Monday, May 29, 2017

All or Nothing: Part One

All or Nothing is a theme I have been discussing with several of my friends over the past couple of months.  I decided to write about it here.

For those of us who struggle with body image, weight management or trying to exercise, it seems to be a thought process we all have in common.

If I have to lose weight, I have to do it all or why bother.
This is NOT me!!!  But, if I think, "I have to look like that, or why bother?", I only set myself up for failure.
If I am trying to lose weight and I blow my diet, I might as well throw the towel in, because "I just can't do it."
If I join a gym and am faithful to workout two - three times per week, but then I have a tough week and just can't get there, "What's the point?"

It seems like those of us who struggle with our weight fall into this thought pattern and I want to try to address it here.

So, today's post is about this particular mindset.

I was overweight for most of my adult life. I did the yo-yo diet thing, repeatedly lost 20 - 30 lbs., only to put it back on again.  And again.  And again.  As I got older, my metabolism slowed down and the weight became harder to shed and the things I used to do for the "quick loss" didn't work anymore.  If I had a bad day, I would just go to town because I'd already blown it.  The problem was that getting back on the right path became increasingly more difficult every time I blew it and the mindset changed to, "I just can't do this. Why bother?  I'm a failure."

If this rings true to you, I want you to practice a few positive mindset tricks that have helped me.

1.  Focus on today ONLY.  Don't worry about tomorrow, just today.  Try to get through today and make it the best day you can.  If things go well, CELEBRATE!  If you have more of roller coaster day, don't let the downs derail you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34
The "all or nothing" mentality has been something I have seriously struggled with since I hurt my back this winter.   While I've managed to keep my weight technically in check, I lost a lot of muscle mass and my strength has diminished drastically.  What I forget is how far I have come.  This side by side picture shows a HUGE transformation from where I started three years ago to where I am today.  And even though I am not where I was a year ago, learning that it doesn't have to be ALL or NOTHING keeps me in check and makes me humble.
2.  Create a mantra.  Your mantra is the positive expression or saying or word you say to yourself to help you.  Maybe it motivates you.  Maybe it helps you to keep your focus.  Maybe it just makes you smile.

When I was losing weight, my mantra was:
You are not a quitter, you can do this.

Now that I pretty much have that part down, I have a new mantra:
You are enough.  You are beautiful.  You are loved.

Maybe that sounds super self-indulgent of me.  But when you struggle with body image issues, it is important to hold onto these basic truths to keep yourself real.

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

3.  It's all about baby steps.  Every step you take in the right direction is a win.  BELIEVE this!

Have you ever seen a baby learning to walk?

They use a walker, or maybe they furniture surf.  Their parents hold their hands to support them.  They fall down.  A LOT.  But eventually they walk - unsupported.

Do you remember learning to ride a bike?  

You didn't just get on the bike and were off.  Maybe you had training wheels. Maybe someone held the back of your bike while you tried to pedal down the street.  Maybe you fell a dozen or so times.  But you learned how to ride it.

Or learning how to swim?  

When you first started swimming, you probably had an adult with you to hold you up, to make sure you didn't sink.  Maybe you used swimmies or a kickboard.  Maybe you had lessons.  They didn't just throw you in the deep end of the pool and expect you to be Michael Phelps.  You struggled, but eventually you learned how to float, how to kick, how to move forward.  Maybe you even learned all the strokes.

Well, with losing weight or developing a healthy lifestyle, you can't expect yourself to just get it all right at the first try.  This kind of thinking will ultimately end in defeat.  It does not have to be ALL or NOTHING.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Stay tuned for more on this topic...

Part Two is here.

Questions for you (answer in the comment section below):
If you have a bad day, how do you get back on track?
Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Musical notes 

I've been running more often lately and have added several new songs to my playlist.  I realize I need some even beat mellow tunes to set the pace so I don't put everything I have out there on my first mile or two, so I switched things up a little.  The audio version of this song has a great beat and is awesome for running or working out...

It Ain't Me by Selena Gomez (feat. Kygo)
Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning?

It ain't me.  It ain't me.

On a side note, sorry I haven't written anything in a month.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know I've been posting updates there, but life and a lack of inspiration has made writing a challenge.

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Instagram:  @tracoleman99