Ep #83: The Truth About Discipline

Strong as a Working Mom with Carrie Holland | The Truth About Discipline
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Discipline is one of my favorite areas to work on with clients, but it gets a bad rap. When I first bring up discipline, clients have told me that discipline is boring, restrictive, and straight-up no fun. But if you see discipline this way, it makes sense that it’s something you struggle with.

If the idea of discipline sounds rigid or restrictive to you, it’s time to shake things up. You aren’t going to feel compelled to start building and flexing your discipline muscle. So today, I’m helping you see that creating discipline in your life, whether related to your diet, exercise, spending, or your career, is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself.

If you’re trying to implement new habits like an exercise routine or changing up what you’re eating but you find your motivation is fading, tune in this week to discover why discipline is the answer. You’ll learn the difference between willpower and discipline, what sticking to your decisions really looks like, and I’m giving you a strategy for maintaining your new habits with the freedom that discipline and accountability cultivate.

Are you ready to eat, move, and think in a way that gets you strong both physically and mentally? You deserve to have both no matter how busy you are, and I can help. I’m opening up my one-on-one coaching program for new clients, and I would love to work with you. Click here to learn more about working with me.

What You Will Discover:

  • What discipline is and the difference between discipline and willpower.
  • Why discipline is essential for evolving into your next best version.
  • How, despite what you might currently believe, discipline actually gives you freedom.
  • Why January is the perfect time to start discussing discipline.
  • How novelty and motivation is enough to get you started, but not enough to sustain your new habits.
  • Some common misconceptions about discipline and why they aren’t true.
  • How to make discipline a choice you make every day.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast, Episode #83. If the idea of discipline sounds rigid or restrictive to you, let me help you shake that up.

Welcome to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. If you’re balancing career, family, wellness, and some days sanity, you are in the right place. This is where high-achieving, busy, working moms get the tools they need to eat, move, and think. I’m your host, physician, personal trainer, and Certified Life Coach, Carrie Holland. Let’s do this.

Hey, how are you? What’s new, what’s good? So, what’s good here, we are going to talk about discipline today. Honestly, of the many concepts that I work on with clients in my coaching, I realize that this is probably one of my most favorites, really. I’m coming clean and admitting just how nerdy I am. But I really do love to talk about and pick apart discipline.

This is largely because I think that discipline gets a bad rap. Some of you have flat out told me that you view discipline as restrictive, boring, limiting, rigid, or just straight up no fun. And it makes total sense that if you see discipline that way, if you see it as something that limits you, or if you see being disciplined as being boring, then yeah, you’re not going to feel compelled to build it. You’re not going to feel inspired to flex that muscle and practice discipline.

But this is where I can help you see it differently. I want to help you see that creating discipline in your life, whether that’s related to your diet, your exercise, your spending habits, your career, whatever it is, I want to help you see that having discipline is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself, really.

My hope is that you walk away from this episode seeing discipline as something to be desired, because it really does give you freedom. I’ll explain how all that works in just a few minutes. There’s a reason I’m choosing this time of year to talk about this. Early on in the new year is a great time to talk about discipline. Really, in my world, anytime is a good time to talk about it. But that’s especially the case while it’s still January.

For many of you, you may be on your fourth week of a new habit. You may have used January 1 as the official start line of a new habit, like eating healthier, or starting an exercise routine, or changing up your career. Now, we’re nearly four weeks in, and if holding up your new habits has gotten a little harder for you, which is totally normal by the way, then you’ll definitely want to keep listening.

Here’s what I most commonly see happen. When you start a new habit, you’ve got both motivation and novelty working in your favor, like we talked about last week. Those two things together, novelty plus a hefty dose of motivation after coming off the holidays, those are often enough to get you started.

But it’s not enough to sustain you, because both motivation and novelty fade. And then, for too many of you, you start to call on willpower to help you out. You know this already, but let me remind you, willpower is unreliable. It’s like the friend you would go to fun parties with but would never depend on to pick you up from the airport because you’re not sure if she’ll show up.

So, remember what willpower is. If you look it up, you’ll find that willpower is the control you exert to restrain impulses. Willpower is your ability to resist urges. But resisting urges, as I’ve said numerous times before, takes a boatload of energy from your brain to do, and your brain does not like to work that hard.

Think about it. Think about a time you relied on willpower to help you out. Maybe you decided to cut back on the amount of processed snacks you eat during the day. Because maybe, after doing some self-monitoring and picking up patterns, you realize that you tend to snack way too much. Those snacks tend to be things like candy or cookies, or random things in the break room, and you want to zone in and work on that habit.

Then, you had a rough day. You’re running behind at work, you’ve still got a few hours left before you leave, and you walk into the break room only to be confronted with a box of cookies. Mind you, you have no idea how long those cookies have been sitting there, but they’re there looking at you. Now you’ve got a decision to make. If you’re relying on willpower to get you through, you may very well end up with cookie crumbs all over your shirt, because willpower may or may not be available to you in that moment. So, remember that when emotion is high, cognition is low.

What that means is, when you’re stressed, sad, upset, frustrated, irritated… name your negative emotion… when that emotion is high, your cognition or your ability to think rationally is low. That is when willpower ghosts you and you end up with a two-day-old cookie in your mouth that you really didn’t want in the first place.

So, when you combine stress plus decision fatigue, willpower does not have much of a chance at helping you. When you’re already stressed your brain is likely not going to be able to supply you with energy, in the form of willpower, to say no to the cookies at work. That is when you really need discipline to help you out.

To keep this very simple, I think of it this way: Discipline is making your decision ahead of time. Willpower is making your decision in the heat of the moment. And you know how that typically turns out, right? So, if you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I just need more willpower,” or if the idea of discipline does not appeal to you because you think it’s boring, limiting, or rigid, let’s pull this apart.

I’m going to help you see why discipline is essential. Beyond that, I’m going to help you see how having discipline really does give you freedom, and why it is one of the key pieces to growing and evolving into your next best version. All right? So, let’s go.

First, let’s get some clarity on what exactly discipline is, so we’re all operating under the same definition as we talk through this. If you look it up, you’ll find all kinds of definitions. But for our purposes, especially relating to habits, you can think of discipline as a controlled way of behaving; pretty simple. A controlled way of behaving, or carrying yourself.

Now, here’s the other side of discipline that I want you to think about. This is my most favorite way of seeing discipline. Discipline, very simply, is doing what you said you’re going to do, when you said you’re going to, even though you don’t want to. That last piece, ‘even though you don’t want to,’ that piece is key.

Here’s why: It is one thing to make a plan, “I will get up at 5:30am and do a Peloton ride.” But it is another thing entirely, when 5:30 rolls around and your alarm goes off. Then, you’ve got a decision: Get out of your warm fuzzy bed, or turn the alarm off and roll over.

Having discipline takes into account that as a human, you’re probably not going to want to get out of your warm and cozy bed. You’re very likely not going to want to do what you said you’re going to do. But you do it anyway. You made the plan, and then you follow the plan, even if you don’t feel like it. That is discipline. That’s exactly why you made the plan in the first place. Because you knew you weren’t going to want to do it. But you do it anyway.

Now, while we have that operating definition, let’s add to it. We’re going to talk about some of the key features of discipline. What makes a person disciplined? First, in order to be a disciplined person, the regulation of your behavior is voluntary. I should be clear here, I’m talking about self-discipline, okay? This is something that you’re taking on yourself.

Whatever habit you’re taking on, and wherever it is you’re choosing to create discipline in your life, you’re doing it on your own accord. Okay? That part, that’s critical. When you choose to practice self-discipline, you’re doing it on your own freewill and of your own volition. As an example, if you choose to start exercising, you know this already, but no one is going to do the work for you. You recognize that the exercise is ultimately on you. It’s your work, your results. Honestly, that’s one of my most favorite things about exercise. No one can run the laps or lift the weights for you. It’s all you.

Now, this is not to say that you can’t create accountability by having a workout partner that you meet at 5:30. Or that you have a personal trainer you’ve paid to take you through workout routines. Or you join a running group. You can still do all of those things and have discipline.

Because at the end of the day, it’s on you to show up. It’s on you to get out of bed and schlep yourself to the gym and meet your workout buddy or your trainer. It’s up to you to get downstairs and do your Peloton ride while everyone else in your house is still sleeping. No one is going to force you to do it. And that’s exactly the point, to be self-disciplined means you do the work voluntarily. You do it willingly.

Here’s another key feature of discipline. This is a key take-home here. You can think of discipline as choosing what you’ll give up. Now, before you balk at that idea, let me explain it a little more with an example. Let’s say you’ve made a goal to improve your eating. Maybe you realize that you eat too much fast food, restaurant food, takeout, and it’s not helping you with your goals so you decide to change that up.

So, by nature of practicing discipline, you decide to give up having dinner out every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. Instead you choose to eat out, at most, once in a weekend. Do you see that? You are choosing to give up multiple meals out, because you know that eating at home and making your own meals with veggies and lean protein will help you lose weight, feel less bloated, and feel better overall.

You make that choice willingly. You choose it. No one is forcing you to do anything here. You choose what to give up when you create discipline for yourself. And it feels really, really good to do that. It’s not only empowering, but that is self-mastery right there.

Alright, another feature of being disciplined is that you see the value of your behavior for the delayed gratification that it will bring you. This is huge. In our world, and in the culture and society that we live in, and also thanks to very fancy marketing tactics you see all over TV and social media, we are sold instant gratification over and over again.

Feeling tired? Drink this drink and wake up. Feel sad? Eat this cookie, or this cake and feel better. Feel frumpy? Buy this outfit and look better. We have been totally duped into believing that instant gratification will bring us happiness. But that is just bogus. Instant gratification is a temporary ‘fake happiness’ that ultimately leaves you worse off than how you started. But we often don’t see it or feel it until after the fact.

Because drinking the drink when you’re tired is not a substitute for going to bed earlier. Eating the cookie when you feel sad, that is not a substitute for processing your emotions. Instant gratification is not a long-term fix. To illustrate this point, I found this quote somewhere and I scribbled it on a piece of paper because it was so good. It sums up this concept of instant vs. delayed gratification so well that I wanted to share.

That quote is, “It’s fun while it goes down, but the aftertaste is bitter.” That is instant gratification right there. That’s it. It feels good in the moment, but it doesn’t last and then you often end up feeling worse afterwards. It’s not worth it.

Think about it. Imagine you’re trying to lose weight and you’re out to dinner with friends. You’ve decided ahead of time that you’re going to treat yourself by having a really awesome dessert. Because of that, you’re skipping alcohol, the bread basket, and all the appetizers. But then you’re at the table, and your friends pass around the breadbasket. You think it looks so delicious, it’s warm, and you decide, “Well, hey, one piece, that’s no big deal. I’ll eat less bread tomorrow.”

I use this as an example because some of you have done exactly this. You bargain with yourself, that since you ate more of something today than you had planned, you’ll bargain by eating less of it tomorrow. Then, because you had the bread, you say, “Forget it. I’ve already messed this up, so I may as well go all in,” and you help yourself to the appetizers that are sitting on the table.

You decide, “Well, why not,” and have a glass of wine; just like everyone else is having. Then you have your meal, and you follow it up with the dessert that you planned. There’s still some wine left in the bottle, so you just have half a glass, just because. So, what started as a plan to have dinner and dessert, ended up with bread, appetizers, drinks, and dessert; all of it.

This is where the instant gratification of all the things at dinner won out over the decision you made ahead of time. Then, think of how it feels when you’re heading home. It doesn’t feel good. Physically, you probably don’t feel great from all the food and alcohol you just had. But even worse, you didn’t follow through.

I don’t know about you. But I generally don’t feel awesome when I make a plan and I don’t stick to it. I don’t feel great when I let the here and now become more flashy than what I’m working on for the future. But that’s what happens when you choose instant over delayed gratification.

When you choose to practice discipline, you look beyond the decision that is immediately in front of you and you think about the long-term outcome. You think about what happens later. Discipline calls in your ability to prioritize delayed gratification over the instant gratification that often shoots you in the foot.

Okay, next. Another essential feature of discipline in relation to our habits, is that it breeds consistency. When I think of consistency, I think of three things: Behavior, repetition, and frequency. So, let’s talk about this for a minute.

First, in order to build consistency, you have to do the behavior, right? You actually have to do the thing. As an example, if you want to look strong, feel strong, and have muscle, you’ve got to hit the weights. You have to pick up and put down heavy stuff. I know that may sound basic, but if you want muscle, you’ve got to lift weights. So, there’s your behavior.

Then you need to repeat the behavior; that, that’s putting in your reps. Going to the gym once or twice for one month and then stopping, that’s not going to be enough. I’ve written multiple podcasts about building muscle. If you want to be successful, plan for months, or really years, of regular weight training.

That means lifting weights a few times a week, like at least two serious, heavy-duty strength training sessions per week. But ideally, more like three or four sessions per week, week after week; that’s the key. You keep showing up at the gym week after week, putting in your reps and doing your workouts, even when you don’t feel like it.

And last, you repeat the behavior with enough frequency so that you see an impact. Showing up to the gym for 20 days in January, then 10 days in February, then five days in March; that’s not going to cut it. Frequency means you do your workouts, and you do them often within a particular time frame. So, when you lift weights four days a week, every week, for 12 straight months, you will see a very different physique than if you train four days per week one week, 0 days the following week, one day the following week, and so on. The behavior has to be repeated with enough frequency that it makes a difference.

Again, consistency is a combination of the behavior itself + repetition + frequency. You need all three of those in order for something to become a habit. And when you practice discipline, you do all three of those things. Okay?

Alright, next. Another feature of being disciplined means you accept personal responsibility for yourself and your behaviors. Very simply, it means you acknowledge the consequences of your choices, both the ones that help you and the ones that don’t, and you practice holding yourself accountable to a certain standard of behavior.

There’s that word again, “standard.” I know we talked about it last week, but I think “standard” and “discipline” go together so nicely, it’s worth mentioning again briefly here. When you practice discipline, you practice living up to the standards you’ve set for yourself. As in, “I do not snack in between meals.” There’s your standard.

Then you practice discipline in order to live into that standard. So, when you’re at home and your kid pulls out a bag of popcorn or trail mix, because he’s nine and growing like a weed and never seems to be full… speaking from experience here… Even though he’s having a snack, you don’t join him. Because you decided in advance that your standard is not to snack between meals, so you skip the popcorn.

Now, you’re flexing your personal responsibility, and practicing discipline by choosing not to have a snack. Because you know that once you start with one handful of popcorn, at least two, and then three, and then you have a scoop of trail mix too, and then a few pieces of cheese. And before you know it, you’ve eaten the equivalent of a dinner before you’ve even sat down to dinner. This happens all the time.

But practicing discipline will help you avoid this. Once you decide your standard, then you accept responsibility for both the instances that you do, and the instances that you don’t follow through on it. All this means is that every opportunity you have to snack is an opportunity to practice discipline and follow your standard. It’s taking personal responsibility for your actions. It all goes together. Okay?

Now that we’ve talked through some of the key features of discipline, let’s talk about some of the misconceptions that you might have about it. This is where I spend a lot of time working with my clients, because often they’ll have a skewed view of what discipline really is, which makes it harder for them. So, let’s bust up some of these ideas.

First, perfection and discipline are not one and the same. This is essential to understand. Discipline means you make a decision in advance, and you practice holding yourself to it. And by the very nature of the word “practice,” it means you’re going to mess up. Okay? In fact, that’s why I think of discipline as a practice. It’s a practice of behaviors and actions, repeated regularly. But it’s not all or nothing. It’s not perfect. It’s not 100%. Because remember, there is no such thing as perfect; perfect would be insanely boring.

At the same time, when I think of discipline, I think of practicing excellence. It’s having high expectations of yourself. Meaning, you hold yourself to high standards but recognize that mistakes, they are part of the process. Now, contrast that to perfection, where you have unrealistic expectations of yourself, and hold yourself to an impossible standard.

Perfectionism expects a flawless performance each and every time. That is superhuman. That is not possible. Here’s another big difference between discipline and perfectionism. If you’re a perfectionist, your fear of failure may keep you from getting started all together, because you’re worried that you’re not going to be able to stick with your nutrition or exercise program. And if it’s not going to be 100%, why bother.

On top of that, for many of you, perfectionism often boils down to one misstep and you’re done. You let one night of too many cookies or pieces of candy mean that you’re a failure and you give up on yourself. Those are the two most common ways I see perfectionism get in your way when it comes to changing your habits.

On the flip side, discipline recognizes that you’re absolutely going to mess up, but you don’t let that mess up stop you from either getting started or moving forward. That is essential. Practicing discipline means that you see mistakes as part of the learning process. This is huge.

For me, discipline is much more about the process, while perfection is all about the outcome. So, stick with the process, even if it’s messy, okay? You will get so much bigger of a return on your investment when you focus on the process instead of the outcome.

Okay, next. Another place where you may get stuck is by thinking that having discipline means being rigid. If you decide that to be true, then yeah, I can see how the idea of creating discipline would not appeal to you at all. But let me frame it this way, discipline becomes rigidity when it becomes a detriment to you.

Meaning, when your discipline gets to the degree that it gets in the way of you living a better life, instead of it helping you to live a better life, then you know you’ve overshot it, and you’re probably being too rigid. As an example, if you repeatedly decline dinner invitations out because you don’t want to deal with managing yourself in a restaurant, and in turn it is negatively impacting your important relationships, then I would see that as being rigid over being disciplined. Or, if you are so set on a certain workout schedule or routine, that you cannot alter it when you’re on vacation, or out of your usual environment, or with other people, and you essentially let your workout routine negatively impact your life or your schedule, then yes, I would argue that things are getting too rigid.

In both instances, those are examples of being so focused that you become inflexible, and that’s when your discipline has gone too far. So, this one, admittedly, is a little slippery. It can be a fine line between sticking to your plan, as evidence of discipline, or if it’s evidence of being too rigid.

As I was thinking through this podcast, I ultimately decided, it depends. It really does depend on how following through on your behavior is impacting your life. If following through and practicing discipline is interfering with your daily life, or if it’s interfering with your important relationships, or it’s negatively impacting you in some way, then I would encourage you to evaluate critically to decide if you’re being overly rigid.

This is very much personal, there is no one right answer here. The overall goal is to hit a sweet spot that balances discipline with flexibility, so that you have your standards, you practice living them, but you’re flexible enough to allow for occasional deviations without them becoming a big deal. Like everything, it’s balanced. It may take some trial and error to determine what the line between discipline and rigid is for you.

All right, next. The next big misconception around discipline is the idea that it will take away your freedom. This could not be further from the truth. I saved this one for last, because I want to spend some time talking about this, and bring it all home by declaring, here and now, that having discipline truly is having freedom.

I’m going to give you some examples from my own life to illustrate this, starting with nutrition. I know I’ve mentioned it a number of times on the podcast, but in my family, we tend to eat most of our meals at home. We buy groceries once a week, we do meal prep of some sort on the weekends where we can fit it in, and we send our kids to school with lunches that we make at home.

We eat dinner at home about 95% of the time, and pretty much every night there is a salad; literally every night. Our dinners are not wild, they’re not super fancy, and they are definitely not elaborate. Because who’s got time to elaborate? We are generally scarfing down dinner between various sports practices and homework, so dinner is not extravagant.

But the point here is, we cook our own food, and we eat at home the majority of the time. That is by choice. What I eat matters to me. Not in the sense that I need fancy or fried stuff, or rich, indulgent stuff that you get at a restaurant, that does not matter to me. Eating real, whole foods, like veggies and lean protein, that is what matters to me. So, I don’t buy a bunch of processed junk food at the grocery store.

The bulk of the food we have at home is produce, protein, and whole grains. I feel good about the food we eat. I don’t walk away from our dinner table feeling gross or bloated, or like I have a gut bomb sitting in my stomach; that is by design.

From an exercise perspective, if you know me at all by now, you know how I feel about exercise. I get in some form of movement every day, with lighter days too. I mix up cardio or heavy lifting. I have a structured weight training routine that I created for myself, because I want to look and feel a certain way. Because muscles feel good. When triathlon training season starts, I’ll be following a plan to get myself ready for a race at the end of the summer.

Because fitness is important to me, I made a commitment to get it done. I get up at the crack of dawn and get my workout done while my kids are still sleeping, so that by the time we get them to school I can get on with my workday, and I don’t have to think about exercise anymore. I’m not sharing all of this to say, “Hey, you should do this too.” I’m not telling you that the lifestyle I’ve adopted for myself is going to work for you. But what I am saying is, that in terms of my health and fitness, I lead a pretty disciplined lifestyle.

My lunch has been the same for the last four plus years. I’ve been eating a salad every night with dinner since 2017. My workouts get done in the five o’clock hour during the work week, every week. While some of you may think this sounds awful and totally limiting, I don’t see it that way at all. This, this year, this is where discipline and freedom intersect. When it comes to exercise and nutrition, I feel totally free. I feel free in multiple ways. First, I feel free because I don’t have to think about this stuff anymore, I just do it.

I made my decision, a long time ago, that physical and mental health are priorities for me. It’s been a priority for long enough now that it’s a no brainer. It’s my lifestyle, and it operates in the background. It takes up less space in my brain.

It can totally be that way for you, too. When you choose to practice discipline, there is freedom from brain drama. You won’t have to go around in circles about whether or not to get fast food on your way home from work, or go home and chop up salad. The decision is made; you drive past Qdoba and you make yourself the salad, like you planned. No drama.

When your friends offer you glass after glass of wine at dinner, but you don’t drink on weeknights because it messes with your sleep and you feel like garbage the next day, you say, “No, thank you.” There’s no back and forth. There’s no mental chatter. There’s no bargaining with yourself. You decided that drinking during the week doesn’t work for you, and that’s it.

Over time, the more you do it, the more you realize it’s no big deal, it’s not so hard. You feel lighter. You feel better, and the decisions get easier and easier to make and execute. Now, this isn’t to say that this doesn’t take work, it absolutely does. You still have to schlep yourself out of bed and do the workouts before sunrise. You still have to prep the food and actually eat it. You still have to practice saying ‘no, thank you’ to the wine. But again, like any habit, the more you practice it, the easier it becomes, and the less space these things take up in your brain.

So, instead of wasting loads of mental energy on what to have for dinner, and how much wine to have, and should you have a piece of cake or not, you can use that mental energy for other more important decisions. Let’s keep going.

Here is another way that discipline gives you freedom. For me, I feel freedom because I did this on my own accord. I chose discipline, it was not put upon me. No one told me to get up early and workout. No one told me to eat a salad. No one told me to get under a squat bar or jump in the pool; I told myself. I chose health.

I chose to make it a priority, and I’m passionate enough about it that it’s worth it to make the choices that I do. It feels really good to have that self-mastery in place. So remember, you always have a choice, right? When it comes to how you eat, and whether and how you move your body, you always have a choice. For me, I made the choice to be healthy. I want to be strong. I want to walk my talk, and be an example for not only my family, but for my clients; past, present, and future.

To be clear, there are days that I just don’t want to, especially when it comes to swimming. I’ve mentioned before, swimming is not my strong suit. But I get up, I go to the pool, and I jump in that cold water anyway. I do it by my own choice, because the pursuit of improvement keeps me coming back for more.

No one’s watching me. No one’s keeping tabs on me. I am keeping tabs on me. I’m not doing it for anyone else. I encourage you to take the same approach. Take on discipline for yourself; not for your partner, not for your kids, not for your friends. Do it for yourself. Choose it on purpose. The last way that having discipline gives me freedom is this. While I am 45 years old, and my kids love to remind me of that all the time, most days I don’t feel like it. I feel pretty good. I don’t feel 45. I am insanely grateful to have the level of strength and health that I do at my age. And, I am not about to let that go if I can help it.

Think about it. How do you want to live your life while you’re here? How do you want things to be for yourself five, 10, 20 years from now? Do you want to be able to run around with your kids or your grandkids? Do you want to be spending time in doctors’ offices? Do you want to be able to carry in your own groceries from the store? Do you want to struggle to bend over and put on your boots when it’s freezing and snowing outside?

It’s your choice. Decide what you want for your future self, and act on it now, like today, okay? It’s not too late. I don’t care how old you are. It’s never too late to change it up and create better habits for yourself that will give you a better quality of life.

You can look at it this way, you can see practicing discipline around your habits as controlling the controllables. You have whatever genes and predispositions that were passed down to you, fine, but that’s only part of the story. You can manage your environment. You can manage your sleep. You can manage your stress levels. You control how you eat and move. That all adds up.

For me, that adds up to feeling, quite honestly, pretty darn good most days. Here’s what I mean, by choosing not to fill myself with restaurant food, fast food, processed food, I’m controlling my controllables. By passing on the indulgence of french fries, and cookies and pastries, most of the time I am creating a healthier me for the future.

By engaging in the discomfort of regular exercise, through cardio and strength training now, I’m building a stronger me for the future. I’m making those choices from a place of freedom now, so that I’ll have freedom in my future, too. And that’s just it. I fully recognize I could die tomorrow. Hopefully that is not the case, and I’m lucky enough to live a long life.

While I want to be around for a long, long time, I want my one shot here on this earth to be as healthy as I can make it. I do not want to be limited by my body, if I can help it. I do not want my choices later to be limited by the choices I’m making today. So, that means whatever I can do to give myself health 10, 20 years from now, sign me up.

I’ve said it before, but I would love to be an eighty-year-old bodybuilder. I would love to be doing triathlons when I’m 85. But that is not going to happen if I spend my 40s, and beyond, eating piles of Cheetos and Oreos and sitting on my couch.

Because your body keeps score. Whether you like it or not, your body keeps score. You pay for who you become by the life you lead now. So, if you want the freedom to move and play and travel, and live your life to the fullest, even when you’re well into the fourth quarter of your life, you’ve got to take care of it now.

You can absolutely do that by creating discipline. Choose what you are willing to give up. Choose what you’re willing to sacrifice. Choose how you’ll deny yourself. Because, in reality, when you’re practicing discipline, you won’t see it that way. Instead, when you choose discipline, and you do it willingly, you’ll see that what you gain is worth so much more than what you give up. That freedom is totally worth it.

When you are not powerless to candy or cookies or soda or french fries… When you are not controlled by food… When you can lift heavy stuff and run and not get breathless from simple tasks… When you’re not limited by your mind or your body, that is when you’ve got freedom. That is when you’ll see that discipline is totally worth it. All right?

If you want help with this, let’s talk. When you coach with me, you will practice creating discipline and holding yourself accountable. You will learn loads of tools and concepts to make discipline easier. And, I’ll support you all the way.

Check out my website, go to www.CarrieHollandMD.com/contact, tell me where you want more discipline in your life, and let’s get to work. Alright, thank you for hanging out with me. I’ll catch you again next week.

If you like what you’ve been hearing, please review the show. I would love to get your feedback and ideas. Your suggestions have inspired episodes and will help me make the show better for you. Share this podcast with a friend, text a show link, share a screenshot, or post a link to the show on your social media. Be sure to tag me @CarrieHollandMD on either Instagram or Facebook so I can follow along and engage with you.

This is how we get the word out to other working moms who want to feel strong inside and out. If you know someone who wants to feel better or eat and move differently but she is too tired or too busy, it is time to change things up. You know making that change starts with how you think, and that is what we do here on the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. I’ll see you next week.

Thanks for listening to Strong as a Working Mom. If you want more information on how to eat, move, and think, so you can live in the body you want, with the mind to match, visit me at CarrieHollandMD.com.

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