I received a message from a client today. I’m modifying it somewhat to protect privacy but it triggered some thoughts that I want to share.
I went to the gym today. Did 30 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the bike, and 15 minutes of weights. This afternoon, I signed up at the local community college for several PE classes. I’m taking three classes: Yoga, weight lifting, and Pilates. At this point, doing an aerobics class isn’t permissible with my weight and back. However, if I can maintain a reasonable weight loss over the next 16 weeks, maybe an aerobics class might be a possibility. I will continue to go to my gym to get a cardio workout, of course. However, having these classes that I have to go to will be good motivation.
I wrote down everything I ate today for the 35th day in a row … I’m done with feeling sorry for myself; that doesn’t help me. Just one step at a time is all I can do for right now, and I do think I’m making progress.
What I wrote back, not that she was asking:
I am impressed with all you’re doing; you’ve turned into a machine.
However, a question: Is it sustainable? No judgment is implied here, it’s just a sincere question. Make sure that the path you choose is one that you will continue, not one that will overwhelm you. If you can honestly keep up with everything you’ve set out to do, by all means stick with it. If it’s going to consume you and you’ll give up due to the sheer volume of time and lifestyle change it will involve, it’s much better to choose a smaller set of activies and stay with them because you’ll do those longer and incorporate them into your life.
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Most of us suffer from perfectionism – and it doesn’t just manifest itself in dieting, but in all the things we do to lose weight quickly. Why? I think it’s because we don’t consider ourselves good enough until we weigh the right amount. The sooner we can get “there,” the sooner we are “acceptable.”
Ironically, the solution is to accept yourself for who you are. Unfortunately, many of us consider this tantamount to “giving up.” It’s not. As a Louise Hay song I heard years ago says, “I love myself the way I am, but still I want to grow.”
Two of Scott’s Rules apply here:
- If guilt and shame were motivational, we’d all be more successful.
- Small steps done regularly will generate more results than big steps done intermittently.
Accept yourself – flaws and all. Identify something you want to change. Make consistent small changes; and you’ll be more successful that going at it all or nothing.