Signing up for my first half marathon was one the most terrifying things I have ever done. The thing is, the furthest I had ever ran at that time was maybe 5K. For some reason I decided to jump to the half marathon, we are talking a whole 21K!! I was terrified, but I knew if I didn't sign up, I would never push myself to try to increase my running or stay consistent with it.
The only thing was, as soon as I signed up a whole flood of negative thoughts came rushing in.
-I don't look like a runner, what will be people think.
-I've never run even half that distance, I don't really know if I can actually do it.
-I am not fast enough, maybe a 10k would have been better...or maybe a 5k...
BUT as the weeks went and I followed a running schedule, I was getting better and I was getting faster. I wore a race bracelet to keep track of how many minutes it took me to run a KM so that I could increase or decrease my pace if necessary.
Soon those fears of,
"I can't do this, what will people think" and" I don't look like a runner".. started to fade away.
What had changed?
I had put in consistent effort and through that I had started tackling my own self limiting beliefs..all the "I cants".
Of course race day came around and I was more nervous than you would ever believe, but I had put the effort in, I had proven to myself that I could do it and crossing that finish line was a huge milestone not only for my physical health but for my emotional health as well.
Maybe you have figured out what I am trying to get at here..
Consistency pays off.
Consistency doesn't mean one day. Say you cut sugar, after one week or even a month will often not be enough time to see changes, unless more areas than just food are dealt with.
Starting and stopping, overeating during the weekends, because weekends don't count (right?!) WRONG.. every day counts. Being consistent not only affects your physical health but your mental health as well. And for myself, this is the game changer. How about you? When you are consistent with a routine, feeding yourself well, being active, taking care of yourself getting fresh air and all that good stuff.. .you FEEL much better than when you eat whatever you want and forget the whole self care thing.
Don't get me wrong, I believe that there is a time and a place for the favorites throughout the process.
What stops us from being consistent?
1)Unrealistic expectations- Maybe in your world a half marathon is like reaching for the moon. Its important to make realistic expectations for yourself. If I had signed up for the Iron Man, the overwhelm would have been unbelievable and it wouldn't have be attainable. This sort of expectation for myself would have made me feel like a failure, even though it wasn't really ever a good or realistic goal to make, and doing an Iron Man really doesn't align with my personal desires. I don't want you to stop allowing yourself to dream big, but to pick realistic goals for things you actually desire to accomplish, not what you think you should accomplish. Big difference.
Maybe with your nutrition goals the unrealistic expectation is that you are going to follow the restrictions you set for yourself to a "T" when you have been a yo-yo dieter jumping from one type of food restriction to another. There are some people that have no problem following a new style of eating. These people are usually people who have never tried a diet before, they haven't experienced that failure that you unfortunately keep experiencing. They start their plans, they follow them and all goes well. The rest of us are sitting over here thinking.. what the heck. WHY can't I just follow my diet of clean eating/Paleo/Keto/Metabolic Balance?
Forget about them, and focus on the unrealistic expectations that you have created for yourself. BECAUSE whether or not you face them, you may shortly end up feeling like a complete failure. This is not a great feeling. BUT I want you to start thinking about REALISTIC expectations with your nutrition goals. SKINNY by summer if you have never been able to stick to a plan.. is not realistic. I am sorry.
#2)Perfectionism- I either do it all perfect, or I don't do it at all. Having to have everything figured out perfectly before you decide to get started will always get in the way. Next week is always the new start date.
YES, next week and tomorrow are two amazing days that usually DON'T EXIST when it comes to jumping back on a nutritional band wagon. They are light years away and to be honest, we don't actually believe we have what it takes to get there. So, we throw the towel in BEFORE WE START.
Well let me tell you a thing or two😉 , you DO have what it takes and you need to start telling yourself that as well, start with the right mindset and attitude. Go ahead pick a start date, how about today!!
Maybe this new and improved start date won't look the way you think it will or the way it has looked in the past. Maybe the start day will reflect the day you are choosing to take action. Maybe it's the day that you are actively working on your heart and mind before attempting to change your body.
#3) Overwhelm-If I cant get everything done right, I may as well give up/stop. This is just too much all at once.
I'm going to let you in on a secret... there is no ONE right way of doing things. What is important is that we are consistent with what matters. If we are in the constant flow of forward, we can break the overwhelm down to something called the 1% rule. I've been reading "The 1% rule, How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve your Wildest Dreams" by Tommy Baker ..OK, confession, I have been reading it for a while.. I honestly think I need hard copy books because I always forget about my kindle. BUT I am sure I have gotten the most beneficial information from it anyhow, which is that every day you look at your priorities and try to make a 1% increase in each of the major areas. Notice I didn't say 100% or even a 50% change in any area all at once? Think about the increase you will naturally be making in 1 year with just 1%/day.. you will be 365% more awesome than you are today because you are consciously and consistently making the effort to MOVE FORWARD.
What does this look like?
THE BIG 5
love and relationships
connection to something greater
At the end of each day look back over the events of the day and ask yourself "did I or didn't I actively try to improve my situation by adding 1% to all of BIG 5?"
Maybe you took time to read your kids an extra book instead of watching a show, you showed your spouse attention when he/she came home from work no matter the chaos in the house, you chose not to buy that extra thing that wasn't really expensive but you know you didn't need it... you chose to stop eating when you started feeling full and chose to focus on chewing, and breathing through your meal for one meal that day. AND you spent time getting grounded. For me that is making sure I spend time in my bible every morning, stretching and being grateful for my situation NO MATTER WHAT.
Its just 1%... but over a year, imagine the possibilities.
Anyone can learn anything, in small steps at a time. Think back to my marathon story, it would have been terrible for me to sign up and start my training on race day because I would have injured myself and gotten frustrated with myself. You have to start somewhere, at the beginning, 1% at a time. You will not reach your goal tomorrow, some of us will take longer than others.
Don't compare your journey to anyone else's. WHY? Because that's dumb and defeating. Be willing to celebrate your success and the success of others.
There is no amount of self hate or body shaming that will keep you consistent and allow you to reach your goals.
Change your unhealthy perspective and attitude and take action with just 1% a day to prove to yourself how amazing you are. You are no mistake. 😁
I got up early, drank water, did my morning routine which helps me start my day with energy and the ability to make better choices the rest of the day.
BOOM.. 1% better than yesterday where I listened to the self doubt and pressed snooze 10 times.
Consistency allows you to quiet that inner critic that says I can't, I am not good enough, I will never reach my goal. Those negative thoughts will always try to dampen your mood.
It does not happen all at once, it's every morning choosing to lace up the runners, and actively improving on the BIG 5 that will lead you to your best health.
Time to take action and think about how you can add 1% to the Big 5 today and figure out what is stopping you from being consistent.
-Not feeling supported
-Or something else?
No matter where you are at, start TODAY.