Day 3 is my first hurdle that seems to crop up on my journey. Whether it is a new diet, working out or just trying to do something different in my health, day 3 is where the proverbial rubber meets the road for me. This is the time where my body and mind realize I’m trying to change things up. Cravings become strong, my body aches from new workouts and I’m probably even grumpy. Oh yes the day 3 blues are real and it won’t be the only hurdle like this but first I have to survive this one.
Day 1. I’m determined, focused and all in with a new plan that is going to work this time. I grab that green smoothie in the morning, switch to water after 2 cups of coffee instead of 3 and am looking forward to that lunch salad. This is good right? I’m accomplishing eating healthy and am not falling for the usual 3PM snack time today. My sneakers are waiting for me to get a walk in after work and make it all the way through my core workout. Today is a good day.
Day 2. Still feel strong. Yesterday’s positive start has influenced me and supports this focused mindset I’m building. Overdid it some with so much working out yesterday but that’s alright I can go gentler today. The important part is to do something right? Little hungry but I’m sure that is just my body realizing I’m not going to cave into cupcakes like usual and instead drinking my water with lemon oil. Made it all the way through successfully.
Day 3. Feeling determined. Start out good with my protein smoothie but needed that extra coffee today. I’m tired and my body hurts. Honestly I feel grumpy and wonder why I’m doing this because it sure seems like a lot without any guarantee it will work. Trying to get all my water in. Wow I’m hungry, maybe a little snack will be ok at 3PM. I’m really wanting something salty and sweet. These cravings will be the death of me for sure. Oh man! Still hungry and it’s a stressful day work where I’ll be working late. That means of course I’ll need to skip working out but what am I going to do? Tell the boss no? I’ll just make it up tomorrow so as long as I stay strong in what I’m eating I should be alright.
The start of the trouble for me is usually day 3. It is when I can’t just do it on sheer anger, determination and manhandling myself into working out. Things are starting to feel a little harder and I don’t feel as confident about my how well I can stick to the plan. I know I need to change and find ways to improve my health but day 3 shows me how futile some of my efforts in accomplishing that are going to be. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I know losing weight won’t happen overnight but my goodness does it have to be so hard from here on out?
It has taken me a long time to realize I was sabotaging myself long before my actual day 3 occurred. The actual breakdown that I noticed on day 3 had started well before the start of the end. Like most goals I went headstrong into it thinking I just needed to overcome my weakness and not give up. By forcing myself into a drastic change I didn’t think about what could go wrong or even what I needed to make that successful. I just did it full on without thought to the consequences. Then by day 3 I was like a boat running down a rapid current having realized I left my oar back at camp.
The trick to getting past the hard days whether yours is day 3 or day 30, is in having a back up plan. It is not that your goals are too hard or even that you cannot do them. Rather it is making sure you are equipped for all situations. Sometimes it will still be hard but having the tools for when cravings override your determination will make the difference between a successful day 3 and a start of the end for another failed diet or health goal. We will all face a hurdle so planning ahead and being able to apply modifications to help you through it is what I call day 3 survival kit.
The survival kit is not the usual talking bad to myself for failing or just reverting back to my old ways. It contains what I need most in those moments of weakness or struggle that can make the difference between continuing or feeling like I failed miserably and should give up now. It looks like healthy snacks around the house rather than chips when snack attacks happen. It means including enough options that I don’t feel deprived. There is also the workout support like Deep Blue for the sore muscles or a reward of something I want for getting through the workout like a good hot bath and book. The survival kit of the things I can count on to see me through in a moment of chaos that could result in me being derailed to the larger goals I’m working on.
The biggest tools in the survival kit are my own forgiveness and patience. The ability to have grace with myself for having a tough day but knowing how to recover from it. Realizing all is not lost in the journey due to one bad or challenging day. These are tough tool to apply because they make me admit I’m an imperfect human who is just doing her best. It is in that moment I realize the true measure of calling day 3 a success is not that I did it all perfectly but rather that I gave it my best. I tried and learned from where I still have room to grow.
No, it won’t always be easy but when I am working towards my own best interest for improving my health there is no race or time clock to beat. I can do it at my own pace and give myself room to allow for those moments where I don’t do it well. Day 3 used to worry me because it was my point where things went sideways and I knew I’d be starting over. Now I see it as a point where I get to start learning who I am and who I want to be. It is not just a battle for control over what I eat or how hard I work out in any given day but rather how much I can love myself regardless of those things.
Being able to apply the forgiveness and patience to my journey has made it possible for me to see past day 3 to where I really want to go. When I see that energetic healthy body and all the good things I want o feel from achieving this goal, I feel encouraged instead of disappointed. I stumbled is all and that’s alright. What matters now is if I continue looking forward to I look at where I came from and go back. Today I decide forward looks better.
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