I created this blog as a way to keep myself accountable and on target for my goals and to help encourage myself and others to stay motivated and excited about our own individual health and fitness journeys. Through this blog I have had the great opportunity to hear from many of my readers about their struggles and successes and I am so happy to have been able to be a part of your journeys even if it is just in some small way.
One theme I have noticed through my own journey and from hearing from others is that we often discount our successes. We tend to recognize our shortcomings and failures more easily than we do all the wonderful small, medium and large steps we take each day to make ourselves happier and healthier.
I have noticed in myself that after almost 8 months of taking my healthy and fitness seriously, I am only now starting to acknowledge a lot of the work I have done. Now, I have always been pretty fast to pat myself on the back for increasing my deadlift or squat weight, but it has taken me quite some time (and really I am still just learning) to acknowledge how my body has positively responded to all of my efforts.
I realize that I have lost weight and inches and that I have gained a load of muscle but I have also been stuck on a specific image of what I look like. I am sure we all (men and women alike) have a image in our heads that shows up when we look in the mirror, maybe it is accurate and perhaps it is more harsh or forgiving but we all have an “idea” of what we look like and seem to look at ourselves through this filter. I have also found that this image is oftentimes associated with a number, you know that dreaded number on a scale.
Instead of being focused on the fact that I am wearing a smaller pants size (than ever before), or that my cardio endurance is ridiculously awesome, or the fact that I am lifting more weight that I ever thought was physically possible, I became increasingly focused on seeing the number on the scale move. And just last week it hit me…the number on your scale is a joke!
Sure scales serve their purpose they are a marker, they are there to give you an idea of what you are dealing with, but it is silly to rely on it as an accurate measurement of your overall physical health. It wasn’t until last week (7 months into regular physical activity and healthy eating) that I realized that the size of pants I am wearing is smaller than the size of pants I was wearing when I was 10 lbs lighter and that is when I got the idea for this post, because it was at that moment that I realized that I hadn’t fully acknowledge how far I have come.
So what am I getting at? I assure you I am getting at something. The point here is that I feel that as a society we give a lot of our power to a scale, to a perfect number and we seem to think that once we attain that number we will be successful. Now I am not saying not to set goals, goals are great, goals are what keep me motivated to move forward and to keep striving to better myself. What I am saying is that by holding ourselves captive to this “perfect number” we end up ignoring so many successes and changes in our physical, mental and emotional selves. It is only once we start acknowledging and owning all of our successes as much as we do our failures that we are able to actually enjoy, own and appreciate all of our hard work.
8 months of intensive work on myself (physically, emotionally and mentally) and I am only just now coming to this conclusion. I am starting to realize that all of my hard work,my success and setbacks, have paid off and that I it is okay to be ridiculously proud of myself. I have learnt that it is time to start accepting compliments and owning them and being thankful, and that no matter where you are in your own personal journey that you should always do your best to be grateful for the little things (that one extra push-up you can do this week that you couldn’t last week is a great accomplishment!)
So in conclusion…in the words of Katy Perry…we are all fireworks! All of your little and big steps forward and backwards area all things you should be proud of because there is no pleasure in success without a bit of a struggle.
Happy Tuesday! Stay positive and say something nice to yourself today!