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Let me explain.
I used to take setbacks so personal. I’d call myself a failure, look at myself as a failure, and believe I was a failure. I’d feel guilty for being weak, for letting myself down, for letting my family down. I’d beat myself up for not having any will-power and for not being stronger. I did this to myself. I treated myself this way. For all those years I would treat myself like a piece of shit... and then go eat a pan of brownies.
Why the hell couldn’t I do that for myself?!
I don’t know exactly. Lots of reasons I’m sure. Probably amongst the biggest is the fact that I’m a control freak and expect perfection out of myself. I set expectations so impossibly high for myself that I swear God himself would look me dead in the eye and say ’Bitch, please, you can’t do all that.‘ Kinda hard to come out on top when you set unattainable goals for yourself, no?
I STARTED CALLING MYSELF OUT ON MY OWN BULLSHIT.
I would use my setbacks as crutches and as reasons I couldn’t achieve success. It was the setback’s fault, not mine. And all the self-bashing I was doing was a way to punish myself. I devalued, depreciated, and underrated myself so that no one else would. Year after year I was the only one attending my pity-party with a dunce cap on and eating all the damn cake.
EVERYBODY SCREWS UP.
I don’t look at myself as a failure anymore when a setback knocks me down. Here’s how I look at it. I do my best. Day-in and day-out, I give it my all and I do my best. That’s gotta be enough.
It is enough. Period.
But setbacks are a tricky little business. They loom all around us at all times like snipers in the trees waitin’ to take our asses out.
Life setbacks are out of your control.
Can’t happen. Won’t happen.
Setbacks will make you their bitch if you let them.
More importantly, you’ll stop beating yourself up over them.
You’re allowed to make mistakes.
You’re allowed to falter and get knocked down.
You’re allowed to eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
But I’ll tell you what you’re NOT allowed to do.
You’re not allowed to wallow in your mistakes, feel guilty about them, and then eat your feelings.
You’re not allowed to stay down when you’re knocked down.
You’re not allowed to still be eating pumpkin pie by the time St. Patty’s Day rolls around.
Once we get up off our asses and get back to business, they make us stronger. Each one proves to us that we ARE warriors. We may lose a battle here and there but we can win the war.
I mean, when you find yourself standing at your kitchen counter at 1:00am eating Nutella out of the jar with a serving spoon half-asleep and half-naked… I think it’s safe to say that pretend time is over. Shit has gotten real.
I call it:
It gets everyone on board (including me) and prepares everybody (including me) that mommy is about to lay the hammer down.
I want to share my plan with you to give you an idea of where to start. But again, everyone needs to find their own perfect Plan of Action.
It all has to go. I put it all in a trash bag and then put it in the trashcan outside.
3. I HAVE A FAMILY MEETING
If anyone has been home to witness either #1 or #2, they already know what’s coming. Mommy lost her shit and now everyone has to say goodbye to all the crappy deliciousness she’s been bringing into the house lately. YUP. During the meeting I let everyone know that mommy may seem a little more pre-occupied or maybe even a little more irritated for a few days until I can kick my own butt and get used to some changes.
Honestly, the meeting is more for myself. My husband and little girls have been though the drill so many times (yes, they’ve been through Operation:GO MA many times) that life doesn’t change much for them aside from less goodies to eat. It helps me tremendously just to say out loud that I’ve gotten off track and need to get back on.
For me, to actually hear the words come out of my mouth makes it real. Moreover, when I admit this to the people I love most in the world, it reminds me how important it is that I stay healthy for them as well as for me. I need all the energy I can get to run this household and be the best mommy I can be for my munchkins. They don’t just need a mommy. They need a happy and healthy mommy.
4. FIND NEW MUSIC FOR MY PLAYLISTS
Music is big for me. I cannot workout without music. I just can’t. I have one of those annoying brains that never stop racing and probing and questioning. Music shuts that off. I thank God for that everyday. Not sure I could make all that sweat-fest badassery happen if I didn’t have the music to turn off my crazy. In fact, I know I couldn’t.
So new music gets me excited. And getting excited is exactly what I need when I’m getting back to business.
5. SET SPECIFIC SMALL GOALS
I set clear and concise small goals and I write them down. I am a visual person. I need to see with my eyes. There’s too many thoughts swimming in my head at any given time and if I try to keep all of my goals floating inside my big noggin, I lose track.
6. FIND INSPIRATION
I pull inspiration from wherever I can. I’ll search up weight loss stories, read fitness blogs, scroll through Pinterest for fitness pins, search for some new healthy recipes, watch the Biggest Loser. Anything and everything that gets me in that frame of mind. It’s comforting to know that I’m not in this alone.
7. SET REWARDS
I like to promise myself something if I hit my goals. A new book, new flavor of coffee, or maybe something from Sephora. For bigger goals, I might pick out some new running shoes or a new sports bra.
Never reward yourself with food. Keep your rewards health and fitness-related (headphones, healthy foods recipe book, kettle bell, etc) or just pick out little things that you love but don’t normally buy yourself (romance novel, manicure or massage, strappy heels, etc).
NEVER reward yourself with food.
The key to recognizing setbacks is to be honest with yourself.
Admit to yourself that you screwed up and be okay with it. If you sit around and punish yourself over it, you’ll stay in that place. You’ll take a setback that has lasted a day, a week, or a month and make it last a month, 6 months, or a year.
Some setbacks last a lifetime.
I don’t care if you have spent the last four months eating like a world champion sumo wrestler and if your own damn couch is ready to kick your ass off of it,
FORGIVE YOURSELF AND GET THE HELL OVER IT.