Last week I had a sleepless night. One in which I spent a good chunk of time processing some of my actions throughout the previous day. A few weeks ago, I decided to commit fully, completely, 100% to a new program. Exercise, nutrition, and all. Or did I? My intentions from the get go were there. I have spent the last few Sundays doing some light meal prep in order to have some healthy options in a hurry (since that is typically one of my biggest downfalls). I have set my alarm, and made sure my workout clothes were clean. I have taken just about every measure to ensure success.
But just a couple of days into my new program I found myself hungry all the time and feeling deprived. I do believe that this was way more of a mental thing than an actual thing. However,
it was just what I needed in order to justify grabbing a few extra bites here and there. Having a glass of wine on more than one occasion throughout the week. What I realized last night is that I was deliberately sabotaging myself and my efforts in my workouts. But why? What is it that causes me and so many others to set out on a path with goals in mind, only to abandon those goals at the first sign of temptation?
I woke up with a new determination. Not a determination in which I would seek to be compliant 100% of the time, but a determination to try to understand my reasons for self-sabotage in an effort to change that pattern. We all go through ups and downs, and no one wants to be unhappy or miserable in their pursuit of health or success in any area of life for that matter. Food provides comfort and brings us together. Food is fuel and food is for pleasure. Food in itself is not inherently a “bad” thing. In fact, I truly love food. I love cooking and I love sitting down to enjoy a meal with people that I love. For me, it is not necessarily about what I was eating or even having those few extra bites. In the long run, it probably wouldn’t derail my progress too much..at least not at first. That is after all, the problem though in so many areas of our lives. We give in just a little at a time. A little each day not seeing the bigger picture. Had I continued to veer further off course each day even if only by a little I would surely be way off course in no time flat.
This new found mindfulness was both empowering and slightly uncomfortable. Empowering in the sense that my eyes were opened and I was able to actually see behaviors that were derailing me and causing me to stumble. And slightly uncomfortable because now I was aware and I had to make a decision. I could no longer blame my failure on anything or anyone but me. The decision I was left to make was whether or not I would continue down that same path of self-sabotage or was I going to commit to taking deliberate steps that would ultimately lead me towards the life I envision and want for myself? I know I said I started a new program and eluded to it being focused on exercise and nutrition, but lets face it the way we do anything in life is the way we do everything in life. The way I was approaching this exercise program is the same way I tend to approach almost everything else in my life too. I start gung-ho, passionate, and on fire. Then I get overwhelmed or hit some turbulence, and I let myself give up. You may or may not approach life in the same exact way, in fact I am almost positive that you have your own unique approach to life. If current statistics are any indication I think it is safe to say our hang-ups are preventing us from reaching the levels of success in life we are truly capable of.
Each of us are constantly given the freedom to choose. We can live with mindfulness and accept responsibility for our actions and the consequences those actions produce OR we can continue to shuffle through life with blinders on to our own actions and shift the blame to others or our circumstances.