Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning "to make sacred", from Old French, from Latin sacrificium: sacr, "sacred" + facere, "to make") is commonly known as the practice of offering food, objects (typically valuables), or the lives of animals or people to the gods as an act of propitiation (i.e., appeasement of the Gods)...
I am not sure why this is, but the term sacrifice came up about 5 times this regarding either training and/or nutrition. I hear it occasionally in my practice, but more this week than ever.
A lot of times people will say something like "Is it worth the sacrifices I have to make in my diet and exercise to get skinny?". Also, a lot of people also ask, "How long is this going to take?....Really that long? Is it worth it?"
Well here is the problem with this thinking:
1) Diet and exercise is not really a sacrifice. Why? Because you are not appeasing anybody but yourself. No one else benefits from your health and fitness but you. Diet and exercise are something that you are SUPPOSED to do.
2) Generally when you are talking about sacrifice, you are giving up something that is good for you for the betterment of others. Being a couch potato and eating pizza are not going to appease whatever God you believe in. Also, no one (with the exception of your cardiologist or endocrinologist) benefits from this.
Now getting back to something more practical. When you are thinking about whether it is "worth it", you really can't think about today because:
1) You haven't put the work in yet, and more importantly,
2) You haven't experienced the benefits of your work yet and may not for some time.
But when we are talking about sacrifice, what we are really talking about is gratification:
* Junk food provides immediate gratification, but will harm you long term. In the short term, it may be amazing.
* Exercise and good nutritution bring very delayed gratification, which is realized gradually over the course of months if not years. It may even hurt short term.
So if you are asking the question about sacrifice, you are really asking about short-term vs. long-term gratification. Forward thinking vs. myopic thinking. NOW vs. LATER.
I will leave you with these thoughts:
* I have never, EVER met someone who is in shape, especially after being overweight for some time, say "You know, if I knew I was going to work this hard or it was going to take this long, I wouldn't have done it." Never heard that sentiment expressed.
==> I don't think Ronnie is wondering whether it was worth it or not.
* I have never met someone who was fat say "I am really glad I eat the majority of my meals at McDonald's, in hindsight that was a really bright decision."
I have run projects for many years, and after the successful completion, no one ever regrets the effort it takes. In fact, a year down the road they don't even remember. But boy a the beginning do we argue about "why does it take so long?" and "It is
going to cost how much?"