If at first you don’t succeed?
Have you ever set out to reach a goal for the millionth time and just thought: What is the point? I keep failing! Why do I keep trying again? Here are some examples:
- I’m not going to yell at my kids anymore.
- I’m going to run a 5K.
- I’m going to quit drinking Diet Coke
- I’m going to lose weight.
- I’m going to organize my life.
- I’m going to volunteer more at my kid’s school.
- I’m going to shower every day.
I swear…I’ve tried all of those at least a million times. Except the “organize my life” one. My life is pretty organized…THANK YOU VERY MUCH. But the rest? Oh, man. Over and Over and Over and OVER AGAIN. WHY DO I KEEP TRYING?
Have I ever talked about emotional eating before? I can’t remember.
Well…Here’s another one…I would REALLY like to spend this summer breaking my emotional addiction to food. You know – the tendency to cope with all emotions: happiness, sadness, anxiety, exhaustion – by eating all of the food in all of the land. I would REALLY like to try to take a stab at that habit this summer.
You know, because I’ve never tried to break that habit before.
There have been books and diet plans and nutrition challenges and apps and blah blah blah. I’ve tried everything at this point, haven’t I? And there is a huge part of me that just wants to GIVE UP ALREADY.
But here’s the thing…a habit like emotional eating? Is a BAD one. If I didn’t run so much, I’d be 100lbs heavier. And this summer, I won’t be running so much because summer is Donnie’s season. He is training for an Ironman. I’ll do what I can around his schedule, but there will be no 30-mile weekends this summer. So I need to REALLY try to focus on breaking that habit before I gain the 100lbs.
But then, like a movie I’ve already seen, I look in the future and see myself eating 14 peanut butter and honey sandwiches one night when I’m stressed. Or maybe 12 bowls of cereal. That’s how it always starts. Binging on something relatively healthy. Because I don’t keep junk food around. And then…BAM! I’m back to where I am right now. Again. AGAIN. Why bother? I have failed the 200 times before, what makes me think I’ll be successful now?
I have no idea. Honestly. I’m more stressed than I’ve ever been with a husband training for an Ironman, looking for a job, and going to school. This is going to be E’s last summer at home as he’s getting an apartment in the Fall. I have to figure out how I’m going to keep my sanity working from home this summer with the kids underfoot. We have get our house ready to sell.
I AM STRESSED. Which means the urge to eat all of the foods in all of the land is going to be right under the surface every day.
Which is why I feel like I’m already seeing the failure before it starts.
[insert long dramatic sigh here]
If you set 14 million goals, surely you reach one, right?
I had so much fun with that month challenge Subtraction Project in April, that I decided to try something similar in May. It worked out VERY well that the subtraction project is focusing on the BODY this month. Less Loathing – Way More Love. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It’s like a subtitle written from my brain. Because I really feel like if I loved my body more, I’d treat it better. Or at least treat it horribly LESS OFTEN.
And then..the other challenge I’m doing? I blame entirely on Linda. Because – THIS challenge? Has SCARY MUSCLE LADY on the front of it and there is nothing that makes me avoid something more than anyone with THAT little body fat and THAT much muscle definition. I DO NOT WANT THAT BODY. That body doesn’t enjoy beer or donuts in the quantities I like. Why would I want a life without beer or donuts?
I DO NOT WANT THAT LIFE.
BUT! I trust Linda. And she did the Betty Rocker Bodyweight challenge and really enjoyed it. And Linda’s fitness journey was instrumental in inspiriting my own – with her marathon training and her triathlon…so why shouldn’t I trust her now? Even with a scary muscle lady leading the charge. I do want to get stronger and faster this summer to prepare for all of the racing that starts in the Fall. I do prefer bodyweight strength training over everything else. I don’t have to leave my house, which means childcare isn’t an issue.
SO! Two challenges in May (Less Loathing – Way More Love and Betty Rocker Bodyweight Challenge) aimed at focusing on my body. And then…you know…to add a few more things on the list of SHIT I WON’T STICK TO THIS MONTH:
- I’m going to either do a tempo run or hill repeats once a week. (This is to help me work on speed.)
- I’m going to save my beer drinking for ONE night a week. Either Saturday or Sunday. NOT BOTH. And NO drinking during the week.
- I’m going to try Yoga. AGAIN.
- I’m going to drink more water. Or maybe I should say: SOME water. I only drink water in preparation for races. I’m going to try to drink water every day!
- I’m going to get my Diet Coke drinking back down to one 16oz (or 20oz) bottle a day.
In theory, it may seem like I’m setting too many challenges. But I’ve decided to take the shotgun approach to May. Surely I’ll hit SOMETHING, right? I mean, if you set one challenge and you fail, then your month is shot. But if you set 432 challenges and fail, you still have 431 left to succeed at! BAM! LOGIC!
There are TWO things I’m certain of:
1. I’d be more successful if we did it together.
We’ve bonded a lot about these body issues we all have. It’s not about losing weight. That’s a goal, of course. But it’s about look at food differently. Not as an emotional crutch. And also look at our body differently. Loving it so that we don’t want to eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting. We’ve all talked about this before, so maybe you all could look to May as the month you try to work on these things too? And we can chat about it? Hold each other accountable? If you have a blog I would love to read what you’re writing about it. If you have an instagram or twitter, maybe we can bond over it there? Maybe we should hashtag things? Like #GettingMyShitTogetherForRealThisTime? That’s probably too long, isn’t it? Either way…if you set some of your own body image type challenges in May, I’d love to commiserate with you about it. Somehow. I haven’t thought that part through yet, obviously.
2. Today I will be eating all of the food and drinking all of the beer in all of the land.
I mean, seriously. I’m setting all of these goals staring on THURSDAY. Today is WEDNESDAY. In true “I have a bad relationship with my body and food” fashion, I will be binge eating today. Getting it all out of my system, obviously. Because that’s how someone like me rolls.
SO! Do you want to set some goals in May that help you look at your body and food differently? So that exercise and eating well don’t become chores but they become something we maybe want to do? And maybe find different outlets for our stress besides abusing these bodies that we hope will keep us going until we’re at least 80? How should we communicate with each other? Are you on Twitter? Instagram? Do you know morse code?
BUT SERIOUSLY. I’m sick of failing. And I’m sick of one bad day ruining an entire month. I’m sick of eating a pizza on day 5 and looking at that as an excuse to eat 4 more on day 6. I’m sick of hating my body. I’m sick of coping with stress in the kitchen. I’m sick of it all. Life is not going to get any easier this summer. I need to form new habits and kill the bad ones NOW, before I’m writing an entry about The Summer I Gained 60lbs.
Are you in?