Katniss Shows Us That Sometimes Sacrifice Is Necessary

mockingjay

“I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!” – Katniss Everdeen

Few moments in popular contemporary literature conjure up as much emotion as the monumental scene in The Hunger Games, in which the Capitol selects which children will fight each other to the death. It’s at this moment that we learn just what kind of hero the protagonist Katniss Everdeen will be, as she volunteers – almost certainly signing her own death sentence – to save the life of her sister.

I remember reading those pages and my jaw dropped as I realized the gravity of Katniss’s sacrifice. A close look at our favorite films and books reveals that great sacrifice is often required of the hero to bring about lasting change:

  • Darth Vader at the end of The Return of the Jedi
  • Captain America at the end of The First Avenger
  • Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Movie (the animated 1986 version)
  • Iron Man in the climax of The Avengers
  • Harry Potter toward the end of his seven-novel journey

Our heroes are often faced with a choice that will decide the fate of thousands or millions, requiring them to sacrifice everything they hold dear, including, at times, their own lives. Other times, like with Katniss, a single decision made now can have drastic consequences many years down the road.

And while nobody is asking you to lay down your life here, make no mistake: if you truly want to make lasting changes in your life and turn things around, sacrifices will be required of you, too.

It might require putting short-term gratification on hold and sacrificing certain comforts in order for you to grow. It might mean saying painful goodbyes to long-term friends or relationships, or things that have provided us with joy in the past but no longer bring us happiness, meaning, or support.

Sometimes these sacrifices are painful, and that’s why today I’m going to walk you through how to let go of the right things to level up your life.

Make Your Cause Bigger than You

katniss

In The Hunger Games, we never would have witnessed Katniss’s potential for true greatness if she hadn’t volunteered to take her sister’s place in the tournament.

In fact, this is true of nearly all of our favorite heroes: these sacrifices are necessary in order to see our heroes transform.

In this game (or movie) of life you’re playing, there is a kickass version of you waiting to level up too. I believe this of everybody. But I also believe that very few people live up to their potential.

Socrates (the OG nerd) once said: “It is a shame for man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

Most people are either unwilling or unable to make the decisions and choices required of them, or they’re afraid of stepping outside a comfortable but unfulfilling existence to take a risk at finding out what could be. They get stuck saying, “what if,” or they let temporary discomfort or friction get in the way of true happiness or a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

It’s not easy either, letting go of those things that are holding us back, limiting our long term fulfillment but providing us with temporary satisfaction. It may be old friends, old habits, old eating styles, old game favorites, old relationships, or old occupations.

It can be hugely powerful to see how these sacrifices, no matter how small they might be, fit into a bigger purpose:

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry finally realizes what is required of him in order to defeat the Dark Lord, he marches into the Forbidden Forest to face the Death Eaters alone. Except that he’s not alone—he’s surrounded by the ghosts of those who loved him, cared for him, and were impacted by his life. They give him the courage to carry on, even when all hope seems lost. Harry’s scared out of his mind, but he knows what’s at stake.

One look at Katniss’s face as she approaches the stage to volunteer tells us the same story: these are two characters who are terrified, but they are fighting for something far greater than themselves.

If you are surrounded by people (or have that voice on your shoulder) saying “come on, live a little. What’s this one time?” – try looking at things in a larger context.

The fight is larger than saying no to pizza or skipping a night of drinking to work on a project that makes you feel alive… it goes much deeper than that. Every action is tied to the story and life you are building for yourself. It’s not about the pizza.

  • It’s about creating a life that’s worth living.
  • It’s about setting yourself on a path that’s true to you.
  • It’s about finding out what you’re capable of and not saying “what if?”
  • It’s about building a life designed for you, not designed based on expectations or social standards.

Are you fighting to get healthy so that you can feel confident in your own skin, find love, and start a family of your own? Are you fighting to feel alive for the first time in years? Are you honoring your fellow nerds and those that came before you to find out what you’re capable of?

What Will You Volunteer As Tribute?

katniss art

Want to know what separates the “I’ll get to it some day” people versus the people on their own adventurous path? The ability to say yes to the right opportunities and no to the wrong ones — especially a willingness to sacrifice certain immediate comforts.

I hope none of us are ever faced with true life or death choices like the those faced by Katniss and Harry, but in a sense we all are. We are faced with a thousand decisions every week – each one placing us one step closer to a life stuck in Act 1, or a transforming life that grows and evolves.

If you’re going to become your leveled up self, it may take a serious, hard look at things that need to be sacrificed:

1) UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

It’s tough to admit when the attitudes expressed by our old friends or love interests might no longer align with our new lifestyle. These are:

  • Friends who make fun of you for going to bed early so you can run a race or work out in the morning.
  • The boyfriend or girlfriend who constantly tells you to stop worrying about improving your health, even though it’s really important to you.
  • Family members who tell you to shut up and be happy instead of striving for a life they think is unrealistic, irresponsible, or unattainable.

Sometimes, you need to fire your friends, and even fire certain family members if they’re proving to be truly destructive to your growth. I’ve had to sacrifice certain relationships until I was more sure of myself and better prepared to not be swayed by their opinions.

It’s painful and difficult, but if these people aren’t ready or willing to change, they can drag you down with them. Life will go on, and you will find that there are plenty of forward-thinking people out there who will support and celebrate your new path in life.  Off the top of my head, I can think of a few hundred thousand Rebels who would love to aid you!

2) UNHEALTHY CREATURE COMFORTS

We all of things we love that don’t necessarily add to our development. For me, that’s video games (not all of which are healthy). They shaped my childhood, inspired my book, Level Up Your Life, and I still play them occasionally.

Because I know I have an addictive personality, I have to prioritize things—fitness or personal development or playing music—over gaming.

Maybe your comfort isn’t video games or Netflix, maybe it’s something like spending money on unimportant stuff (more shoes, more clothes, a nicer car, a bigger house) instead of spending it on things that bring you lasting happiness.

Are you willing to give up some comforts in exchange for what you really want?

I’m not telling you to forever abandon all things you love and that bring you small amounts of joy; instead, I’m asking you to dig deep and really look at how you’re spending your time and money, and decide what’s really important to you. Is that something you need, or a comfort that’s holding you back? Can you sacrifice it temporarily to get yourself in a better place?

3) UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES

My friend Adam often jokes with me, “I really hope all this fitness stuff is worth it for you. You know how good pizza and ice cream is, right?”

It can be hard to sacrificing certain aspects of a unhealthy lifestyle to become the best version of yourself, especially if you have certain personality traits.

If you’re overweight and unhappy and interested in living a better life, you might need to make more sacrifices when it comes to the comfort foods that provide you with temporary happiness.

When people tell me, “I could NEVER give up [pizza/ bread / beer/ pasta/ candy/ whatever]” or “but I don’t want to make that change,” I say “Great! Is what you’re doing currently working? Are you healthy and happy with how you look? Keep doing it. If NOT, then maybe you could try making a sacrifice or two until you’re better emotionally equipped to have those things in your diet.”

Don’t sacrifice what you really want long term for what you want RIGHT NOW. Be better than your lizard brain (“gimme gimme gimme now now now”).

4) YOUR COMFY HOBBIT HOLE

Sometimes being the happiest and most fulfilled version of yourself can only come when you are spending your day on a job that is challenging and aligned with your skills (and ideally your interests). It might mean you have less money in the bank. It might mean certain “luxuries” are no longer possible.

I had to quit great jobs (twice!) in order to get started on my Hero’s Journey and create Nerd Fitness. Both decisions required me to downsize my lifestyle and drastically cut my expenses.

Your journey might require a big sacrifice.

Hopefully the job you have allows you to be who you are and gives you enough free time to do the things you want to do. Indiana Jones can be both an adventurer and archaeology professor, and plenty of members of The Rebellion work regular jobs they love and live out their free time as superheroes!

However, there are definitely instances in which sacrificing a crappy job or a pivoting to a different career path is the right choice. As the saying goes, “It’s better to be on the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”

If you you are a level 30 Ranger, but you know in your heart you are an Assassin, it’s better to be at the beginning of the path, but on the RIGHT path.

Your future level 50 self thanks you.

The Rebellion Needs You

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Years ago, I had an idea to start my own website about helping nerds get fit. However, because I was spending so much time at my day job, playing video games on weeknights, partying on weekends, and traveling for a long-distance relationship, I never had time to make it happen (nor was I in particularly great shape).

It wasn’t until I started making sacrifices and volunteered my current self to save my future self:

  • I sacrificed my video game time until Nerd Fitness became self-sufficient.
  • I sacrificed my AMAZING job to try and turn Nerd Fitness into a business.
  • I sacrificed a good (but unhealthy) long distance relationship to learn to stand on my own two feet.
  • I sacrificed unhealthy comfort food and too many nights out at bars to improve my health and fitness.

Just as Katniss’s sacrifices inspired a movement and Harry’s sacrifices saved the Wizarding world, your sacrifices can create amazing, permanent changes in your life and the lives of those around you too. You never know unless you try:

One small sacrifice can set you on a new path forever.

What’s one sacrifice, no matter how small, that you’re going to make this week to further your cause?

Leave a comment and I’ll pick 3 winners at random to send signed copies of my book, Level Up Your Life!:

  • Can you sacrifice buying more clothes or gadgets to save up for your first big adventure?
  • Can you sacrifice hanging out with friends that have long worn out their welcome to spend more time with people that you actually enjoy?
  • Can you sacrifice junk food and soda and pizza for a few months while you reset your unhealthy relationship with food to something that is balanced?
  • Can you sacrifice your video game addicting to finally get your side business off the ground?

Let’s hear it! I VOLUNTEER!

-Steve

PS: If you enjoyed today’s post, it’s an adaptation from my book which is available on Amazon, iBooks, and in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide!

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photo: Bernhard Hanakam: MockingJay, Ansuz: Katniss, Jade Jilly: Katniss Art

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131 thoughts on “Katniss Shows Us That Sometimes Sacrifice Is Necessary

  1. Beer. Craft beer has been a hobby for the last 6 years. Brewing…and drinking. I’ve recently been concerned that my hobby is becoming a habit and my consumption is getting out of control. Beers keep getting bigger, and my tolerance keeps getting higher. It is without a doubt getting in the way of my ability to get to the level of fitness I want and hindering my life in general. It’s also wildly expensive. So, beer will be my sacrifice. Besides, I’m really not fond of being called the “beer guy/beer nerd” anymore.

  2. This article was perfect for me at the moment. The thing that holds me back is alcohol. I eat really healthy but I drink too much and it means I don’t lose any fat. Also it stops me saving for my dream which is making an amazing larping village in Australia, Victoria. Thank you for this post. It will be one I read over and over.

  3. Steve, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m currently saving up for my Camp Nerd Fitness/New York in the Fall trip I’m taking this year! I have to sacrifice a lot of mindless spending that I used to do to be able to afford this trip which is hard but also good because I can look at what I used to spend money on and change my habits to level up.
    I’m also trying to change my dietary habits, and at the moment I’m slowly giving up sugar because I know that it really helps to curb my emotional eating. I feel better when I don’t eat sugar, but it’s frakking hard, too! I have to say no to people quite a bit but I know it’s worth it, in part because of you and Nerd Fitness.

  4. The link on the “I sacrificed my AMAZING job to try and turn Nerd Fitness into a business.” part is wrong. Regardless, great post! Thank you for this. I need to remind myself I’m fighting for something bigger than me. And I must remain strong!!!

  5. Wow, where did the time go, I’m 52 years young and making a sacrifice to have little, well no social life by starting college. My children are grown and I’m on my own to finally pursue my passion to earn a college degree. To hold a full time job and be a full time college student is a challenge to say the least. But I am determined to make sacrifices now so I can spend time doing what I love, teaching. I get so much inspiration from this site. Thanks Steve!

  6. I played roller derby for 4 years and loved it!! Don’t give up, especially when it’s hard. And it will be challenging at times, for sure. Keep with it and you won’t regret it! Enjoy!

  7. I volunteer to sacrifice the time I spend browsing the internet on my phone each morning before I drag myself out of bed, so I can get up and meditate.

  8. I’m sacrificing justifying unhealthy habits.It’s like a bit of a comfort blanket I suppose. I’ve done really well so far and have lost 16 lbs but have such a long way to go, and really I would get there quicker if I just stopped convincing myself it’s okay, you can have that pizza. Go on, a small McDonald’s won’t hurt. And while it’s in my calorie “budget” I know it’s not nutritionally what my body wants or needs. So I will stop saying it’s okay and look for healthy alternatives because I know exactly how bad a pizza or burger is. Thanks for the constant inspiration 🙂

  9. I’m committing to sacrificing Soda.
    I’m committing to sacrificing Sweets.
    I’m committing to sacrificing Gaming Time.
    I’m committing to sacrificing Social Media.
    I’m committing to sacrificing Warm Comfy Bed Time.
    I’m committing to sacrificing Bad Habits.

    Been following Nerd Fitness quietly for the last three years or so. I’m now 18 and have fuller control over me. Time to start leveling up!

    Thank you for making this option available to me.

  10. This is so true and exactly what I needed to hear today. I am currently training for a 5K however I have been struggling staying motivated because of my job, going to school and balancing me time. I have been doing my weight training 2 times a week and running at least twice a week and bike 4 miles on Saturdays. Yay me, right? Wrong cause I have fallen into my old negative habits of stress eating, not drinking enough water (drinking soda and juice instead). Though I have made some great changes, I limit the soda to twice a week and it’s the small can, now I am moving to Caprisuns because they are less calories, I just feel defeated because I focus on all I am doing wrong not what I am doing right. THANK YOU for this. I VOLUNTEER

  11. This post is really helpful. I already keep in mind that I may have to make sacrifices for my long-term goals and I continuously struggle with it. I totally agree with you and I’m sharing this post to a friend that is having trouble recovering from a trauma.

  12. This post really hit home for me, I often give in to bad habits and then berate myself for that. So for the next 5 weeks I am going to hit the reset button on two bad parts of my life because I desperately need to change, and I know that.
    1) I am going to sacrifice the immediate gratification of eating sugary/ unhealthy foods. I always regret it and a part of me knows I will feel bad in an hour, but that part of me is always shouted over by the part of me that is addicted to sugar and used to being obeyed.
    2) I am going to sacrifice the brain numbing activity of TV/ Internet. Instead of avoiding my problems and dragging out my nights with endless scrolling I will spend my time productively to study (shock horror), workout and sleep. Except for the bare minimum of emails and messages that need to be dealt with, there will be no more mindless screen time for me, maybe instead I will get to confront my issues and who knows, maybe I’ll grow and become a better person.
    Thank you so much Steve from the bottom of my heart for really spelling this out to me, along with so many other things in your articles. I badly needed this boot up the butt to get me back onto the track of becoming a hero. I might not know a lot about, well anything much really, but I do know I need to change because I look at where I am and I am not happy here and I know I can do better, if I just put some effort into my life.
    5 weeks to reset my life, destroy unhealthy habits and form new habits. 5 weeks to begin the journey to becoming the me I dream about. It is time to stop dreaming, to stop taking the easy road and instead put in a bit of effort, make some sacrifices and make my heroic vision into a reality!

  13. Biggest recent sacrifice was not exactly voluntary (my now-ex-wife), though it may be what I needed. Been kind of wallowing for the last several months. But realistically, she did hold me back. Anytime I developed any enthusiasm for getting in shape and eating healthy, she would run it down and give me all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t do it, or shouldn’t try. I said once that I that I admired Chris Evans as Captain America, and wouldn’t mind trying to do that costume. She shut that down pretty hard – “There’s no way you ever could do that.”

    Maybe I can do that better now that she’s gone.

  14. I hate the idea of sacrifice, but I know it’s necessary for me to become healthy. I’m going to be giving up junk food for at least the next month. No candy, no soda, no *gasp* pizza.

    I want my life to change. I have a job I can’t stand in a horrible work environment. I’m stuck in a cubicle all day, under fluorescent lights that give me a headache. I’m a creative in an office full of non-creatives. No one understands my job or what I do, nor do they want to. But the pay is decent and it’s helping me get out of some of my debt.

    My dream is to make my photography tours business viable. I’ll get to travel, I’ll be the leader (which I love), and I’ll be in control of the direction of a company.

    I want to lose 90lbs as well, because my wife and I are starting a family and we want to be around for a very long time. We need health to be a major part of our lives.

  15. I recently lost a 13 year relationship because I was getting too thin for the person I was with. It sucks to lose someone but in the end it has felt so much more liberating to be able to really pursue what’s important.

  16. I’ve been feeling so…blah lately. Lost. Lonely. Not knowing wtf I’m doing anymore. Not knowing what makes me happy beyond eating/drinking whatever tastes good and staring at the TV. I’ve felt like I’m wasting my life, but I can’t think of what to do to make myself feel more fulfilled. At the end of the day, I have a job, husband, comfortable home, and my bills are paid. It’s everything I could want — it’s stable. But I’ve never been happy with myself, health-wise. It’s the only aspect of my life that I have consistently failed at getting under control. And I think those years and years of failure are what’s getting to me now.

    All that said, this article really helped me out and gave me a nerdy, fresh perspective on things. I’ve bookmarked this page so I can come back and read it again tomorrow. It’s been the only thing in the last few days that has motivated me at all to keep trying. So thank you for sharing!

  17. I love this. And I actually started sacrificing the unhealthy food on Monday. It’s just one of those 21 day challenges that pop up on Facebook and Pinterest. Pretty much major cut back on the sugar and junk food, and I added a few things to the end of the list, like alcohol. It was perfectly timed because the 21 days takes me up to my birthday, and if I can celebrate my birthday feeling a little bit better about myself, then this was more than worth it!

    The first few days were a little rough. I had a horrible headache day two, and when I went on my afternoon run I felt so sluggish. But the headaches are gone, and I’m hoping I have a little more energy for my run today!

  18. I am currently sacrificing soda. I am still allowing myself to have one on the weekends and hope to eventually cut that out as well. Not having it during the week is a big sacrifice for me because I used to drink at least two a day (one at work and one in the evening). I’ve replaced it with plain water and flavored water. I’m on week two. last week was a struggle, i had the headaches and tiredness but this week I am feeling better Ironically when I had my soda over the weekend it did not taste as good as it used to. It’s a small sacrifice and a small change but it’s a starting place.

  19. What a great post about commitment and sacrifice. I’ve struggled to keep my weight at a reasonable level for years, mainly because I’ve been resisting the sacrifice of giving up the foods I want to eat. I recently stumbled across Nerd Fitness and I’ve immediately become addicted!
    I just became a dad and so my commitment to change has gained new strength! I want to live a healthy life full of exercise and good nutrition so that I’m a positive example to my daughter. This means that I”m making exercise a priority – even when I feeling the “up-all-night-with-a-crying-baby-zombie-esque-sleepiness.” This also means not giving in to the sweets and treats that tend to haunt the workroom at school (my wife and I are both teachers).
    My interest in sacrifice has been slipping recently, but this post reminded me of what I’m working toward, of the dragon that I’m trying to slay. Thanks Steve for your insight and for being willing to make the sacrifices that you have in order to put this great resource out onto the web. I look forward to remaking myself and becoming a strong member of the rebellion!

  20. CRAP. I know exactly what I need to sacrifice: ALCOHOL. I love beer. I love vodka. I drink one or the other every night. I feel like I’ve made so many sacrifices for my health and my finances already–I pack my lunch, I don’t buy junk food for the house, I pick the healthy choices at restaurants, I coupon, I do Costco, I cook dinner, I make crockpots of healthy stuff–that I deserve a drink. And then I wonder why I wake up with headaches and my weight doesn’t change.
    I stopped drinking for a few months last year, when I was sick and on pain meds. It was fine. I drank tea at night. But knowing that there’s nothing stopping me from drinking has made it very easy to get back into the habit! So, now I need to become the thing stopping myself. Hide the vodka. Don’t buy beer. (Which is super easy, because Colorado doesn’t sell beer in grocery stores–hey Jen, don’t make that extra trip to a liquor store!) Don’t drink alone, only socially. Nights are for tea and rest.

  21. This probably does not sound like a big sacrifice, but this week I will be making sweet tea a part of my past. It used to be my best friend and is now one of my worst enemies. The combination of the caffeine and the sugar destroys me by bringing up my blood pressure, increasing my anxiety, and it does not help that I am anemic. The sugar I’m sure contributes some pounds too..(the tea I typically drink is almost syrup because it has so much sugar in it) I reckon it is time to part ways. Thanks for the encouraging words!

  22. Another great post Steve. I know there are different areas I can sacrifice to level up- now I need to put that knowledge into action and commit.

  23. Nerd Fitness was my “gateway drug” to a healthier lifestyle. I’ve struggled with weight gain since college and thought that there was something physiologically wrong with me. Turns out, it was all because of my poor eating habits. I had heard of the Paleo and Primal lifestyles and decided that it would work for me because it wasn’t too restrictive. Bacon? Yay! I tried the diet part (strict Paleo) for thirty days, but to “up my game” I decided to start working out consistently, but I didn’t know where to start. Enter NERD FITNESS! The beginner body weight circuit was perfect for me because I didn’t know the first thing about working out correctly, and I couldn’t afford a gym membership or trainer. I lost 20 pounds and a couple of pant sizes and decided to join a local roller derby league!
    Sometimes I fall off the wagon, but the incredible success stories of NF Rebels keep me motivated to keep leveling up. What is best in life? To crush your doubt, see it driven before you, and hear the lamentations of your fat cells! Never give up, never surrender, rebels!

  24. I loved the book! It’s inspired me in so many ways, and I’m hoping I win a copy so I can share it with my Mom.
    This week I’m sacrificing “easy comfort” for “intentional discomfort”. I’ve wanted to develop watercolor skills for at least a year (I’m starting at ground zero artistic wise), but instead of using my evening time to practice and learn, I crash on the couch and read or Netflix. Nothing wrong with reading, but there is something wrong with defaulting to an easier activity.
    I set myself up for success by creating a youtube playlist at the beginning of the week with beginner watercolor lessons, and getting all my supplies out and ready to go. I’ve watched a handful where I could fit them in around other obligations, and tonight I have time scheduled to play and know exactly what I want to practice. Feels kind of liberating 🙂

  25. For the past several months I’ve been wrestling with the distraction that is TV/Netflix – well, wrestling with the knowledge that I’m spending way too much time watching it. I know I need to cut back (or maybe eliminate it completely) because my entire evening/weekend is GONE the second the TV is turned on. I almost went cold turkey for lent; inspired by people around me giving up their vices. ALMOST. But when it came down to it, the allure of other people’s fictional stories won over living my own adventure. So much I want to do… but so much more tv to watch. This habit is sidelining me from life. I know it. I haven’t had the courage to do anything about it. Until now. Starting today I’m only permitted one hour of tv per day. So I must choose wisely and then get back to my own epic quest of awesome. Thank YOU Steve for giving me this kick in the pants.

  26. My sister called me up yesterday sounding very confused-“Did you cancel your Hulu account?!” I share my account with her forgot to tell her that yes, I cancelled my account. I still watch the shows that I follow on other sites… but this prevents me from taking the time to watch the ones I don’t care about…

    This week…hmmm… I noticed that I’ve been spending far too much time on FB, so I’m going to give myself a limit of 1 hr per day (divided into 4 times a day) – with the exception of using it for work purposes. It’s been such an unproductive waste of time for me…

  27. Loved the article! My husband and I are working together to get back into good habits, but fast food is just so easy. I’m going to give it up for 3 months (yikes) and see where it leads. I am also in the middle of your book- fantastic!

  28. I needed this. I needed this BAD, in all aspects of my life. My partner has been attending school full-time, and while I encouraged it, I’ve lately felt slightly resentful of the fact that I work and pay the bills while he gets to follow his dreams. I had forgotten that I chose to sacrifice my time and self in order to better both of our lives. And while I may complain, there is still MORE that I could sacrifice to achieve my goals. Sometimes it’s hard to step back on our own and envision the whole picture. Sometimes we need an arrow in the butt or a wand up the nose to get the hint.
    1.) I will be sacrificing my YouTube browsing and FB browsing (which I do entirely too much of in the name of “relaxation”) and use that time to focus on growing my Etsy business and taking my Gemology courses.
    2.) I will be sacrificing my comfort foods and redoing the NF nutrition portion which I’d done so long ago.
    3.) I will be sacrificing my spending on “things I need” (haha) in order to get into a better financial state.
    Thank you for this.

  29. I’m sacrificing my comfy (but kind of miserable) part time job in retail for my first full time job in automotive. I went to school to be an auto tech but never really pursued the field because I didn’t think I was good enough. I’m terrified of failing, but I need to do this to be happier and to really level up my life.

  30. Steve, this post really resonated with me. As a mom I can understand what it means to sacrifice my wants for my kids but I have never thought of it in therms of my own health. I’ve been getting your emails for awhile now so long I’ve forgotten when I actually signed up for them. I even joined the Academy and half-heartedly went through a few quests before giving up. I guess you could say up to this point I wasn’t ready to make sacrifices for my health but now I’m thinking, “why not? I’m worth it right?”. I’m 40 and at the highest weight of my life except for when I was pregnant and I think it’s high time I started making those sacrifices for me! Thanks, Steve for the wonderful inspiration and all you are doing for people here.

  31. Yea! Way to go! One step and day at a time. Isn’t Nerd Fitness a great community?

  32. I started this week battling really bad food poisoning and woke up today literally a new person! Because I started taking in food slowly, I’ve decided to start a new (hopefully permanent) change in my daily diet. What better place to start than after bad food making me sick; good food will only make me feel better and stronger and never this bad again! My family usually fall to their cravings but I’ll be the first step to stop it or find better variations. I’m feeling strong in this, probably because I know I never want to go through what I did earlier this week again, and I won’t need luck cause I got this but good thoughts are always welcomed!

  33. Actually, I’m kind of a reverse case. I need to learn how to relax more and balance out my strong self-motivation. So I’m starting to give up a little work time, a little progress to relax. I’m seeing friends and playing with my family more to balance out working toward going freelance.

    Relaxation is just as important as working. I find that I get more done as I make a regular habit of relaxation, rather than pushing myself to work every moment I’m not at my day job. I feel much better now!

  34. I’ve been battling exertion headaches and trying to get the doctors to take me seriously and not brush it off as breathing or dehydration and I’m finnally on a pill that kills the pain. It has been hard and now I have a pavlovian reaction to exsersize that isn’t good but I’m still fighting.

  35. This was a really moving and needed post. I haven’t ever commented before but I wanted to share what I am sacrificing.
    I feel like sometimes the thing that we need to sacrifice is a crutch, or a veil over our eyes. When I was in college, I was severely depressed and suicidal during my junior and senior year. I barely remember any of it. My comfort thing – the one thing that made me feel something – was simultaneously hating my body and eating like crazy (mostly sugary stuff). I would go to restaurants in my small college town at times when I knew no one would be there and order a huge dessert and eat it all. I would buy expensive chocolate eat multiple bars just sitting in my room. It was comforting. When I first went to college I was thin, but I hated my body even then, and I thought I was huge and ugly (this was exacerbated by the unreal beauty standards at my school where disordered eating is the norm). My conviction that I was worthless, ugly, and that my physical form would make people hate me made me adopt a “what does it matter” mentality related to food. I was ugly anyway, so what would a few slices of cake hurt, right? Plus, it made me feel good – in the short term.
    I graduated about a year ago. In the process of recovery I have slowly come to terms with what my body actually is. So what I am sacrificing is my hatred of my body – which is the easy, reflexive pattern of thought and behaviour. The commitment I am making is to be in touch with it and to learn all that it can do, to make a home in it, and to treat it well and make it feel good.

  36. The first thing I sacrificed for fitness was soda. The list of foods (or rather junk foods) kept growing. But, after a while it didn’t even feel like a sacrifice. I started eating protein bars instead of snickers and sparkling water instead of soda. Recently, I slipped and had a snicker’s bar for the first time in a long while. It was terrible. I honestly had no interest in it. And I am currently a protein bar junkie. My body adapted to crave the healthy food rather than the useless calories. So, yes, it is hard at first, but it won’t be hard forever.

  37. I have recently started a new job which is a stepping stone to my own business, but I’ve found myself without a lot of energy outside of work. I’m now making time and setting goals to improve myself. I’ve also started making time to read again which I’ve sorely missed in the last few months.

  38. My goals this year are to ditch the soda, get rid of debt and change up my lifestyle so it is more positive. This post is inspiring and relieving because I have had a lot of push back from people regarding my life choices. Thank you for this!

  39. I’m sacrificing upgrading my computer. My comp is so old and is slowly dying, rather than spending 700 bucks on a new computer I’m going to instead put that money to some good shoes for Walking, maybe sign up for need fitness academy and put the rest in saving for lessons for my license.

  40. This is such a motivational post, changes in your life always require sacrifice and you have to decide which sacrifices you’re willing to make and which you’re not. If you’re not willing to make certain sacrifices then you may have to accept that you may not be able to make certain changes. I, like others that have posted, sacrificed my job, living close to my family and in the end, some of my friends (who couldn’t understand why I couldn’t drop everything to see them at the last minute), to train for a new career. Now I sacrifice my love of chocolate and all things sweet because I know they’re not good for me, and there are other sacrifices I’m thinking about making, this post might just have persuaded me to do that! Lucy

  41. Steve, Great Post!

    I volunteer to sacrifice junk food. Every lunch and dinner usually includes some form of sugary desert, and I know to get my fitness level where I want it, I will need to sacrifice that.

    I am curious about your video gaming examples. I really enjoy games and manage my time enough to be able to play a bit. You mentioned in reference to video games “not all of which are healthy”, which games do you enjoy and which could you consider “healthy”?

    Thanks!
    Daniel

  42. Great post!
    Forever F.I.T. is an advanced nutritional, cleansing and weight-management program designed to help you look and feel better in three easy-to-follow steps. You can find us at http://goo.gl/Umzcnq

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