When dealing with new experiences, everything is trial and error and it is essential to learn to embrace failure in all our journeys to achieve goals, including weight loss plans.
Adjust expectations and effort
All or nothing! Unfortunately, more and more people think that perfection is everything and that if they not succeed in anything at first, it is not worth trying it anymore and they should give up. But When did we start thinking that making mistakes is a burden and it is only for losers?
Don’t get me wrong! I used to think that I had to be perfect in everything I do, too. I learned my lessons the hard way and I wish I knew everything I know now long before I started to struggle to keep up with the false image that I have everything under control and nothing will keep me aside from reaching my goals. Not embracing self-love deepened the problem.
A couple of years ago I decided to lose weight and for one year I thought I did everything I had to do to kill it and never go back to the weight I tried so much to lose. I started to work out 5 days a week, I was eating super correct, I didn’t drink alcohol and I didn’t eat sweets.
The fear of mistakes affects you too much
If friends invited me to go out for dinner, I would avoid doing it in order not to eat foods that were not in my diet menu. If I was offered a glass of wine now and then to celebrate something, I would say no because I didn’t want the empty calories in it. I was trying to control every part of my life in order to reach my goals as soon as possible and not give in to error.
But, one day, my body shut down. While I was in the gym, I could not move a muscle trying to do simple exercises. I got out of there crying, feeling exhausted and on the edge. Soon, my doctor said I pushed to hard and I am facing the mighty burnout.
I stopped exercising, went on holiday, started to eat properly and while I returned to acting like a balanced human being again, I gained back the 15 kilos I was so proud of losing. If I had learned to embrace failure, I wouldn’t have gone through all this pain and my results would have been long term, a real change of habits and lifestyle in a healthy way, made to last.
Here are some lessons that I learned while going through my own weight loss journey:
Accept trial and error
We are human beings and we are not perfect! Learning new things is a process and making mistakes are part of it. It is true that while we are not encouraged as children to see mistakes as part of the learning process, we must educate ourselves to embrace mistakes in our lives and learn our lessons while failing and getting back up.
It is our minds that our holding us back and we are starting to give in to fear too easily when we should build the character needed to ride the waves even in the darkest of times no matter what we do or trying to achieve. Nothing comes easy, but that is the fun of it, not the reason to give up the very moment an obstacle comes our way!
Failure expectation is required to reach goals
While I was going through my weight loss journey, I didn’t even want to think of failure. I thought that if I ate something sweet or if I drank a glass of wine, these would mean major setbacks and I didn’t want to compromise my effort.
I was, actually, punishing myself without knowing I am doing that because I was sure that the better I behave, the closer I will be to my goals. This is true, only that for me ‘better’ meant ‘perfect’.
When you’re on your own weight loss journey, accept that:
- You might miss exercising
- You might eat too much
- You might not eat enough.
No matter what your mistake is, just remember the choice is yours and the only thing we have to do is to just keep going with our healthy habits!
Mistakes aren’t a big deal
Instead of avoiding sweets or alcohol while I was on my weight loss journey, I could have easily eat the cake or drink the wine and then move on with my exercising and healthy eating. It is what I do know, but I didn’t know I could do back then, because I was too afraid that one mistake would mean I am not strong enough or focused enough to achieve my goal.
Mistakes shouldn’t matter that much! Whenever we make one, we just have to take ownership of it and move ahead with the habits we know that, in the long run, will make the difference. A day of eating cake and drinking wine will not makes us fat again. It is what we do most of our time that matters, it is in the daily behaviour, not in that one time exception!
Accept that you will make mistakes and then carry on! Only by embracing this simple lesson you will be able to move towards your goals and not give up after one mistake.