So I blinked and my 21-day Paleo challenge was over. I honestly can’t believe how fast time goes these days. Each year as I get older, things seem to move faster. It seems unfair, since I’m still learning how to appreciate it all. Slow down, world, so I can really enjoy everything and get the most from it!
But anyway – the challenge. This was run by one of the Crossfit coaches/nutrition guru Crystal Nelson. It was guided and we were measured and everything, and I was very strict. End result? I barely lost weight (a little over 2 pounds, I think), BUT, I lost 3.3% body fat, and 4.5 inches from my midsection. Not bad for 3 weeks! More importantly than those numbers, though, is the fact that I’ve felt great, lean, strong, energetic, and satisfied the whole time. I’ve developed a great schedule for planning weekly meals, shopping and doing some prep work on Sundays, and generally managing things without it needing to dominate my time or energy. In short, I’m good for the long haul.
Now since my last post, I was thinking more about stumbling blocks. I mean, I think it’s way easier to get fired up and enthusiastic at the start of something. Whether it’s focused on diet and exercise, or a new house project, or a personal goal, or any number of things – we can get ourselves focused and psyched up, but after that fades and we’re still slugging along with our goals miles out in front of us…..well, what then? This has been my big question.
For me, there are definitely a couple things that derail me and suck the motivation right out of the air around me. One is the need for quick gratification. Big shock given our culture, I know. ;-) But seriously, despite my efforts not to absorb too much of that message from the media, here I am ticked off that I didn’t lose more weight in 3 weeks. 3 WEEKS! I mean, shouldn’t I be impressed by the 3.3% body fat? How is a smart person like me disheartened because I don’t have a supermodel figure in 3 weeks? But at least this time I was prepared for it, and instead of letting it own me I was able to feel that emotion, give it a nod, and then let it go out the door with the other unrealistic expectations that flutter into my brain.
Another obstacle to maintaining motivation? Comparing myself to others. Rather than measure myself against, well, myself, I look at every other person around instead. Look at what that person accomplished! Look at how that other person looks! And that one’s career! I get defeated when I see success around me because I feel like I can never have whatever it is. Whether that’s because I don’t think I deserve it or because I think that person was born with a quality I somehow don’t have is up for debate. Perhaps I think they’re just better people than me. They are the achievers! The go-getters! They clearly made the right decisions to get there, and I clearly made the wrong ones because I’m not there. Something like that anyway. The end result though, is that I just give up.
Now, I like to think I’m a reasonably smart individual – and yet here I am wanting to be unique. Yet I’m using everyone around me to measure off of. And clearly, that hasn’t been working for me. Time for a change. So what I’m focusing on now is just being ME. Whatever that means in any given moment, here I am. And when my attention is on that, I realize that I actually LIKE me. I’m happy, and I get joy out of all kinds of things –my family, a beautiful afternoon, a good cup of tea, a hot bath…so many small things that aren’t huge. But they are amazing. I don’t need to be anyone else – this works.
There’s something to be said for the enthusiasm and motivation at the outset of things. But right now I’m focused on each step I take, slow and steady. I’ve got goals and desires, but they won’t be achieved until I can learn to keep putting one foot in front of the other, appreciating each step I take.