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Are any of you “What if?” monsters? Do you let doubt and fear cripple you to the point of inaction?
I’m a “worst-case scenario” kind of person. Here’s an example:
While teaching in a previous district, my school had a 30 minute homeroom class, which was a time for students to receive remediation and to work on their homework. One of my kids was very high achieving who rarely had anything to work on so every day he would ask me if he could leave and go to Taco Johns for food. I always told him no, and when he asked why, I said because half the town would explode and hundreds of people would die.
- He would be driving.
- In typical kid fashion, he would take a circuitous route to waste as much time as possible.
- His pickup would stall on the railroad tracks, which weren’t even on the way.
- His pickup would be struck by a coal train.
- The train would derail.
- The derailing train would strike a passing gas tanker.
- The gas tanker would explode lighting the coal cars on fire.
- The explosion would ignite the natural gas lines causing multiple, subsequent explosions on the west side of town.
- Hundreds of people would be killed.
THAT is why he could not go to Taco Johns! I was saving lives and keeping him safe. PLUS, he wouldn’t starve to death before lunch in 90 minutes.
Now, I know that this example is extreme, but it is the epitome of a worst case scenario. My brain actually works this way. I think of everything that can possibly go wrong and impossible things that can go wrong too. So what does that mean for my fitness endeavors?
Every day I wake up with the plan that today is the day that everything is going to get back on track with my eating and exercise plans. I always think, “Today I will stay within my calorie/container allotment. I will work out and feel amazing!” Then the “What ifs?” set in. What if my day is so long and exhausting that I don’t feel like working out when I get home? What if it is “pot luck day” in the Teachers’ Lounge? What if there is cake? What if one of my friends texts me and wants to go out to eat? What if I just don’t have the motivation to stick with it? What if I do stick with it and no one notices? What if I’m just meant to be fat?
I have to face these doubts every day, and every day I meet set backs. However, just like Yoda tells me, I am going to “do”. I am not perfect, and I know that I’m not going to be perfect every day. Some of the scenarios from my “What ifs?” are going to pop up. That doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of adjusting for the interference and moving on.
So when the “What Ifs?” start to crop up, I need to remember this. I need to remember that not every obstacle will cause my train to derail. Sometimes I may need to slow down to wait for the stalled pickup to get off the tracks. Then I can simply pick up speed and continue on my merry way.