That’s a big word, a noble word, a word that makes it sound challenging, yet rewarding to give up one thing to get another – what it doesn’t not suggest is the very real, not noble, middle part between “challenge” and “reward” that equals “this sucks and I’m pissed off”!
I am serious – sometimes (ok often) I get grumpy and sullen and pouty and sad and whiny and darn right pissed off, even when I am making a voluntary sacrifice. Because we all know they are not ALL voluntary
Anywhooo – I am going through this process of sacrifice right now and in the midst of it I am a little cranky about it and frankly wondering why I am even choosing to make this sacrifice. Maybe I don’t really need the reward … and suddenly I was reminded of the lessons and inspiration from the very beginning of my weight loss journey! So it’s relevant to share this with you a 2nd time, in this new area of sacrifice.
If you read some of my earliest blog posts (of course you did, what am I thinking?!), you might recall that sticking to my diet sometimes involved me in a puddle of tears, locking myself in the bathroom while everyone else enjoyed their fattening foods. At the time I am sure others (not the least of which was my husband) wondered if this sacrifice was really worth the misery, especially if I was subjecting myself to it voluntarily! Those days were rough, they really were -but having come out the other side I can confidently say that YES it was worth every one of those episodes and the sacrifice, though not fun at the time, was totally worth the reward!
Well right now, let me tell you, I am in the same beginning stages of sacrifice for nursing school, and I’m grumpy and pissed, I won’t lie. I have to cut my nails, style my hair a certain way, remove my wedding ring, and in a rather uncomfortable way, cover up a tattoo that represents a lot of other sacrifices and trials I’ve endured, as if I should be ashamed of it. Who are they to tell me who I am as a person? what represents importance in my life?
I know it sounds silly to worry about my nails and tattoo, but they are part of me. I stopped biting my nails when I was 8 years old and have not had short nails since – I kid you not – my nails are usually the longest in the room and since I was young I’ve been complimented on them being natural and beautiful. That’s a big thing to give up after all these years …
The sacrifice is also symbolic – and it’s not them, it’s ME. The rules are the rules are the rules – they are no different for me than anyone else… it is ME who is choosing to make these sacrifices. I think the voluntary sacrifices are the hardest because there is/was another option, always an “out”. And I think the struggle comes from figuring out how much sacrifice I am willing to give for my goal – what things am I willing to sacrifice to get this reward? How do I push myself in the face of sacrifice when the out is as easy as saying “I’m done” to put an end to it. It’s an internal battle, and it’s hard. And that’s ok.
It’s ok if everyone else seemed to be able to give up donuts just like that but you end up crying yourself to sleep over it. It’s ok if everyone else seems to chop off their nails without a second thought while you took pictures of yours before butchering them down to the nubs (and then crying). It’s OK. It’s OK to be mad that you had to say “no” to the cake and ice cream, it’s OK to be angry that you have to cover a tattoo. And it’s OK because you know somewhere inside you are strong enough to be mad and do it anyway, to be falling apart and do it anyway, and that one day… one day… you are gonna say with confidence that it was WORTH THE SACRIFICE!