I’ve been feeling really bad lately, and I’ve noticed that some of the habits that have helped me maintain my physical and mental health have started to fall away.
Not the big things like exercising daily and making sure most of my meals are healthy, but the smaller things that add up over time. For example, I haven’t had a soda in 2 years and I don’t miss it at all, and I usually always have a bottle of water with me. I still didn’t drink soda, but I started going back to flavored drinks like Crystal Light, etc. Anything in moderation is fine, but I had it all the time.
Weighing myself daily has also helped me on my weight loss journey. Now this is tricky because you can get into an obsessive space when you weigh yourself multiple times a day and I think like I said above everything in moderation is good but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing . But I didn’t weigh myself at all, which allowed me to snack a little more here and there. Like test scores, weight is not the way to be defined, but it can be added as a piece of the puzzle to fit fitness goals.
So, after avoiding the scale for a while, I decided to go back and see the unknown. It wasn’t horrible or anything, but my weight was more than I was comfortable with and I knew I could spiral into a bad space.
I distinctly remember weighing myself for the first time after avoiding scales for probably 2-3 years and seeing that I was 40 pounds heavier than I thought. I was so upset that I went back to bed and had to cry.
This time I saw the weight, was disappointed, jumped in the shower and went right back to work. I a) knew what I had to do and b) knew I could do it.
So here are a few things that helped me get back on track that you can apply to different parts of your life. I took some of these ideas from computer scientist Lex Friedman in his video “A Day in the Life” and wanted to share them with you all.
1. I started my day with gratitude. I focused on the things I had, like a wonderful family, the ability to play sports, and just being in this world another day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that life is short and it’s important to appreciate the time we have. It set the tone for the day, and Laney Rowell’s new book on the subject helped me with that idea.
2. I visualize the day I want to look forward to. Friedman talks about this on his podcast and how he might envision a good day for him, and I started doing the same. I thought about what meals I would eat for the day, what a good workout would look like, how I could feel accomplished in my life, and how I could make my children smile and laugh. It’s much easier to bring these things to fruition if you start your day by being intentional about how you’re going to achieve them.
3. I work towards perfection, knowing that I will never be able to achieve it. There are so many ideas of “progress over perfection” and I get it. The fear of “perfect” can put us in a space where we don’t even try. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the idea that I try to do everything “perfect”, whether it’s reps, running, or performing the “perfect” keynote. Realize that these things will never happen perfectly. Someday. That’s the point. But I still strive for these moments, knowing that they will only help me grow. The travel that’s what I’m focused on, not the end point. I recently heard the following opinion (author unknown):
“A man who loves the final destination will never get as far as a man who loves walking.”
The end point of “perfection” is an aspiration that makes me focus more on the path to continuous improvement than anything else.
I’m sharing all of this with you so I don’t tell others they are all I have to do is reflect on what helped me get back on track when I know I can slip back into negative patterns. The journey is never a straight line, and I think it’s important to share the “downs” on the way back to the “highs.”