When I was a little kid, my dad had a coffee mug with a bunch of clever and silly sayings all over it. The one I most remember was “eat a live toad first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” I remember thinking that was quite a funny albeit horrible way of making sure you had a good rest of your day! As I got a little older I began to realize it was more of a metaphor for not procrastinating. It was a playful reminder to first get those things out of the way that are a struggle for you and then the rest of your path will be easier. Today there’s even a book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog” which breaks down 21 methods and techniques to stop procrastinating. For nostalgic reasons, I prefer the toad in my metaphor. So how do we apply this principle to success in health and fitness?
For a lot of people, working out is that toad. If you plan to exercise after work but keep finding yourself getting to the end of the day having run out of time and ultimately saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” then it’s time to make it the FIRST part of your day. Don’t do anything else until you’ve worked out. It may require getting up a little earlier, but you won’t have to worry about not having enough time later. If it’s truly important to you and the rest of your day is unpredictable, do it before everything else.
For others, the struggle is eating healthy. The “toad” in this case may be clearing your house of anything that would not be on your diet. This can be very difficult to throw away things that are still edible and that you love, but as long as they are in your house, they will continue to be a temptation that can derail your efforts and keep you struggling week after week. Those items need to be thrown away before starting a healthy eating plan if you are truly serious about succeeding.
Today is the day for you to eat that toad. It will require talking to your body rather than listening to your body. Do that thing that you’ve been putting off that you know you should do. Whether it’s exercising first thing in the morning, clearing out the pantry, or whatever is holding you back from achieving your goals, do it now. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, eat that toad today! I promise the rest of your day, your week and your life will be much better!