Life is Constant Frustration

Learning to accept the work and frustration of beginning THB until it becomes second nature.
Learning to accept the work and frustration of beginning THB until it becomes second nature.
Jerzy Gregorek Eating Cabbage The Happy Body

Are you frustrated? Good. Keep being frustrated. Why? Because being frustrated means only one thing – you’re still alive and not giving up on yourself. You’re still trying to figure out where and how you can take control of your life instead of giving in to whatever happens to you and accepting your “fate.”

No frustration here. Happy Jerzy rabit and his cabbage.

But there are two kinds of frustrations: frustration before making a choice (the internal battle), and frustration after you’ve done it. Either way—whether you give in to what you want or you stay strong and keep your commitment—you’re going to be frustrated.

If you decide to follow The Happy Body, the decision is already laid out for you with a specific plan and principles to adhere to. As creators and coaches we took responsibility for the outcome: if properly executed, you’re not going to be hungry on the food plan and you will also lose weight. You are asked to follow a plan that is precise in respect to what you eat, when to eat, and how much. At first, this might be new to you, so you will be frustrated. Initially, there is a need for repetitive practice – it often takes effort and perseverance, to change our habitual thinking and overcome destructive emotional responses.

Many our clients start the program with a desire to lose weight for health reasons, or they are not happy with their body image. After they understand that their own overeating created the problem, they gradually learn self-control and self-regulation as they go along. They also learn that over-exercising to compensate for overeating isn’t the answer.

If you overcome the frustration and follow what you intended to do, you will achieve your goals, feel satisfied, and be proud of yourself. In the long term, after achieving some success, you will become happier and more relaxed with a positive outlook on life. Also, since you will feel more confident in a body that you no longer need to fix, you will want to spend more quality time with your family and friends, possibly pursuing new activities or interests.

As for the other kind of frustration, frustration with your choice after you fail to follow the plan—when you “forget yourself”—you might enjoy breaking the rules at first. Before long, though, you might notice that you’re not achieving the goals set for yourself, you “remember,” and then your frustration can make you unhappy and attracted to negativity. Often you suffer emotionally, beating yourself up for how weak and undisciplined you are. . . Unless you return to following the plan, you eventually give up the program and return to your old habits. You might even say that the program doesn’t work—for you. But deep down you know it’s you who doesn’t work.

Every habit and capacity is preserved and strengthened by corresponding actions. If you want to be a writer, you need to write; a pianist, you need to play piano. The same goes for THB – you need to practice so your body becomes happy.

Occasional failure is almost unavoidable. Usually we overeat or drink when we are happy, or sad. And during the in-between times when we’re bored. You must recognize these moments and return as quickly as possible to following the program. The truth is, whether anyone else cares if you are fit or not, fat or not, it’s ultimately your choice. You have to care. It’s your personal responsibility, and also your power.

Lao Tzu’s translator, R.L. Wing said:

Lao Tzu believed that when people do not have a sense of power they become resentful and uncooperative. Individuals who do not feel personal power feel fear. Lao Tzu attributed most of the world’s ills to the fact that people do not feel powerful and independent.


Do you always recognize your frustration, is there a signal that lets you know? How do you cope with it? Can overcoming frustration be a first step toward becoming independent and liberated?

Leave your response below in the comments.

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  • Frustration is often hidden under anger. Then fear is hiding under frustration. The emotions are layered, so it’s important to sit with them and actually feel them, to figure out what the core of it all is.

    • Hi Donna,
      I think we need to keep it simple. Whatever emotions we are having at the present moment – we want to control what is up to us. There are many things and we have to make it clear what is it, so we are not frustrated afterwards.

    • Thank you Aniela, for your initial response to my comment, where you said “The most important is to choose the frustration with the hard choice in front of you. . . . Whatever the situation is . . . if you imagine your life better, you must become better.” I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve decided that it is very important to see some progress, and to be compassionate with oneself — not to expect perfection, but be gentle and patient with oneself. I do like what Jerzy said though, about the race car driver who stays in that place of pushing, spinning the wheels, and then easing off. Personally, I can’t stay in that place for too long before I need a rest. Thank you both for your expertise. I have your book, and am gradually implementing many of the things you teach.

  • Hi and thanks for the blogposts. I know I´m off topic here, but I have contacted you for some suggestions to exercises that will helped my flexibility (besides doing the Happy Body program, which I do consistently). Thanks for any advice!

    • Hi Christopher, thank you for your message. Look for an email in your inbox regarding your flexibility question.

  • Nicely put, Aniela. A unique piece of writing to see frustration – such a basic human emotion, in improvement (right?) – being broken down like this. I think it is a really important emotion to wrestle with, and almost enjoy or see as separate and just adjacent to progress. What is Jerzy frustrated with in the photo!? Caption contest please….!

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