As I get closer to my goal, I’ve written about the Dark & Twisty that emerges and the stuff that comes up. Over these last few months, it’s become clearer to me what has derailed me in the past.
The answer is my all-or-nothing mentality. We all know how great it feels in the beginning. You start a new program, you go hardcore into doing it, and you are doing it perfectly. You are tracking your progress and loving the results. Then, it gets boring, or you don’t have the same stellar results week to week. Or, in my case, I have a few too many slips and feel deflated. Or, I have an angry moment around feeling deprived and hopeless.
Success isn’t a straight arrow up. Ask anyone who has ever been tremendously successful at anything. There are mistakes, missteps, setbacks, and a lot of “No’s.” The difference between success and failure really boils down to one thing: Those who stop, fail. Those who keep going, typically find a way to reach their goal. My all-or-nothing approach in the past never accounted for the pitfalls, or the high stress moments when I’m tempted to go back to old behaviors, old ways of “comforting” myself. My all-or-nothing approach didn’t leave much room for a reset, or for the emotions that come up around making any radical change. I was damned the minute I wasn’t doing it perfectly. Not only did I get sloppy with the rules, I got tired of beating myself up. At some point I stopped trusting the process and I simply stopped. Game over. Too much to think about.
Now, I feel like I have more tools in my toolbox. The rules are clear. The A-Team reminds me I don’t have to do this alone. I write it out, I let it go more often. The planning and weighing and measuring have become more automatic, which means there’s less space taken up in my brain. Many who are on this journey with me have commented on how easy it becomes. That’s not to say every day is a walk in the park. But, the simplicity really helps to make it easier to stick with it.
- When I fall, I get back up. I don’t beat myself up. I get up, and I resume. That’s it.
- I have a plan for when things don’t go according to plan.. Right now I’m in the midst of finishing a television series, so my hours can be long, leaving little time to be perfect on the planning front. So, I have items in the freezer as my go-to. I pre-plan what my 911 meal will be if I’m late for dinner or have to stay at the office later than planned.
- When I’m hungry in between meals, I drink H2O. If I’m eating everything I’m supposed to eat, I know I will make it to the next meal just fine, and that most likely the ‘hunger’ is really about staying hydrated.
- I vary my meals at dinner so it doesn’t get boring. I actually love having the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. It’s easy, it’s predictable and it’s less to think about. But dinner is a meal I especially look forward to at the end of the day, so I try to vary it by trying new MBL-friendly recipes, or by choosing new restaurants that serve great whole foods.
- This is not about perfection, it’s about practice. I do the best I can in any situation. Letting go of my need to have it be all-or-nothing has freed my mind. Every day is a chance to practice doing it differently. I have a choice about whether I spend my time stressing out or simply doing the best I can.
Life will throw curveballs. In the past, a super stressful time was the perfect out for me to stop taking care of myself. I was too busy to deal. I was too tired to think about myself. And isn’t that EXACTLY when we SHOULD be taking better care of ourselves? I am happier when I know that no matter what, this is a priority. I no longer see the logic in taxing my health, or mind or spirit over any stressor. It’s not always perfect, but there’s that word again: Practice. When I start to spin, I re-focus my mind and give myself a moment to breathe. I take a walk around the block. I recognize this too shall pass. And pass it does. When I want the weight to come off more quickly, I remind myself to trust the process. I know what to do to get the result, because I’ve gotten a big result. And so, I practice. I trust the process. And I do the best I can. I don’t need to be as straight as an arrow.