I have failed over and over again. I have created plans, set goals and missed them by miles. I’ve beat myself up, told myself off and thrown in the towel hundreds of times. You know what? It has helped me. That’s right: All those repeated failures gave me incredibly powerful information that all came together to allow me to change life.
From all those failures, I have the incredible benefit of knowing what DOESN’T work for me. I don’t have to try A, B and C because I already did and they didn’t work. For example, I know that money is not an incentive for me. You could offer me $300 for every 10 lbs I lose and that won’t be enough to keep me out of the bag of Oreos. I’ll argue with myself that tomorrow I’ll be back on track and I’ll still get that $300 because I’ll be “extra strict” after indulging in the Oreos. I am really good at lying to myself like that. From my failures I learned not to waste my time with incentives that don’t work. The only incentive I need is what I’m truly after: a fit, strong, healthy body.
The whole “super strict” thing? That doesn’t work for me, either. Yeah, I can do it for a few days or even a couple of weeks but I know, from failing a million times, that it’s going to end the same way: with a binge. All that willpower, restriction and deprivation ultimately makes me snap and go into a wild sugar frenzy. From my failures I learned that I need a more moderate approach. I need to build in enough margin to enjoy my favorite things every once in a while. Total deprivation makes me feel like a caged bird and the only thing I can think about is breaking free.
Too much exercise makes me a sugar junky. I messed this one up more times than I can count. A little exercise is good so as much as I can possibly fit into my day must be better, right? Uh, not for me. Never. This goes very wrong very fast. Over the last 20 years I have gone on so many exercises binges. I’d spend hours each day working out. I’d get up early, stay up late and “burn” as many calories as humanly possible. The result? I was ravenously hungry all the time. My cravings were out of control. My ability to resist the hunger and cravings was very limited and my eating would negate any potential benefits from all that working out. From getting that one wrong a few dozen times, I’m now easily able to resist the temptation to workout “more”. One high intensity workout each day is what is best for my body. No need to mess around with anything else.
I can’t predict what the scale will do. Oh my goodness. If you could see my planners and notebooks and spreadsheets over the last several years you’d probably think I’m Rain Man. I spent years obsessed with predicting how much weight I could lose by a certain date. I’d write it out, day by day, what my weight would be on each day and when I’d hit some certain arbitrary goal. It never worked. Weight loss isn’t linear like that. Fortunately, from dealing with frustrating and feelings of failure for years, I know that doesn’t work for me. Now, I embrace consistency. I don’t predict my results. I concentrate on my actions.
Don’t keep trying things that haven’t worked in the past. In fact, become a student of your failures. Are there strategies you keep trying even though they haven’t worked yet? Are there theories you hold despite proving to yourself that they aren’t true? Embrace your failures. They are the keys you need to make this journey a success! Within your failures is just about everything you need to make a total transformation!