The Subject of Change

“No pain, no gain, no pain, no gain. Do it and smile” that’s what I have been hearing every morning during my daily workouts.

Well, my work out lifestyle started in March 2015. We had an instructor, a brother in Christ, who used to come to my previous job place, and we would work out as a group and sometimes would be just a couple of people from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, one hour basically, three times a week, on weekdays. Most of the colleagues would travel frequently to field work, so there was a time it could be just you and the instructor.

It was a transformation period for me. For years I wanted to become physical fit and healthy, but I never took a step to start working out. So each time when I looked at my stomach I kept reminded that I needed to workout. I didn’t have a really big stomach, it’s just when I ate my stomach would kind of expand, and when my stomach didn’t have food, or was empty, or when I was hungry, my stomach would be somehow flat. And I wished my stomach would always remain flat.

I have never in my life exceeded over 130 pounds weight, so I consider myself slim, though somehow I may look like I have gained weight, maybe because of the type of clothes I would be wearing.

I said I wished instead of saying I had a goal, because if it was my goal to have a flat stomach I should have taken action to do something about it.  My wish then was apart from becoming physical fit and healthy, I wanted to develop muscles so that my stomach will be flat all the time. I didn’t want the severe muscles in other word six-packs, just lady kind of muscles. You know what I mean.

For years I wanted to change my lifestyle and to start exercising and working out, but somehow I couldn’t take the first steps. So in March 2015, I started this journey of working out to get physical fit and healthy. For me, it was a lucky situation. You have no idea how happy the first day I saw people working out just outside my office door. It was in March 5th, 2015 around 5:15pm I believe. I heard the sound of music; it was a little bit loud, but I didn’t bother to go and check out what was going on. As I closed my office door and got out of the main door, I saw a group of colleagues working out with an instructor. I was so happy that day. It was Thursday, so during the weekend I went to buy exercising clothes and shoes. And the next week, I became one of them. To me was like go hard, or go home. So each session I decided to go hard.

When you are working out, it’s not pretty as sometimes it may seem to be. There may be times you would like to take a break when everyone is moving. Because you get tired and your body doesn’t want to cope with the movements, so it kind of resists the changes. It’s funny, sometimes I will be in a situation where I can’t even lift my leg..hahaha..when everybody else is moving. I would say to myself, I don’t know how they are able to keep going while I am struggling. And then I realized they have set their eyes on the prize. And so I shifted my focus from concentrating on the pain and kept going, because I also have got a prize to get which is achieving my healthy and fitness goal, feeling good and energetic, and so on.

There are two things you have to know about change; it is automatic and can be good or bad, it depends which side it hits you. An example to show you that change is automatic is getting older. Whether we like it or not, we will eventually get older. An example to show you change is good is technology change. Everyday technology is changing, now with these new technologies tools, you can do so much awesome things. I honestly can’t keep up with everything technology is innovating; every month something new is introduced. Bad change is bad because you get results of things you don’t like or want in your life. Like this statement, “I don’t know how I got here into this bad situation. I need to change, or things have got to change”

So, why do we resist change even when we know some changes may be good for us?

People resist change for so many reasons even when they know these changes are for their own good. One thing that makes people resist change is change brings uncertainty. Since change is meant to bring something different, there is a lot of uncertainty going on because you are not sure if it’s going to really work for you. Therefore, fear of uncertainty makes people avoid change. Not everyone is a risk taker.

Another thing that makes people resist change is because change requires more from you. This could mean more money, time consuming, more effort and work. Not all people are willing to change because when they think about all the things they have to do in order to change, they avoid it. Or they try in the beginning and give up later on because of the much work they have to do. Things like becoming more discipline with our time, money, creating good habits like eating healthy, exercising every day, and so on, they can become very intimidating to some people.

A third reason will be most people are indecisive. They have this saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This means only those who are determined to see change in their lives they will actual succeed to make the change. You need to decide to change even if the change will bring the discomfort into your life, even when you don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway. The point is to decide and stick to the plan until it comes through. To want is not enough; you have to be willing to do it in order to make changes in your life.

Incompetence is another reason people resist change. This could be either they don’t think they have money to make the change, or they lack confidence and think they cannot do it. Just like Henry Ford famous quote that says, “Whether you think you can or you can’t – you are right.”

Another reason people resist change is because of loss of control. People do not want to go to unfamiliar places; they want to stay to familiar places where they are familiar of everything and have control of everything.

Past experiences are another reason. Most people do not try new things because of the past experiences. One of my friends does not want to eat anymore Asian food because one day her boss who is Asian invited her to this Asian restaurant. So the boss took her to a restaurant that offered buffet menu so that she could try variety of food. I guess she didn’t read all the food she was getting. So after finishing eating, she commented to her boss that the food was really great, especially the chicken. And the boss said, there was no chicken on the menu, what she eat was the frog meat. And since that day she swore to never eat Asian food again.

The last reason will be people behaviors’, cultures, and beliefs about things. For instance here in Tanzania, few local people in some regions do not use spoons or forks to eat their food because of the traditional and the way they have been raised. They prefer to use their hands when they eat their food. Some other people only wear certain clothes and do not eat some food because their beliefs or religions restricted them. So to them changing their behaviors or cultures may not be welcomed.


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