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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

Lessons from the Start Line

You ever have that thing you want to learn and be good at but all you find is you keep going back to the start line to try again? You just never seem to quite get it figured out or succeed at it and there is just starting over and over again. You feel like a loser going back to the start line yet again and wonder what you are doing wrong or why you’re not getting it. The eagerness and excitement turn to optimism and hope only to turn to anger, irritation and frustration testing us each time we fail at it yet again. We either keep trying it getting more and more tired with each trip back to the beginning or we give up.

I have struggled with my weight the last few years. There’s lots of excuses and reasons for it. I have tried to ignore it, make peace with it, hide it in dark colors in my clothes, workout until I couldn’t move, starve it off and talk bad about it. Still it is there and I keep going to the start line to try yet again another diet, meal plan, shake mix, exercise routine, and motivational pep talk. It’s frustrating, embarrassing and exhausting. Restarting over and over again with little to no progress but a growing defeated spirit.

On my multiple trips back to the start line I have learned quite a bit about myself. For one the older I get the more ornery I seem to be about starting over on something. Life seems too short to have to constantly repeat the same process over and over again. So obviously this must mean I’m not doing something right, not putting my all into it or something else is wrong to cause this need to keep restarting. I’ve worked hard not to blame especially when it comes to weight loss but that is a bit of a challenge when you’re headed to the start line to try again.

The thing is though maybe I’m not doing anything wrong, maybe I’m just at the wrong start line. The more times I head back to the same start line the more I start to question if this is right thing for me to be doing. Maybe it is and I need to learn to do it but sometimes it isn’t at all. It’s hard to know without a few restarts but here’s where knowing myself is super important. When I know these things about myself:

  • What motivates me

  • How determined I am

  • Where this is on my priority list

  • What I am crystal clear on what I want and need

  • How I best learn

  • What support I need

  • Why it’s important to me

  • How it will work in my life if I succeed, do it, reach it, have it

  • What I’m going to do with it when it’s there

Then, I can figure out what start line I belong at.

Then I can make this trip to the start line my own personal journey and not a competition or comparison to anyone else. Only then will this feel like a journey I’m learning and evolving into being fueled by empowerment from it rather than a miserable repeated failures not meeting expectations. OH yes there it is, the failure feeling of not meeting expectations for what seems to work for everyone else but not me. That goes away when I’m only measuring against my own goals.

When it comes to weight loss, I have realized there is not a one sized fits all approach and therefore there is not a single start line we all meet up at time and again when we fail. When we personalize our journey overall in life as well as on our goals, it becomes a lot more pleasant process, even when we’re trying to drop weight. There’s a shift in our thinking and this too impacts our approach. We begin to see options that we consider how they fit in our life and what they will do for our health and body. There will be similarities to others on the same journey but as long as we stay clear on our needs and goals we can let go of the competition. We can stop feeling inferior when someone else reaches a milestone and we’re headed back to start over again.

I think it’s ok to start over. I don’t always like it and it’s hard not to beat myself up over it. though. When I’m doing that though I realize most of the time it’s because I’m thinking I should be succeeding because I’ve seen other people do it. If they can do it so can I. It is true I can do anything I set my mind and heart to but what’s not true is comparing my failure to someone else’s success marking my journey as inferior. It wasn’t and truth be told I didn’t fail. No, it wasn’t a failure that is sending me back to the start line. It’s because I still have more to learn and do to reach my goal. I can’t fail at my goals when I’m learning, evolving and figuring out what is right for me. As long as I stay motivated and clear on why I’m doing something it doesn’t matter how long it takes to reach it.

So the trouble comes in not only when we are comparing our experience to a failure but also when we lose motivation. We make no progress for so long that we want to give up. What I have learned about myself is it’s easier to give up and do something I can achieve more easily than it is to keep working at something that reaps no fruit, lessens the number of the scale or grows positively. It’s easier to say it didn’t work so I’m not going to work at it anymore. This is right here is exactly why we need to be in touch with our own needs and understanding of what we want in our life. When we try to fit into someone else’s definition of beauty, skinny or fat, rich or poor, good life or bad life we end up giving up more easily. We realize it’s not worth it to us when we can’t make progress on it so we move on to something else drawing our attention. We let ourselves feel like a failure and ignore it by getting into something else more interesting.

We live in an airbrushed society that prizes youth and thinness. Beauty is defined by sized 0 or 2, breasts of a certain cup size, hips not to wide and no wrinkles. We have an impossible benchmark for the majority of women to meet in terms of what we call beautiful. It destroys what is beautiful about us if we let it and has no regard for health. We have to eliminate that image from our own thinking when we set the goals of our own health needs. Even harder we have to keep that image out of our view when we’re working on our own goals. Learning to do that when you’re headed back to the start line to try again at dropping weight is one of the hardest things I have found to accomplish. Yet achieving it changes the perspective, motivation, focus, feelings and more on what it means to try again at the start line.

If you’re ready to redefine what it means to start over I invite you to complete the free Lifestyle & Wellness Questionnaire. This will help you personalize your start line and journey to fit what is important to you and do it on your terms and budget.

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