoes of one that has completed their task…

    much success and discipline

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:20 am

      thanks for all the good wishes, Yoles!!! its not gonna be easy but im glad i have some support along the way.

      and i’m sure once you, too, put your mind to something you really wanna do, you can get it down. you know your VSSs are gonna hold you down!!

  • Reply Mark A. Jefferson July 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I’m good at sticking to certain things but not as good in others. I played football in college so I’ve always been pretty fit. I’m definitely excited about pushing myself to get back closer to those days. I definitely don’t want to earn my PhD and get a “scholar body” – to have alot of books and belly to match. Part of discipline is about priority. I seem to prioritize everything else ahead of my own needs (school, other people’s needs, etc.) so I’m focused on getting those things done and leave myself the scraps. Your blog is gonna make me do better about that. Thanks!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

      wow, i wish i could be more like you!!!! there are very few things that i stick to consistently. my moods and interests change like the wind, so i move from one thing to the next.

      i dont think if you go into a phd program you’ll just fall off your fitness. its important to you and something you do consistently already. i know quite a few very fit grad students because they kept their priorities. you have the discipline and will power to keep it up, so i have no doubt you wont be gross lol.

      best wishes to you too!!! we bout to take over!!

  • Reply NicknotNikki July 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

    This is my whole life.. I already know I could never go to college from home because I need the “class is at 12, get there” to make sure I go..
    I have an issue with working out- Being accountable to people is a great way to get it done, but getting off the couch is the first step.. that I haven’t mastered.. I remember the motivation I had last year and finally got a great size, and I just lost it when I got my job..

    Writing- since i took my break, I find that I lost the urge to write. I want to do it but if it’s not coming easily, then I just say “it’s not flowing” and check out youtube.. I suck, I know..

    My spiritual life- I’m on a “bare minimum” schedule when it comes to my spiritual life.. which really sucks because I know I won’t get to where I need to be by giving God second-class love…

    It’s upsetting because at the end of the day, when nothing has gotten done, I can blame no one but myself and be disappointed.. then tomorrow, i forget today’s disappointments and commence to doing exactly the same thing I did the day before…
    I wish you luck on your Abs Workout..! Having a group with you is a great first step!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Nickerz, i definitely feel you on the writing AND spiritual life lack of discipline. its quite sad how we put G-O-D on the back burner. especially when we ask so much of Him. the least we could do is spend a little time with Him, right?? *smh* granted im not exactly on a “bare minimum” schedule, but its certainly not enough. im working on this too…

      It’s upsetting because at the end of the day, when nothing has gotten done, I can blame no one but myself and be disappointed.. then tomorrow, i forget today’s disappointments and commence to doing exactly the same thing I did the day before…

      GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!! this is exactly how i feel!!

      thanks for the encouragement! i wish you well in your discipline endeavors 🙂

  • Reply Ivy St. July 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Yay for the ab diet! I am sure you will do great! I think it is great to do things like this with a group so that you have support, when temptations try to get the best of you.

    I haven’t done any other “diet” besides this ab diet but I know the feeling of needing structure especially when it comes to getting school work done. I always need to set a date for completion in order for me to get started on it. Having a relaxed advisor doesn’t help me at all.
    As much as I love running, I tend to run less consistent when I don’t have a partner. I will run for a week and then fall off. Once I fall off, it could take weeks to get back on the horse. I am thankful for my new neighbor for helping me set new running goals and pushing me to get motivated. The structure alone should help push me and help me stay motivated. I say all this to say friends and family are good for adding structure, when we can’t or procrastinate.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      i’ve never tried to do another “diet” per se either, but i do struggle with cutting out certain foods for extended periods of time. Lent is probably the only time i can give up certain things and stick to it–mostly because of guilt though!

      im glad we have a group of friends who is committed to a common goal and helping each other out along the way (read: will talk sooooo much trash if we mess up!! lol)

      i wish you well on this quest too!!! we can do it!

  • Reply Cheekie July 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “and go to work as I please (and when I don’t please #siamese).”

    Now you KNOW I ‘preciated this reference.

    I can definitely feel this, yo. What sucks is that when I’m not disciplined about one thing, I’m not disciplined about it ALL. Once I lose gain inspiration for working out, everything else seems to fall into place (i.e. my writing, general productivity, etc.). It’s kind of like a Domino effect. Once I slack on one thing, all the other ish falls down, too. And this usually happens when I get moody, which is funny because getting BACK on track with all these things are a perfect cure for my mood. I need to tell myself this alla’time.

    Much luck with the diet, Gemster! I’m rooting for ya!

    • Reply gemmieboo July 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      LOL yes, cheeks, i did know you’d appreciate that reference.

      What sucks is that when I’m not disciplined about one thing, I’m not disciplined about it ALL.

      this is my life too. once one thing falls off the tracks, everything seems to follow suit. and it takes me awhile to build up the energy and will power to get even just one thing back on track. im constantly a work of progress, instead of a progressing work. wtf man?!

      thanks for the encouragement!! 🙂

      • Reply Cheekie July 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm

        “im constantly a work of progress, instead of a progressing work. wtf man?!”

        I HAD to come back and comment on this. LOVE this line. Gotta use that one.

        Oh, and also because I’m chuckling at the fact that we both look introspective in our current avatars. lol

  • Reply Unplugged « That's What GEM Said January 31, 2012 at 12:59 am

    […] too busy to make time for my spiritual rejuvenation. It’s just… I’m allergic to staying focused and on task. I lack discipline in my fitness goals, academic goals, and especially my spiritual goals. I […]

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