The clock this morning said 6:33; my alarm was set for 6:50. The wind, howling like a pack of feral cats, hinted at the frigid temperature outside. In 17 minutes the alarm would blare and I'd have to leave the warmth and comfort of the cocoon that was my bed. How easy it would be, I thought, to slip my arm out from under the comforter and click off the alarm, drift off to sleep, let the day ahead wait for me this time. But I knew from experience that strategy would backfire. I'd sleep for two more hours, wake up groggy and spend the rest of the day playing catchup while simultaneously beating myself up for wasting precious time. In this case, sacrificing comfort was the right choice.
On a journey to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle, disciplining ourselves to make choices that are sometimes uncomfortable is a lot like forcing oneself to get out of bed on a nippy winter's day. Choosing the comfortable route will give temporary pleasure, but it's guaranteed to eventually come back and bite you directly in the tush. Generally, rides on the comfortable path are short ones that lead to dead ends. The pleasure you get from eating those extra cookies or skipping a week's workouts in favor of a date with your remote control can end abruptly when you see the extra pounds on the scale or you are unable to zip your favorite pair of jeans.
I got out of bed at 6:50 when the alarm went off. The room felt chilly and I was still a little sleepy. I slipped on the cozy robe my husband bought me for Christmas last year and opened my bedroom door. My little Murphy, our 10-year-old pug, was waiting outside my door excited to see me. Seconds later the door to my daughter's bedroom opened and she came out, dressed and ready to leave for school. "Hey mama" she said with a smile as she bounded down the stairs in a hurry to warm up her car. It was worth getting out of bed to see those sweet faces, my reward for doing something that was a little bit uncomfortable.
Anything worthwhile requires getting comfortable with discomfort.