Why I’m Not A Failure and Neither Are You



I bought this shirt for myself from my local Target. I won’t look like this wearing it and I’m OK with that. 

This morning my fiance’ encouraged me to get out of bed at 5:07 a.m. to be able to squeeze in a work out before my work day started. He is always doing stuff like that. He hears me say I want to achieve a goal and he then gently helps me to pursue whatever it may be that I’m working toward. He’s a really good man. Anyway, I begrudgingly got up with thoughts of how great I could look in my wedding dress if I did this more often and tweaked the way I eat. It’s the same every couple of weeks. I start out with big ideas of what I could accomplish and then eventually I become tired and weary of feeling as though I’m missing some huge part of life by saying “no” to an extra side of fries and saying yes to steamed baby carrots.

This morning was a very familiar feeling morning. As I drove to the gym with sleep still lingering in a fog around my head, like a cartoon, I wondered how many days in a row will I be able to keep this up this time around? I started silently figuring my calendar in my head making excuses for the coming days, why I won’t have the time in the morning to get to the gym before work. And then it hit me, I wasn’t planning, I was making excuses for reasons that I can stay in my bed this week. Reasons I won’t fight the Michigan Winter cold to go and work off some of the food I’ve enjoyed so much. Once I made it to the gym I ran on the treadmill for 17 minutes. I maintained my stamina to run the same distance I was running at Christmas, the last time I made working out at 5:30 a.m. a priority. I thought, “Not too shabby, lady” as I slowed to a walk and guzzled my water. I went to the stretching space and did some ab work with a medicine ball but I was was quickly deflated. I started telling myself, “that’s OK. You got out of bed, you ran, and you did more than you would have done while sleeping”. While that’s true, I’m not sure if that actually makes it better or if it’s like when your kid is sick and you give them their teddy bear to make their tummy better. For the record, bear + tummy does NOT = better.

Once I got to work I was feeling really good about myself. I felt motivated. I felt charged. I felt positive. On my way out of Starbucks (I should note that I did not get anything, it was for others) it occurred to me, as I was mulling over the motive for my reassurance to myself and the affect it would have on my ability to be consistent and regular. The fact that the familiar “back at it” mentality kept sneaking into my head all morning became laughable. “Back at it, again”… AGAIN. I couldn’t do it the first time, so I had to try again. Here’s what actually occurred to me: I am not a quitter. The very fact that I have quietly fallen off the train (OK, more like tuck, rolled, and dove into shrubs along the diet train tracks), recognized it and gotten myself back on track says that I won’t quit. I could easily have tried once to work toward my physical goals and given up when that backfired. I could have mourned my so called watered down effort and defeat, reached for my not-such-a-reward-anymore glass of red wine and popcorn and figure I’ll start again… eventually. I did just that… for a minute. Then I got back on track.

This isn’t one of those preachy sort of, “keep trying, try harder, you don’t need the burger” posts. Sometimes I need that burger. I need that burger like I need air in my lungs. We all need burgers. Even vegans have Portobello burgers. That should tell you something.* I digress. This is a post simply saying this. Look, I got out of bed at 5:07 am to go run and do crunches and things… that’s awesome! The whole rest of the day I can feel great knowing that I come equipped with an arsenal of healthy food to fuel myself with after my workout. This is the best I can do for the 24 hour time block I am currently living in and I’m doing it! This isn’t just me. If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’ve tried to do something to feel better. That makes YOU awesome! Whether you’ve chosen to take the stairs or park far away or increase your lift weight in your normal routine, YOU ARE AWESOME!

Don’t give up. It doesn’t take 5 hours a day in the gym and counting every calorie you put in your mouth. It simply takes your decision to be better and do your body better. That’s it. Whether I lose 5 lbs or 50 lbs** for our wedding I will feel great! No matter what, I will be proud of myself. Any small victory is celebratory worthy. I want to hear about your celebrations! Tell me about them! Form a community! I love rallying around people!

Editor’s notes:

*Eat the burger.

**I will not lost 50 lbs. That is a crazy goal. I would lose every curve that I love about myself. I would be Olive Oil from Popeye… Yuck!


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