Celebrating My Own-Goal

I’ve been thinking about perfectionism lately. Maybe because a friend recently pointed out that maybe some of my issues and angst are a result of it? (Don’t worry, sildenafil it’s not the first time I’ve heard that theory!)

More specifically, I’ve been wondering if maybe my perfectionism is what has been keeping me from posting about my health journey more often. I started out pretty strong with the posting, right? But then in February, I sprained my ankle in a soccer game and it all came to a screeching halt.

Because they x-rayed my sprain, the docs determined that I have stress fractures in both my tibias. The fractures are unrelated to the ankle sprain, and the catch was only a lucky coincidence. It seems that what I thought were some awful shin splints for the past four years were actually my tibias breaking.

I was given a boot for the ankle and told to stay off it until it stopped hurting. I was told I would need rods inserted into both tibias to repair them. I was told that after a month or so, I could start something non-impact like swimming, but that I should stop if anything hurt.

So, what did I do? Nothing. Even after my month of rest was up, I did nothing. I couldn’t play soccer. I couldn’t jog. I couldn’t take a walk. I couldn’t even use my elliptical. The boot came off and still I did nothing. My Beachbody programs are full of modifications for lighter impact, but I didn’t even try.

At the time, I was chock full of excuses. Most of them were along the lines of “no time.” It was so easy to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I’ll do it after my show.” It didn’t help that it was winter, in Michigan. “It’s too cold.” “It’s too icy.” Winter in Michigan means it gets dark at 5pm. So…“It’s too dark!” I had just started a new part-time job. “I’ve worked all day, and I’m too tired.” “I just need to decompress for a while, and I’ll exercise in a bit.” And then, so many excuses were injury-related. “If I can’t do the workouts right, I’m not going to do them.”

What do you think? Was this perfectionism rearing its ugly head? Or maybe depression trying to gain foothold in my life again? A bit of both?

There is something I did right over the course of the months though. I kept drinking my shakes. Occasionally, I even had two in one day. That was what I hung on to when I was beating myself up about not exercising. At least I kept doing that, and because I did, I did not lose ground. Well, I know I lost strength and stamina. But I didn’t gain weight. That’s pretty huge, because BBB (before Beachbody) I would have started up with my downhill, self-destructive spiral of not exercising so not bothering to eat healthy so not exercising, etc. I would have given up, yet again, on my plan and resigned myself to being heavy and unhealthy.

A lot of this is also why I wasn’t posting. I’m supposed to be talking about my journey. I’m supposed to be helping others on their journey. But how can I possibly help others when I’m floundering? That’s still a hard question for me to answer. People said, write anyway; your story will help others. But I couldn’t do it. If I didn’t have additional pounds lost to report, I wasn’t going to talk about being on this journey. If I wasn’t doing my workouts, how could I expect others to? If I couldn’t do this Beachbody coaching thing perfectly, apparently I wasn’t going to do it at all…

And then, finally, spring arrived. With the fresh air came a fresh outlook. My doctor eased up on his push for surgery, and I gave pickup soccer a try. It didn’t go well and I stepped out of the game after about 30 minutes after going ankle-to-ball-to-ankle with another player. But man did it feel good to move again! I pulled out my Beachbody programs and did a few. I jumped on my elliptical. I bought a Fitbit and challenged some friends to a steps competition. And tonight, on Mother’s Day, I played in a real soccer game. This time it went well, even though I was rusty and out of practice. It felt good even though I didn’t play well. Just the act of moving made it fun. And my teammates’ support made it fun.

So what have I learned from all of this? I think it’s too easy to look back on a time in our lives and be hard on ourselves. I obviously should have kept posting and blogging during the winter. I should have kept exercising in some form. I should have done a lot of things. When I look back on that time, my excuses fall flat. They were so flimsy! I should have seen the bigger picture. I should have gotten up, dusted myself off, and kept going. Should, should, should.

There’s that perfectionism! I should have done this better. I should have tried harder. This isn’t good enough; I’m going to do it over.

So I’m going to try to change things now. I’m going to try not being so hard on myself going forward. Yes, I’m on a journey to getting healthy. But no, I am not doing it perfectly. I’m stumbling. I’m losing and plateauing and losing again. I’m getting the blues and sometimes “not feeling it.” But I’m still here. I’m fighting. I’m not fighting perfectly, but I’m fighting.

Tonight, I just wanted to let you all know that this is what has been going on. This is why you haven’t heard from me. And this is something that I’ll be addressing more going forward.

In tonight’s soccer game, I scored an own-goal. That’s when a player scores a goal against his own team. It’s pretty embarrassing, and usually people don’t go home and tell everyone about it. It certainly isn’t a good thing. In fact, it’s about as imperfect as you can get. And yes, I had one today. I accidentally played the ball into my own team’s net, and the other team got a point. But tonight I’m going to embrace my imperfection and celebrate it! Whohooooo! Go me!!! (although I really hope that doesn’t happen again any time soon!!!)   🙂

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Water Challenge Chart Printable

TLC--30DayWater

Need a printable to help you get all your water in?

30day Water Challenge Chart

You can use this to track your eight cups per day.  Or, decease you can even use the Half-Your-Weight method.  (Take half your weight and divide by 8.  Drink 8 cups with that many ounces.  For example:  if you weigh 160 pounds, half of that is 80.  Divide that by 8 to get 10.  Drink eight 10-ounces cups of water per day.)

No Sugar Zone

I had a medium-size bag of honey roasted peanuts sitting on my desk, see taunting me with just a few nuts left. I decided to finish them off, so I dumped the bag out into my hand to toss them back. As I was bringing my hand towards my mouth, I glanced at the pile of nuts, crumbs, and sugar in my palm. I suddenly remembered that I’m on Day 2 of a 5-day no sugar challenge and that the pile of sugar wasn’t on the “approved snack” list. I put the brakes on my arm and shut my yap. Can you picture it? My arm stopped moving, but the nuts, crumbs, and sugar had momentum and kept on their trajectory. Yes, I basically threw a handful of nuts and sugar at my face! Luckily, most of it went down my shirt…

View from the Cockpit

I just heard a pro-footballer on a documentary say that “a goal without a plan is just a wish” (usually credited to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). And it’s so true, isn’t it? I was just thinking about my goals for the year and mapping out my plan. It would be more fun to do this if my Franklin Planner order was here already, but it’s gotten hung up somewhere. (and yes, no need to tell me I’m nerdy. I checked that box long ago.) Anyway, the plan includes meal planning (I have an Outlook task that reminds me to do that every Sunday), calendaring workouts and soccer games, and disconnecting wi-fi at 11pm. Who else is planning big things this year?  <3 beth

No Diets!!!

I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many supportive people. Friends and family who want to help me reach my goals. I’m very blessed in that regard. One thing they inevitably ask is, “what can’t you have now?” It’s so cool that my answer is, “nothing!” There really is nothing that I CAN’T have. This week I’ve enjoyed Christmas cookies, cheesecake, a cinnamon roll…many things that before this, I would have overeaten or felt really horrible about eating. The difference is, I can have one cookie and be done. Or a small piece of cheesecake. I don’t feel deprived because I do get the treat–I just don’t overdo it these days. It has nothing to do with willpower (or I’d have been able to do this years ago). It has everything to do with curbing cravings with a blend of superfoods that has allowed me to kick the sugar addiction and kick the diet coke addiction. So when asked what I can’t have, my longer answer is, “there’s nothing I can’t have, but the real question is, what don’t I WANT to have anymore.” THAT list is a lot longer!   <3 beth

Hope

I love this quote from my favorite poet.  A friend of mine recently brought up the fact that I haven’t posted about depression in a while.  I think that’s because I haven’t thought about it in a while.  Sometimes you just put your head to the grindstone and plow through your days without stopping to look at where you are or how far you’ve come.  I’ve been focusing on doing my thing and getting healthy and didn’t really stop to reflect on how things are in other areas.  And these past few days as I was working out this post in my head, prescription it occurred to me that maybe the reason I haven’t focused on it is because it’s not an area I’ve been struggling with as much these past few months.  I am so thankful for that!

I still hear from people who were encouraged by my story, sales and I still get hugs from people who want to encourage me or share their story. I love the deeper relationships I am building by getting to know people on a new level. And I love that people who feel similarly have been reaching out to me. I want to encourage everyone who struggles in this area to talk to someone and to keep trying to find what works. Unfortunately, there’s no “one thing” that helps everyone. But there are so many things to try! For me, the difference was about breaking a damaging cycle. For someone else it also might be finding the right health and nutrition program, or it might be finding the right therapist, or the right guided meditation, or the right medication.

I know this can be a very difficult time of year for many.  My prayer for all of you is that you keep fighting and keep searching.  My hope for all of you is that you also find hope along the way.  <3

Holiday Hoorays

Well, treat buy if I wasn’t convinced before, I sure am now.  This was the first Thanksgiving weekend I’ve gone through without stressing about food.  I didn’t gain an ounce…actually lost a fraction of a pound.  And I didn’t really do anything extreme.  I had all the good stuff:  Pie! Turkey!  Stuffing!  Gravy!!!  Pastries the next morning!  Leftovers!  Birthday cake!  Pasta!  It was all sooo good!  It really was a decadent weekend.   I just didn’t have as much as I would have in the past.  I didn’t have seconds.  And I had smaller portions.  And I didn’t feel the least bit deprived or hungry!  I didn’t have to sit there and say, “no thanks” while chewing on a miserable celery stick! 🙂    I had my shakes.  I got most of my water in.   And I was good on the drives.  No Mountain Dews and entire bags of peanut M&Ms; this trip was carrots & hummus, almonds, and fruit.  Yeah!

Now, I need a plan for Christmas through New Year’s!  How about an accountability group for anyone who’s interested?  It doesn’t matter if you’re doing another program.  We just need a place to kick each other’s rear end and encourage each other.  So, no matter if you’re walking, hitting the gym, cutting calories, wanting to start something, or doing Beachbody and Shakeology…let’s help each other get through the holidays and stay on track!  No purchase necessary (although I will offer a trial of the shakes to anyone interested), no guilt trips, no pressure.   Just support.     Let’s do this!!!

Celebrating and Building

Celebrating success and building a support system!  I’m so excited about getting healthy: I’m feeling better than I have felt in years.  YEARS!!! Losing some weight, recipe getting stronger, doctor getting excellent nutrition, site feeling good about myself…whohoooo!  Boy, it sure isn’t easy though.  It’s work!  When we do this, we face obstacles and challenges all the time–whether it’s family and friends offering goodies or our own inner voices telling us that it doesn’t matter, or worse, being downright negative.   What I love about Beachbody is they have a three-prong plan for helping us reach our goals:  1) The Workouts.  They are awesome, and they have something for everyone from newbies to hardcore athletes.  2) The Shakes.  They really are my healthiest meal of the day.  And maybe most importantly 3) The Network.  Beachbody stresses having a network of people to support us and encourage us and hold us accountable.  It was weird for me, learning to open up to strangers and friends and to participate in online groups, but I really think it’s made the difference. Usually by now, any diet I was on would be long forgotten, one “bad” day turning into two, three, then a week, then “diet? What diet?”  But now, I have people checking on me, coming along with me, inspiring me.  I am so thankful!

So I am starting a couple new groups now, separate groups, to continue building a network of support and accountability. One for people who haven’t ever tried an exercise program or maybe it’s been a long time or maybe you have some health limitations. We’ll start at the beginning and walk through it. And one for fitness enthusiasts who maybe have heard of or tried Beachbody’s Insanity or P90X or Body Beast or any of the others, and maybe you’d like to get back on it.  Both groups are going to be about getting healthy, making our best choices, and doing it together!  Shoot me an email or private message if you’d like to do this with us. The groups are private Facebook groups where no one but the other participants can see the posts and are based on Beachbody programs.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all started feeling better than we’ve felt in years?  Let’s get over the hump procrastination, embarrassment, or self-doubt and do this together!!!   <3 beth

Overwhelmed Is an Understatement

I have been so touched and overwhelmed by my Facebook family these past few days. I’m still trying to answer the many personal messages and emails and comments. In the meantime, please know that your encouragement means the world to me. I’m riding a peak right now because of all the well-wishes, and I’m sure there will be valleys to come. But it’s going to be a new adventure doing this out in the open, talking about this (scary!) and just trying to be real.

One thing I really appreciate is how so many of you are sharing your stories too. I love the idea that we can encourage and support each other, whether you have similar struggles or are going through something entirely different.  I’d like to say a special thanks to my cousin Lyn for setting such a wonderful example of taking back her health. She started on Shakeology/Beachbody in July and is doing fantastic. She planted the seeds in my head about doing this with her, and I know I’d still be on that downward spiral if she hadn’t.  I really do feel like that awful, destructive cycle is broken now. Even when I don’t follow the program perfectly, I feel like the cravings have lost their hold on me. And that alone is enough to give me hope that this is do-able.

So thanks again. Thanks to all of you, I’m not so freaked out about talking about this, and I’m kind of looking forward to it.  (Okay, not looking forward to it…but at least not dreading it quite so much.)  <3 beth