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 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.
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