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Breaking Free – Maria’s Journey to Health (Week 11)

Breaking Free – Maria’s Journey to Health (Week 11)

I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I started my journey! I think I have felt and expressed the full gamut of emotions over the last 12 weeks; up, down, sideways, inside and out…it has been overwhelming, tiring, and confronting – but at the same time unbelievably eye-opening and rewarding. June has been a particularly challenging month for me; the added pressure of illness and injury has been really hard to deal with – and emotionally, I let it get the better of me at times…

The things I have discovered, admitted to myself, and allowed myself to feel over this time have been pretty intense. I have put so much effort & emphasis on changing everything about my lifestyle and going as hard as I can – that I ended up catapulting straight into a brick wall! My body basically told me to chill out and slow down – my mind & desire to reach my goal was racing way ahead of what was physically possible – and there was no way I could keep up. It’s a trap most of us fall into – we want it and we want it NOW!

What I’ve learned over the last few weeks, is that we all really need to give ourselves a break, and be realistic! Maybe we can just learn to enjoy who we are – creative, loving, flawed, fallible, fun, caring, adaptable, special people – and celebrate what we are right at this moment in time, instead of raking ourselves over the ‘perfection’ coals!

I set up a goal of 100% commitment, consistency, motivation and inspiration for myself – and have convinced myself that if I don’t meet it, I have failed. The reality is that the vast majority of us can’t sustain it at 100% the entire time. Mostly, it’s impossible – and pretty much setting ourselves for feeling of failure. For me, being dedicated and committed started to mean that I had to do everything right ALL the time – if I had a piece of bread instead of a fruit: FAILURE – if I missed my nutritional goals: FAILURE – if I didn’t lose centimetres or weight one week: FAILURE – if I couldn’t make it to training for a week because I was sick: FAILED again…My old mate Negative Self Talk reared her ugly head and whispered: “See Maz, you can’t do anything right…you’ve failed again! Haha, that’s it – you’re doomed to be a fat blob for the rest of your life girlfriend…Pffftt, what sort of role model are you when you can’t even stick to this 100%? You’re a phoney and a letdown”…

I’ve had many of these destructive conversations with myself before; spending a lot of my time beating myself up. I know it’s a waste of time – I know it’s not going to help me move forward…but I’m drawn to it like a moth to the flame…*sigh* What’s finally occurred to me, is that my own setting up of the unrealistic goal or framework is more of a problem, than my failure to be perfectly consistent in all things. It’s my own need to want to be perfect; to need to be in control; to have others be proud of me & see me as successful; to have others see value in me and be inspired – that has led to my undoing so many times. I wrongly believed that any error/failure/struggle on my part, meant that the gig was up…It didn’t occur to me there may be more value in learning to overcome the setbacks, than in being perfect. It didn’t occur to me that there was more value in learning to be more forgiving, flexible, adaptable, understanding, accepting and kinder to myself, than putting so much energy into feeling guilty and defeated…

I have clung to being ‘perfect’ as the be-all-and-end-all of my journey, and believed that if I wavered, or if an outside variable penetrated my resolve, the whole thing would come crashing down. And I know I’m not the only one. This has been the main reason so many of us have given up in the past – we finally convince ourselves that we can’t do it: “That’s it, I’ve broken the momentum, I’ve tainted the perfection…let me just fall in a heap and take the easy option and go back to the couch & stuff my face.” I’ve often accepted that any setback is ALL the evidence I need to prove that it’s all too hard, too confronting, too tiring, too draining, too restricting, too time consuming and requires way too much energy, heartache, effort and attention…Have you done the same?

The thing is, life itself is not perfect or consistent – not even a little bit. It’s full of sound and fury and craziness. Life changes like the seasons….and the reality is that we just have to change with it – or get stuck. It’s just not sustainable to set a ‘Plan A’ and not allow flexibility, failures, illness, injuries and life events to factor in…Sometimes life changes with giant pendulum swings – if we do not know how to cope with those times, that’s when we fall off the wagon…I’ve fallen off the damned wagon so many times I’m an expert – maybe I should start auditioning for stunt roles? But you know what, I’m sick of falling and then getting back on, falling and crawling desperately to get back on…falling and crying while I’m on my knees with no strength to get back on…then giving up. Each time I’ve hated myself a little bit more: each time I’ve convinced myself that I’m a failure; each time I’ve used it as my excuse not to try again…

We all do it, but when you break it down and really think about it, why the hell do we do it? Is it out inner self destruct button? Is it our fear? Do we get so tired and overwhelmed that we just fall in a heap and give up? Why do we succumb to our cravings and old patterns and go back to them when we know how crippling they are? Is it a case of better the devil we know? Chances are that all of us have tried at least once to lose weight…most people I know have been on the diet roller coaster for years – it’s exhausting and always ends with us surrendering in defeat. We have all had those feelings of deprivation, failure, frustration, boredom and resentment kick in and we say stuff it, I’m giving up!

But what I’m learning is that being too strict and too inflexible is bound to backfire. A more realistic approach may mean slower progress, but it also reduces the risk of setbacks and gaining all the weight back again. That doesn’t mean that I am about to go and have McDonalds for lunch or sit down with a bag of donuts! It doesn’t mean that I’m going to miss my next workout or be lazy. But if I do – it’s not the end of the world! We can have a bad day or a bad week – just don’t make it a bad month, a bad 6 months, or a bad year! I’ve consistently let a couple of bad choices overwhelm all the good ones I have made – I’ve done it sooooo many times in my life – believing that somehow, those small indiscretions/challenges give me a licence to pack it all in, and go back to inaction & eating whatever I want. It makes no sense really…It frustrates me to no end – my conscious, intelligent self knows this is wrong, but I do it anyway…I’m working hard to change it this time…

Having this all-or-nothing approach has always been my undoing. I’ve always let one or two slips snowball into a major setback and then that’s it – game over. We’re all human and perfection isn’t possible – but rather than beating ourselves up and saying ‘Oh well, I screwed up so I might as well eat badly the whole week and start again on Monday,” – we have to be more accountable & realistic – in the grand scheme of things one or two ‘off’ meals aren’t that big a deal – a bad session or week at the gym does not mean it’s over. The best thing we can do is try and figure out what triggered that decision/failure and try and prevent it from happening again. I’m learning that stumbling sometimes is a good opportunity to learn how to better set myself up for long term success. I’m learning to be more emotionally connected to myself and although it can be quite intense and draining, it keeps me from eating my emotions and from giving up…

Failing to lose weight or see results quickly enough is often the reason we give up – but when we set the bar unrealistically high, each little setback can seem like a failure – and when we think of ourselves in that way, it will more often than not trigger a return to old eating habits. I am slowly learning how to forget about the concept of dieting and instead see my new lifestyle as a strategy to satisfy my hunger and my body’s needs, with the right amount of calories, the right type of food, and the right amount of exercise.

So far I have been really successful with my weight loss – in the last 12 weeks I have lost a total of 28.5 kilos! But my end goal seems so far away and that can be overwhelming & frustrating! Although I am extremely proud of my achievements so far, and feel so much stronger, fitter and healthier – I’m still hard on myself. What if I had done that extra workout? What if I had not eaten that extra piece of bread or cheese or chocolate? What if I had drunk more water? Some days, I still beat myself up about not being perfect – but in doing so I am forgetting to celebrate how far I have come! I have changed so many things about my lifestyle; I eat healthy, I exercise, I do so many things today that were foreign to me 3 months ago – and still my mind tries to find fault, to find reasons to be down on myself, to find confirmation that I have somehow failed. I am aware of my tendency to get swept away by my own negativity, and work each day to keep it at bay and replace it with positive affirmations and self love.

It is a battle, a daily struggle and an emotional minefield – but I will continue to fight through it. I’m learning to let go of the ghosts of the past, to placate my many demons, and accept that my failures and set backs do not define me…We should all learn to celebrate ourselves a bit more & be proud of our successes, however big or small. There are way too many critics out there…we all need to learn to not be our worst one…

So today, I celebrate how far I’ve come, and what I have learned from my mistakes, about myself and other people…Will I have more obstacles and failures to deal with? Without doubt. I just have to learn to take them in my stride, deal with them, get up, dust myself off and keep going! My challenges do not define me, they refine me…I got this…

The journey continues my friends!

If you too would like to change your life, or know someone close to you that may need that little push, enter yours or their details below for a free two week trial.

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Breaking Free – Maria’s Journey to Health (Week 11)

Breaking Free – Maria’s Journey to Health (Week 11)

Breaking Free – Maria’s Journey to Health (Week 11)

I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I started my journey! I think I have felt and expressed the full gamut of emotions over the last 12 weeks; up, down, sideways, inside and out…it has been overwhelming, tiring, and confronting – but at the same time unbelievably eye-opening and rewarding. June has been a particularly challenging month for me; the added pressure of illness and injury has been really hard to deal with – and emotionally, I let it get the better of me at times…

The things I have discovered, admitted to myself, and allowed myself to feel over this time have been pretty intense. I have put so much effort & emphasis on changing everything about my lifestyle and going as hard as I can – that I ended up catapulting straight into a brick wall! My body basically told me to chill out and slow down – my mind & desire to reach my goal was racing way ahead of what was physically possible – and there was no way I could keep up. It’s a trap most of us fall into – we want it and we want it NOW!

What I’ve learned over the last few weeks, is that we all really need to give ourselves a break, and be realistic! Maybe we can just learn to enjoy who we are – creative, loving, flawed, fallible, fun, caring, adaptable, special people – and celebrate what we are right at this moment in time, instead of raking ourselves over the ‘perfection’ coals!

I set up a goal of 100% commitment, consistency, motivation and inspiration for myself – and have convinced myself that if I don’t meet it, I have failed. The reality is that the vast majority of us can’t sustain it at 100% the entire time. Mostly, it’s impossible – and pretty much setting ourselves for feeling of failure. For me, being dedicated and committed started to mean that I had to do everything right ALL the time – if I had a piece of bread instead of a fruit: FAILURE – if I missed my nutritional goals: FAILURE – if I didn’t lose centimetres or weight one week: FAILURE – if I couldn’t make it to training for a week because I was sick: FAILED again…My old mate Negative Self Talk reared her ugly head and whispered: “See Maz, you can’t do anything right…you’ve failed again! Haha, that’s it – you’re doomed to be a fat blob for the rest of your life girlfriend…Pffftt, what sort of role model are you when you can’t even stick to this 100%? You’re a phoney and a letdown”…

I’ve had many of these destructive conversations with myself before; spending a lot of my time beating myself up. I know it’s a waste of time – I know it’s not going to help me move forward…but I’m drawn to it like a moth to the flame…*sigh* What’s finally occurred to me, is that my own setting up of the unrealistic goal or framework is more of a problem, than my failure to be perfectly consistent in all things. It’s my own need to want to be perfect; to need to be in control; to have others be proud of me & see me as successful; to have others see value in me and be inspired – that has led to my undoing so many times. I wrongly believed that any error/failure/struggle on my part, meant that the gig was up…It didn’t occur to me there may be more value in learning to overcome the setbacks, than in being perfect. It didn’t occur to me that there was more value in learning to be more forgiving, flexible, adaptable, understanding, accepting and kinder to myself, than putting so much energy into feeling guilty and defeated…

I have clung to being ‘perfect’ as the be-all-and-end-all of my journey, and believed that if I wavered, or if an outside variable penetrated my resolve, the whole thing would come crashing down. And I know I’m not the only one. This has been the main reason so many of us have given up in the past – we finally convince ourselves that we can’t do it: “That’s it, I’ve broken the momentum, I’ve tainted the perfection…let me just fall in a heap and take the easy option and go back to the couch & stuff my face.” I’ve often accepted that any setback is ALL the evidence I need to prove that it’s all too hard, too confronting, too tiring, too draining, too restricting, too time consuming and requires way too much energy, heartache, effort and attention…Have you done the same?

The thing is, life itself is not perfect or consistent – not even a little bit. It’s full of sound and fury and craziness. Life changes like the seasons….and the reality is that we just have to change with it – or get stuck. It’s just not sustainable to set a ‘Plan A’ and not allow flexibility, failures, illness, injuries and life events to factor in…Sometimes life changes with giant pendulum swings – if we do not know how to cope with those times, that’s when we fall off the wagon…I’ve fallen off the damned wagon so many times I’m an expert – maybe I should start auditioning for stunt roles? But you know what, I’m sick of falling and then getting back on, falling and crawling desperately to get back on…falling and crying while I’m on my knees with no strength to get back on…then giving up. Each time I’ve hated myself a little bit more: each time I’ve convinced myself that I’m a failure; each time I’ve used it as my excuse not to try again…

We all do it, but when you break it down and really think about it, why the hell do we do it? Is it out inner self destruct button? Is it our fear? Do we get so tired and overwhelmed that we just fall in a heap and give up? Why do we succumb to our cravings and old patterns and go back to them when we know how crippling they are? Is it a case of better the devil we know? Chances are that all of us have tried at least once to lose weight…most people I know have been on the diet roller coaster for years – it’s exhausting and always ends with us surrendering in defeat. We have all had those feelings of deprivation, failure, frustration, boredom and resentment kick in and we say stuff it, I’m giving up!

But what I’m learning is that being too strict and too inflexible is bound to backfire. A more realistic approach may mean slower progress, but it also reduces the risk of setbacks and gaining all the weight back again. That doesn’t mean that I am about to go and have McDonalds for lunch or sit down with a bag of donuts! It doesn’t mean that I’m going to miss my next workout or be lazy. But if I do – it’s not the end of the world! We can have a bad day or a bad week – just don’t make it a bad month, a bad 6 months, or a bad year! I’ve consistently let a couple of bad choices overwhelm all the good ones I have made – I’ve done it sooooo many times in my life – believing that somehow, those small indiscretions/challenges give me a licence to pack it all in, and go back to inaction & eating whatever I want. It makes no sense really…It frustrates me to no end – my conscious, intelligent self knows this is wrong, but I do it anyway…I’m working hard to change it this time…

Having this all-or-nothing approach has always been my undoing. I’ve always let one or two slips snowball into a major setback and then that’s it – game over. We’re all human and perfection isn’t possible – but rather than beating ourselves up and saying ‘Oh well, I screwed up so I might as well eat badly the whole week and start again on Monday,” – we have to be more accountable & realistic – in the grand scheme of things one or two ‘off’ meals aren’t that big a deal – a bad session or week at the gym does not mean it’s over. The best thing we can do is try and figure out what triggered that decision/failure and try and prevent it from happening again. I’m learning that stumbling sometimes is a good opportunity to learn how to better set myself up for long term success. I’m learning to be more emotionally connected to myself and although it can be quite intense and draining, it keeps me from eating my emotions and from giving up…

Failing to lose weight or see results quickly enough is often the reason we give up – but when we set the bar unrealistically high, each little setback can seem like a failure – and when we think of ourselves in that way, it will more often than not trigger a return to old eating habits. I am slowly learning how to forget about the concept of dieting and instead see my new lifestyle as a strategy to satisfy my hunger and my body’s needs, with the right amount of calories, the right type of food, and the right amount of exercise.

So far I have been really successful with my weight loss – in the last 12 weeks I have lost a total of 28.5 kilos! But my end goal seems so far away and that can be overwhelming & frustrating! Although I am extremely proud of my achievements so far, and feel so much stronger, fitter and healthier – I’m still hard on myself. What if I had done that extra workout? What if I had not eaten that extra piece of bread or cheese or chocolate? What if I had drunk more water? Some days, I still beat myself up about not being perfect – but in doing so I am forgetting to celebrate how far I have come! I have changed so many things about my lifestyle; I eat healthy, I exercise, I do so many things today that were foreign to me 3 months ago – and still my mind tries to find fault, to find reasons to be down on myself, to find confirmation that I have somehow failed. I am aware of my tendency to get swept away by my own negativity, and work each day to keep it at bay and replace it with positive affirmations and self love.

It is a battle, a daily struggle and an emotional minefield – but I will continue to fight through it. I’m learning to let go of the ghosts of the past, to placate my many demons, and accept that my failures and set backs do not define me…We should all learn to celebrate ourselves a bit more & be proud of our successes, however big or small. There are way too many critics out there…we all need to learn to not be our worst one…

So today, I celebrate how far I’ve come, and what I have learned from my mistakes, about myself and other people…Will I have more obstacles and failures to deal with? Without doubt. I just have to learn to take them in my stride, deal with them, get up, dust myself off and keep going! My challenges do not define me, they refine me…I got this…

The journey continues my friends!

If you too would like to change your life, or know someone close to you that may need that little push, enter yours or their details below for a free two week trial.

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