Progress, Not Perfection

***You may not need to lose weight, but you may need to work on seeing the beauty in progress. Keep reading.***

Starting weight: 194




Current weight: ???

194: it’s definitely the most I’ve weighed in my life (outside of pregnancy). I *usually* hang out around 145 but *should* weight around 130 according to my former doctor (based on body composition and my body type, plus height).

So, if I want to get where a doctor would like me I need to lose 60 pounds.

That number doesn’t scare me as much as the thought of carrying this weight around for much longer. If I’m honest, it slows me down and makes me tired, and I’m afraid of staying here or continuing to gain. Mostly, it's because I know how much better I feel when I'm not carrying around extra weight, and I'd like to be able to show up in my life for all the things that matter to me: my family, my career, my friends. 

In the past, I've gotten bogged down by numbers or obsessed over them. Yes, even back to the days when I was barely carrying anything extra, and when this happens I've recognized a pattern: I’ll quit before I should.

I think that can be said for a lot of us though.

We've all quit before we started at some point.

Why?

Well, because we're really good at telling ourselves what we can/can't do without actually determining the truth behind our statements.

"I'll never lose the weight." = You really won't if you don't try. Right?  It's a self fulfilling prophecy. But is it possible? YES, you can lose weight. It might require a lot of hard work and dedication, but it's not impossible.

I think a lot of our inability to move past these limiting beliefs is simply that society expects us to follow certain rules to get what they think we should have. If we aren't doing it a certain way, people don't value the effort. Plus, we live in a society steeped in toxic instant gratification; we want easy and fast.

Therapy taught me a lot about working through these messages, and the most powerful question you can ever ask yourself about a negative belief you carry about yourself is:

Is it actually true?

Are you actually incapable of losing weight?
Are you really a terrible, unlovable human?
Will you truly never be happy?

To take that a step further, if you can think of three times in your entire life - three days or hours or moments - when that belief was not true, it's really unlikely that statement is true.

Example:

Am I really a terrible, unlovable human?

  1. I work really hard to show people why they are worthy, because I believe in people.
  2. My entire adult life has been focused on helping others, from teaching to writing to speaking to coaching.
  3. I have a family and friends who love me, and a lot of people online think I'm aight.
So, anytime I start to believe one of these lies, I list three reasons it's untrue and move on with my day.



What's important:

1. Self compassion.

If you’re looking for a great read on self-compassion, check out this book by Kristen Neff. This was recommended to me by my therapist and has revolutionized the way I talk to myself.

2. Learning your own patterns, good or bad.

Because I know where my hurdles are when trying to reach a goal with my body/weight/health, and by knowing where these roadblocks are, I can plan to navigate around them instead of the insanity of butting up against it and surrendering (like I have in the past).

3. Your journey is your own, not mine or Jillian Michaels. 

When you’re doing any kind of self-improvement work, you can be sure there is no one-size-fits-all. Hello, we’re unique individuals with unique needs and wants, and if we stick to what we’re sold or told, we’re destined to set ourselves up for failure.

So, you have to look internally and not rely on what someone else is doing. 

Here's what I ask myself when I begin new routines to find what's best for ME:

1.     Where am I most likely to struggle?
2.     What foods make me feel gross? What foods make me feel energized?
3.     What steps do I need to put in place to help me avoid what usually derails me?
4.     What is my short term goal?

I'll keep working at this thing until I feel good: mentally, emotionally, physically. It's all about progress, not perfection.

Seriously, if I focus merely on the ONE destination or goal without actually looking at all of the steps it takes to get there, I am missing out on the healthy, positive choices I make each day that accumulate into something so much bigger. Which gives you the energy and perspective to keep showing up for yourself instead of focusing on the fact that you’re not *quite* there yet. Right? It’s a positive, abundance mindset over a scarcity one.

These are tools I've learned about and choose to implement on a daily basis in almost every area of my life. They are the things I talk about most when people ask me "How did you recover like that?" or "How are you living such a purpose driven life?" 

Simply put, it's because I learned how to put things into perspective and love myself through the hard days. 

Losing weight is similar to any big change we make, and I think the keys to success for me have been self-compassion and honesty. If I’m first able to empathize with myself about why something is hard and not get bogged down in what I’ve done that’s terrible before, but to also identify areas of weakness, I’m so much more likely to keep going.

This time I'm going to keep going. No judgment, no internal messages of failure or defeat when things don't happen the way I want them to. That's kind of what life is: a series of events that we have to learn to work through and, maybe, that we can use as catalysts to make ourselves better humans when/if we want.

The choice is yours, my friends. 

My choice is to focus on all areas of progress and NEVER seek perfection again. It's way too easy to disappoint yourself when you are so focused on one outcome. 

See you next week. ;)