Saturday, January 7, 2012

Imperfection is Allowed.

I'm a perfectionist, through and through...When it comes to things I'm passionate about. Other things, not so much. This is good because if I were a perfectionist about every little thing, I'm pretty sure I'd be living with some severe OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).  I can't imagine that.

Note: I am not saying anything is wrong with having OCD. I feel for people who live with it. Also, I'd be really horrible in my career if I thought so. That being said, I do think I have some OCD tendencies at times. Of course, in my opinion, most of us do.

Anyway, I was really down on myself for not being as diligent as I should have been with my workouts. I was annoyed that I allowed myself to indulge, in my opinion, too much -- for me, and that I have gained a few pounds since my lowest weight.  At one point, I was up 20 pounds.  Please note though that my true gain is only ten pounds.  I was retaining lots of water at that time.  That's gone and I am back down, still making me about ten pounds over my lowest weight. I was angry with myself for gaining weight. My perfectionist tendencies came out and I was beating myself up pretty badly, which we all know does no good.

On the site I use, SparkPeople (SP), I really love the community pages.  These are set up in a social networking style, so that you can read one another's blogs, comment, and share whatever info you want to.  I honestly feel like there are days I'd lose it and binge if it weren't for SP. I love to see my friends succeed, but sometimes it's comforting to know that you're not the only one who messed up, fell off the wagon, misbehaved, or lost their way.  The truth is that we all "mess up" sometimes. NO ONE is perfect.  I have a hard time remembering that when it comes to certain things, healthy living being one of them. 

For example, one of my friends on SP, who I consider to be an inspiration, blogged that she has been off-track and is at her highest weight.  I'm not happy that this happened to her. I feel for her. However, it helped me to not be so hard on myself, knowing that someone I look at as such an awesome example had a rough couple months.  It's a comfort to know we're all there at one time or another.

I can't say that I had a set-back because of the holidays. It wasn't the holiday meals that caused it; I only had one. I ate leftovers in moderation.  I think that the baking could have had a bit to do with it. When bad stuff is around, I'm weak. I give in. I eat it.  I made a lot of things for other people, so I know I didn't go crazy with it, but it was more than enough for me.

I wasn't working out as I should have. I was getting in two or three workouts a week. I just slipped up. It was hard to get motivated. I felt cold and wanted to be in warm pajamas, under a blanket.

Did I mention that I've been feeling better the last few days? It is amazing what remember to buy, and take, vitamins can do for a body. My iron must be building back up.  I've had a couple light headed episodes but nothing too severe. I have more energy and I'm not feeling as cold.  I also have a couple fingernails that are at a decent length and have not broken.  Take that, anemia!

I was busy...Like super busy. I feel like I've been busy since July, really. I thought it would slow down in the fall, and it did a little, but then it picked right back up again. I am constantly on the go. Traveling here and there. I have a great time and get to spend a lot of time with family and friends, but it can be exhausting.  This is the first weekend I have been home with no plans in over a month.  I had one weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I didn't have any obligations, although I did spend some of my time that weekend Christmas shopping, so that certainly wasn't all that relaxing.  I enjoyed these times, but let's face it, being busy can really take a toll on a person.

I felt wonderful not having anything going on this weekend. No plans.  I had a last minute lunch date with one of my best friends. It was wonderful.  We spent over an hour, maybe even an hour and a half, at a restaurant, just eating and talking.  It was awesome to spend some time with her without the pressure of having to "get ready" for something, pack, or load the car.  I love times like that.

I'm back on track and feeling amazing.

I will note that I am NOT back on track because of the new year.  I believe I made it pretty clear that I am not one for resolutions. Even the lure of the sales on fitness apparel didn't inspire this.  Being someone who is a shopper, that's saying a lot. 

I thought maybe the motivation of going to a concert in March was part of it; I want to look amazing.  However, that did not stop me from eating part of a cupcake, so maybe that wasn't it. Then I thought maybe it's because I'm going to do another race.  But then I've been planning on doing that, and that didn't change anything.

Then I realized...

I'm back to where I need to be because it's right for me. It feels good. It's where I belong. I'm also back on track because things are slowing down a little which is making me less overwhelmed, less stressed, and has given me a bit more time.  People look to me for inspiration, motivation, and as a mentor.  I felt horrible answering questions when I was being less than perfect.  Now that I'm back where I need to be, I feel less hypocritical.

Going back to an unhealthy lifestyle is something that I cannot do. Just a small taste of unhealthy living was too much for me. It makes me feel like a cow. I feel lazy. I feel self-defeating when that happens. I need to feel the sweat on my body. I need to enjoy knowing that what I'm putting into my body is healthy.  I also need to feel the accomplishment that I feel right know; knowing that I have worked out daily since Tuesday. My fire for working out is back. Even on days when I'm tired, I don't sit around and allow myself to talk myself out of it.  I put on my running clothes and I do it, without a second thought. It's back to being part of my daily routine.  I missed it.  Badly.

The determination is surging through me.  I know what I want and I'm willing to fight for it again. I know who I am, and this week has made me feel like myself again.  I feel inspired....By me.

This has shown me that I really have changed my life - forever. There's a great sense of power that comes with feeling that way.  I feel unstoppable. I feel strong. I know that I'm where I am and I feel how I do because of me. No one else made me this way.  I didn't start this journey because someone hurt my feelings with a mean comment, because I felt jealous of someone else who did it, or because I had some big health scare. I did this because it was time for me to change how I was living.

I know I can't be perfect, because no one is. However, I will continue to work hard to reach my goals.  I'll have moments that I'll want to beat myself up because I've had a momentary slip-up, or because I wasn't perfect.  I need to continue to remind myself, "progress not perfection."  I now have that on paper, right next to my motivational collages.

I'm not giving myself permission to misbehave again by saying that. I can see how some people would use that as a crutch for not giving it their all.  I'm not. I'm reminding myself that I don't need to be perfect but that I'm human and life happens.

XOXO

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