I have spent a lot of time calling myself a slacker and honestly, sometimes I truly feel like one. However, when I look back at how far I have come since the start of my journey, I know that is bullshit and I am just hard on myself.
Despite not really working out for the past few months I have basically maintained my weight and that shows growth! Yes, I've lost some muscle and I'm carrying an extra 5 pounds, but in the grand scheme of things, that's a win!
This shows me how far I have actually come, because I did not fall into my old bad habits for the long haul. The version of me on the left is a very different version of myself than you see in the middle and the on the right. In the middle I was strict with my food and my workouts and I would be disappointed with setbacks. On the right, which is who I am now as I sit here writing this, I have empathy for myself and I am more focused on long term success.
I am thankfully at a point in my journey where I can recognize my old "bad" behaviors and flip the switch before I do too much damage, which is not an easy thing to do. Having empathy for myself took my a long time to master. If you struggle to show yourself grace and empathy, I highly recommend you spend some time working on it.
When I started my journey a decade ago doing programs like P90X and Insanity, I knew that intense level of workout was not something that I wanted to maintain forever. I wanted to reach a point where I could workout 3-4 days a week and have enough control over my nutrition to maintain a normal, healthy weight range for my height and age.
Eventually we all need to hit a point of "balance" between workouts, nutrition, life and work. We need to be honest with ourselves that there is no perfection and that rest is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle.
As I've discussed before, balance is simply being okay with yourself when you can't be 100% on par with all aspects of life at the same time. In order to reach balance, you need to let go of perfectionism.
It is not easy to keep up with two-a-days or going hardcore at the gym each and every day. It is not easy to eat 100% on par daily, either. This stuff was never meant to be easy, and while it might be necessary in the beginning (depending on your goals) to establish new routines and habits, I do not believe it is meant to be a long term way of life.
So, while there are times that I slack off and do not do the things I know I should be doing, I am still proud. I always thought losing weight was a linear progression, with a starting point and an ending point, but that is not true.
True wellness and lifestyle change never stops. When you set out to live the best life you can, the healthiest life you can, you realize that you will forever be learning and adjusting something in your life, because your mindset shifts and sometimes your goals along with it.
I have reached my weight loss goal. I have lost over 100lbs. I have maintained my progress (with some ups and downs) and I'm constantly planning new and exciting ways to improve myself. My focus these days is on my mindset, which I truly believe is the key to long term success when it comes to health.
We need to be proud of our progress as well as our setbacks. These are the things that keep us focused and can help inspire and motivate others. If average people like you and I can achieve our goals, share our stories, admit our defeats and celebrate our success, then it gives hope to others who haven't started yet or who have struggled a setback on their own journey.
The moral of this story? Every so often we need to stop and reflect on the things that we have achieved. We need to acknowledge that the setbacks taught us much needed lessons and that as long as we do not quit, we do not fail.
It is very easy to dwell on the negative or get hung up on the slip ups we encounter along the way. I know first hand how hard it is to stay positive at times, but we need to stay focused on our goal.
It does not matter how many times you trip and fall, what matter is how many times you get back up, dust yourself off, and keeping moving forward in the direction of your dreams. #FailForward
Listen and subscribe to the podcast version of this blog HERE