Be a Robot/Fail Forward

Fotolia_100939028_XS.jpg

“Failure isn’t a badge of shame. It’s a rite of passage”

– Tony Hseih, co-founder Zappos

One hashtag I check regularly on the WordPress Reader is “diet.” I’ll usually find a variety of posts ranging from informational to motivational to interesting to just plain silly.

There’s one type of post I find EVERY time. I call it the “wah wah failure post.” It goes something like this:

“Dear Internet:

Wah wah wah. I’ve only been on my diet six days, and already I’ve caved and eaten seventeen hamburgers smothered in cheese, marshmallows, and gravy.

I knew from the beginning that I was a fat stupid failure, and now once again I’m reminded of what a stupid fat failure I am.

Well, I figure if I already ruined this diet, might as well enjoy the weekend. It is Easter after all! I guess I’ll  start again Monday.

It’s hard staying motivated with this slow metabolism. So unfair! Especially since my sister eats anything she wants and stays rail thin. #ughhhh”

 

Stop Expecting Not To Fail

Why do people expect that they will declare themselves on a diet, and from that day forward – they will never fail?

In the whole of human history, no person has ever achieved ANYTHING without failing at it first. And no, I’m not talking about large or notable accomplishments. I’m talking about the basics. For example, tying your shoe.

How many times did you mess up tying your shoe before you finally got it right? Three times? Seven times? One hundred and three times?

You failed a lot at first. And then you got a little better. But, although passable, your knot was still probably not great for some time. Finally, you became a shoe tying expert. And once you did – you forgot how hard it was to get there. And then some bastard came along and invented velcro shoes. You become a nihilist. After all, what’s the point?

Basically, we are born with three abilities: suckle, breathe, defecate. Everything else we need to learn.

Our bodies are basically sensors and processors. We act then measure then act then measure until we get an action down decently enough to call it “not a failure.”  And we still probably suck at it. We have to fail more and get even better.

And Yet…

And yet, when you go on a diet – you expect that you’re going to magically summon some untapped reserve of willpower and never fail.

The foolishness is TRIPLE here, because:

  1. If your willpower were excellent, you prrroooobably wouldn’t find yourself in this current predicament (not that I believe in willpower, see my post here); AND
  2. Your body doesn’t WANT to lose weight. It wants sweet sweet homeostasis.

When you tie your shoe, your shoe isn’t fighting you at every step. 

evil-shoe.jpg

Or is it? 

..But when you diet, your body IS fighting you. And it wants to win badly.

That’s because your poor hot body thinks it’s dying. And you’re the sick nut who’s killing it. “Why won’t you feed me?” asks your poor hot body. But it only hears its own echo.

When you fight your body, you’ll win sometimes. But you won’t win every time. No big deal. You don’t have to.

You just need to fail forward.

You ARE going to fail. You will. So you need to fail forward.

Failing forward means taking accountability for your failure. Which is VERY different from making yourself feel guilty about it.

Be an alien robot from another galaxy. Don’t color your failure with emotions that don’t serve you. Instead, examine your failure with the disinterested mind of a curious yet mechanical being, programmed by a wizard lightyears away in a galaxy called “Disintrestrex Four.”

What are the FACTS behind your failure? Separate them out from the story you weaved yourself.

Robots don’t care about stories. They have no idea about your childhood or your mean aunt Mae or your white privilege or all of those terrible things your third grade teacher said to you when you accidentally killed the class pet.

Robots only care about the root cause of  your malfunction. They need to compile an error report to send back to the mothership, and they don’t want your humanoid opinion. They want facts.

Why do you fail?

I never fail, because I’m an exemplary person. Wink wink.

..But if I ever WERE to fail (WINK WINK), it might be because: 

  • I didn’t get enough sleep
  • I ate a carby breakfast
  • I drank a tub full of alcohol
  • I kept tempting foods in the house (ahem…girl scout cookies)

Knowing this list keeps me in the habit of making good decisions. And that’s enough.

You don’t need to be an angel like me to look and feel hot as Satan himself. You just need to make a lot more good choices than bad ones.

So know yourself! And know thyself! Even if those both mean the same exact thing.

Know why you fail, and how you fail.
Know that it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. And yet, know also that you’re not at all to blame. Losing weight is hard! Food is good. And your body is fighting you.

Finally, fail forward!!! 

  • Leverage your failures to learn more about yourself.
  • Use this knowledge to improve and refine your efforts.

How can YOU use YOUR last “failure” to improve your odds of success?

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

On Failures and Yo-Yo Dieters

Sit Ups

Some people can lose weight and keep it off simply by adopting and maintaining good habits. If you fall into this category, then awesome! Just focus on your habits and you’ll be at your goal soon.

For other people, maintaining good habits is probably not enough. Don’t get me wrong, good habits are KEY. They are the absolute most important factor in determining your fitness outcome.

But if you have developed a negative psychological framework with regards to food, movement, and your own self-image, you are fighting an uphill battle. You can help yourself by becoming mindful of your mental framework and taking steps to improve it.

On Failures and Yo Yo Dieters

“Failures” and “Yo Yo Dieters” are people who believe they just can’t win. Two destructive beliefs are most common:

  1. I am failure at dieting and always will be;
  2. Food will always be a struggle

BITCH, just shut the fuck up. You aren’t a failure at dieting. You’re just a person who failed at dieting. Big fucking deal.

Losing weight is HARD. Even for so called “naturally skinny” people.  When your body has fat, it wants to hold on to it. When you don’t eat enough, your body thinks it’s going to die.

Your hot body – it’s the most complicated machine on EARTH. In the known universe even. It’s smarter than your pre-frontal cortex, meaning – it’s smarter than YOU.  It doesn’t want you to lose weight. So you’re not a failure. You’ve been fighting an uphill battle and you haven’t done the right tricks.

…Yet!

And also, no, food will NOT always be a struggle. It will only be a struggle for a LITTLE while, during the period it takes to acquire new habits. After that, it will be easy.

Food is only a struggle because you live in a world of processed foods. You don’t eat like a normal human being should eat, you eat foods that were designed to addict you, and you probably hang out with people who relish in bad food. And yet you wonder why you aren’t where you want to be?

The truth is that you’ve developed habits that are not suited towards being thin. You’ve done this in a world that makes bad habits default. In order to break those habits, you might have to experience a little bit of discomfort. So big deal! The discomfort will pass if you stop DIETING and start living a normal healthy lifestyle of a civilized human being.

But What if I am ALWAYS hungry?

I know what you might be thinking now.

But what if you are one of those people who is always hungry and never satisfied? That is 100% how I used to be. You don’t need an appetite suppressant. You need to stuff yourself with veggies all day, and remove addictive foods from your home and life. You don’t have to ever go hungry, and in fact you don’t even have to lose weight within this time. Within a few weeks, your appetite will begin to change. Within 6 months, you will be a completely different human being. I promise you.

 So no, you aren’t a failure, and food won’t always be a struggle. It’s all a story in your head. Throw it in the garbage where it belongs. If you find yourself thinking these thoughts, just think about how stupid you’re being. You’re not making any sense!

This is Only the Beginning

To be a fit person, you need to think and act like a fit person would. You need to identify personally as a person who values your body. Here are a few tips.

  1. Develop Good Habits. What you do, you become. Fake it at first, then it will become real. Choose one specific good habit, and just do it every day until it becomes second nature. It won’t take long. Beware: Don’t do too much at once. One habit at a time, and I’d recommend you focus on food rather than exercise. A good example: “from now on, I only eat salad for lunch.”
  2. Get Crap Out of the House. Fit people don’t keep crap in the house, and then complain that they can’t stay in shape. You don’t need bread and pasta, so get rid of it. If you have a craving, then you can go to the store or to a restaurant and deal with it then. Not in the house.
  3. Take a Break from Going Out to Eat with Friends. In most places, it’s hard to make healthy choices while going out to eat. So take a break while you develop good habits. It’s only temporary.
  4. Cut Out Alcohol for a Little While. Alcohol = empty calories. You can go a few weeks without drinking. It also affects your sleep quality, which affects your weight. Cut it out, and let it back in after you begin reaching your goals.

If you’ve put your all into developing good habits, and you’re still a failure or a yo-yo dieter, then hey – you tried your best. And I guess your best wasn’t good enough…

…Or maybe consider that your failure was a lesson in what DOESN’T work. Starving yourself and counting calories might work for some, but it’s not sustainable for everyone. Implementing one healthy habit at a time is a universal path to lasting success.

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

Keys to Weight Loss Freedom: Expect Failure

In business, the mantra is that successful people not only expect failure, but embrace it.

In weight loss though, we expect perfection. If we “mess up” we often find ourselves at the wrong end of a downwards spiral. We compound our small missteps until they become disasters. And while we know it doesn’t have to be that way, we feel helpless to stop it.

I have lost 60 pounds over the past two years. But there were ups and downs. There were breaks. And many times I failed.  In fact, many weeks I continue to fail.

And I am happy about that.

Sometimes…

Sometimes I go an entire month without losing a single pound. And sometimes I gain three pounds. I NEVER feel bad about it, and I never lose sight of my progress.

Because even if I gain 5 pounds, 10 pounds, or 15 pounds – I’m still in such a better place than I was 60 pounds ago.

Sometimes I get my period, and other times I want to drink half my weight in rum and eat a donut. Sometimes ice cream happens, often pizza happens, and I can assure you that when froyo happens, I don’t go light on toppings.

Because here is the important part. I expect failures. I embrace failures. There is no way that I could expect anything else. Because horrible food is delicious, and it makes me happy. So there is no way I’ll have a perfect month or year. But I do have perfect days, and wonderful weeks.

A Promise to Myself

From the very first day that I embarked on this journey I promised myself that I would never ever experience guilt over food again. That’s because I know that weight loss is affected not only by our habits, but also by our psychological health.

Small failures are not a big deal. In fact, they are are a good thing. Sometimes your body just wants calories. And sometimes eating is fun.

Small failures include the dollar slice I drunkenly enjoyed with friends on a great evening. The birthday party where I indulged, and the vacation where I had the best time.

When I look back on them, they weren’t failures. They were indulgences, and I enjoyed them – just as I enjoy eating (mostly) healthy on a daily basis.

My failures are integral to my success. Because in the scheme of things, my failures were never failures at all. They were natural parts of the process.

No More Cheat Days

I don’t believe in cheat days. To each his own, I say, but they don’t strike me as part of a healthy mentality.

You are never cheating. You are making choices. Sometimes you’ll make good choices, and sometimes you’ll make worse choices. Make sure your choices are overwhelmingly good, and you will look great in no time. Just don’t punish yourself for the ‘bad’ choices.

When you lose weight the fact of the matter is this. Your body is starving. It doesn’t matter if you do it slowly or quickly, or if you take all the right vitamins and minerals. Your body wants things, and thats ok – let it have things, or don’t. But if you gain a pound, it’s not a failure. It’s a blip.

And remember that sometimes – just OK is good enough.

unspecified-7.png

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂