Sometimes you have the best intentions.
"I'm going to give up wine for Lent."
"I'm going to wake up at 4:30am and run 5 miles a day."
"I'm not going to spend $5 every morning on a coffee."
And for awhile it goes well. It goes GREAT. You gave up the wine, you started waking up early to work out and you started making coffee in your Keurig at home.
Then one night you're out with your friends and you think "What the hell? It's one glass of wine. Does God REALLY care of I have a glass of wine during Lent? He's got bigger problems to deal with."
That is how it starts. Then the next time temptation steps in front of you it's easier to admit defeat. You cave.
I caved. I. Caved.
Last year I was on a fitness program and lost a crazy amount of weight. 100 pounds in fact. No wheat, dairy, sugar, coffee or alcohol. I followed the detox program that I completed successfully at Red Mountain Resort. I ran four miles a day and was laser focused. Then one day, I hurt myself or it was raining or I was hungry. The funny thing is that I don't even remember what it was that caused me to lose focus but I did. I lost focus and then I just lost my dedication.
The weight started to come back. I got busy. I didn't pay attention and I started to see all my hard work disappear. The old me, the me I didn't like all that much was coming back. I started beating myself up. I told myself that I was weak, that I couldn't do it. What was I thinking attempting a change so ambitious?
Then I realized something. I did it. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day I made a conscious choice to be healthy, to achieve a goal and I did it.
So, OK, I wandered off the path but the thing is this -- I knew where the path was. I understood what I needed to do to walk the path and how to get to the destination. There was physical proof that I could do it. This meant I could do it again. I thought about this and made a plan: How to get back on a program. It's like this:
- First. Forgive yourself. What you did, sabotaging yourself wasn't the smartest thing you've ever done but you stopped the behavior. Forgive the behavior and get over it. It's OK. It's always OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.
- Get out your roadmap. Follow the path that worked for you before. (Drink more water with lime, walk 4 miles a day, delete white flour and sugar from your diet, whatever worked for you.) If you need a reminder of how to follow the path, call a nutrition equivalent of AAA and have someone write the directions for the journey down for you. There are experts out there just waiting to help guide you back on the right road.
- Set a goal. 100 days that you stopped smoking, 100 mornings of working out. 100 seems to be a magic number. It's only a little more than 3 months but saying "I __________ for 100 days!" seems like a much bigger accomplishment than 3 months." Set the goal. Write it on a Post-it. Make it the screensaver on your phone. Stick the Post-it to your bathroom mirror, your monitor at work. . . Set it in your mind so that when you close your eyes and see the number 100, you see a successful, happy you.
It's OK that you got sidetracked but it's time to come back and be strong. Be the you that makes you proud. OK? OK.