I was on a roll. I was losing weight. I was eating right. I was exercising daily. I was on top of the world. I was in the best shape of my life. I was… I was… I was…
I think all of us can relate to some or all of these statements at one point in time. We’ve all gone through ups and downs in both our physical and mental health. When we are making positive strides towards our goals, we are unstoppable, but when we are struggling, we are LOW!
I abhor bullying, and as a high school teacher, I see it daily. I experienced minor bullying as a child and as a young teen so I have no patience for such behavior.
However, I am one of the worst kinds of bully when it comes to my mental tirades against myself.
“You are worthless.” “You are disgusting.” “Who in the Hell do you think you are to try an wear something like that?” “No one is going to find you attractive so why do you even bother.” “You will never be as pretty as your friends/family.” “You look like a whale.” “You’re just embarrassing yourself.”
I know that if I ever heard a student making any of those statements to another, I’d be all over them in less than a heartbeat. So what makes it okay for me to say that to myself? The answer is simple: NOTHING. Nothing makes that kind of mental badgering okay.
I know that I’m not the only person in the world that does this. I have had too many conversations with friends and family to be that ignorant. However, this is a recurring theme in most of our lives from time to time.
We spend so much time looking back at times when we felt better about ourselves that we don’t know how to make the transition back to the present.
I have written numerous posts about how I struggle with motivation and staying on track. One of the things that I did earlier this fall was start a fitness group on Facebook. It has been awesome, and I have loved all the support that I’ve gotten and have given to the active members.
Since January 2014, I have had an amazing Beachbody coach who has encouraged me to take the steps towards becoming a coach myself. I’ve always hedged and avoided her because I didn’t feel capable of helping others. I felt I needed to be perfect. However, a couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked me if I was a coach based on all that I do for our FB group. Her simple question inspired me to make the leap, and I signed up to be a coach. You can find my page at http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/hkmurphy1983 .
I announced my decision on my FB fitness group and on my regular FB page, and I am in awe of all of the support that I’ve gotten from my friends. What has amazed me is how this simple decision made people feel comfortable enough to talk to me about the very things that I struggle with.
This is where I make my point. So many of the people that I’ve talked to want to know how to make the change. They want to get back to where they once were, and because that is so difficult they continue to flounder. I can say that because I’m in the same boat.
I gained weight over the summer, and I want to get back to when I felt thin and amazing. Basically, I want to go back to November 2013. Is it feasible? Nope.
I am going to share the epiphany I had at the end of October. I knew what I needed to do to get back in shape and to lose weight once again, but I was struggling. I was trying to do everything at once, and I was failing. SO I made a list of what I needed to do.
- Find a way to stay motivated every day.
- Get back to working out daily AND enjoying it.
- Get my eating under control.
Now this isn’t the first time I’ve made this list, but this IS the first time I didn’t expect myself to do all three items at once, and perfectly nonetheless.
I started with #1 by creating my own daily posting challenge for my FB group. I knew that challenges like that had worked for me in the past so I returned to a positive and helpful comfort zone.
Once that was in place, I started working on #2. I physically wrote out my workout calendar like I did when I was working out regularly and loving it. I’m kind of weird about checking things off; I love to mark that I’ve done something. It started working.
Then something awesome happened. I got a message from one of my students who had heard me mention working out in the past.
We worked out together at school on Monday and Tuesday, and then Tuesday night she messaged me again.
We continued our daily workouts over the weekend and are set to continue this week. Working with her motivates me to push harder, and I’m enjoying the camaraderie.
I’m still working on #3. I’ll think I have my eating in check. I’ll count and log my calories. I’ll prepare healthy meals. I will KNOW what I’m doing. Then I’ll back slide. It is a process that I’m working on.
So here is my advice to people trying to start over. Make your list of things that you want to do. Then pick one goal and focus on only it. You can try to incorporate the others, but do not become bogged down in them. Wait until you have a firm grasp on one area before doing another. This will help to prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed which leads to failure in your mind which leads to giving up.
Also, do NOT become bogged down in failures. If you make mistakes, do NOT wait until tomorrow or Monday to start over. Start over IMMEDIATELY that day! Forgive your mistake and move on.
This is SO me so I feel comfortable saying it to you. I always think, “That was a great workout. Now I can have a candy bar!” NO NO NO!!!
If you start with the negative, self-bullying, say something nice to yourself. Remind yourself that it is okay to not be perfect, but it is not okay to loath yourself. Don’t wait until you reach your idea of perfection. You don’t do that to your family and friends so don’t do it to yourself.
And finally, just remember the wise words of Confucius:
It’s a process. Some parts are great; some parts suck. You’ll get through them all!