Let’s talk about Failure. As I said on my last #StatsDay post, I have become a bit more forgiving of myself for fairly significant mistakes while trying to maintain a more healthy lifestyle. When creating my former regiments, I made the mistake of setting unrealistic expectations for my ‘performance’, and thus I would often beat myself up mentally when I made a mistake, missed a work out or had a mid-weak cheat. My plans previously looked like this.
- Follow Diet Program X Perfectly six days a week with one to two Cheat Meals on the 7th Day
- Exercise Six Days a Week
- Drink Preciisely 150 oz of Water
- Stay Postive All the Time!
How feasible does this sound to you? At the time, I thought it was PERFECTLY logical! Set high expectations! Shoot for the Moon, because if you falter you’ll hit the stars! Even if you manage to get through week 1 with those expectations, you will burn out by week three. Perhaps, I should be more specific. If you are like me, you will burn out by week three. So, what do we do? Give up? Hell, No! We just need to have a healthier attitude towards failure. Setting goals and creating schedules is great. It’s helpful to put you in the ballpark of where you want to go. However, Goals or at least failing to attain goals, can also lead us to over-look progress.
Take my goal. I want to lose 50lbs by the First Weekend in November. Now, if I only hit 90% of that goal, I will have lost 45lbs. If I hit only 50% of that goal, I will have lost 25lbs. That is all still progress. The point I am trying to make is simple. When we set big goals and we encounter failure we have to evaluate the failure, instead of mourning it. Morning it can result in shame spirals and before you know it, you’ve given back the 5 lbs you lost and you are at square one. However, if you step on the scale for your weigh in and you see you gained a pound. Stop. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and say, “Well, I failed this week.” Then examine your week and determine what was different that may have hurt you. Then change it.
I had a big failure this week. It happened yesterday. I ate two donuts. Yep two donuts were consumed. You would think after donut one, I would have stopped myself, but then I saw that Apple Fritter, and we all know what happened next. So, what did I do? I assessed my problem. I could have avoided the donut box probably all day. I chose not to avoid it. That was the mistake. I have to adjust for next time.
Will this day of failure affect my stats at week’s end? Probably, but all I can do is adjust for next time. And that is my philosphy for this version of the Spare Tire Project. Focus on the moment, not the end result. Make choices that are positive and pat myself on the back for the times I do succeed and allow those moments of success to grow into the norm. My new plan looks like this:
- Eat Whole Organic Foods when feasible
- Move and Exercise when feasible
- Sleep more
- Be Gracious to yourself.
That last bit is important. You need to be good to yourself and forgive yourself for the mis-steps. Essentially, that is what livign a healthy and fit lifestyle is about, being good to yourself.