This is the third part of a long blog post.
A final push to Simply Healthy
My mom used to tell me something whenever I had a failure in sports, academics, life, relationships, et al… She’s an amazing woman and her advice is eerily prescient now when I think about my plateaus and blunders with health choices. Whenever something bad would happen, she would say to me:
“Ok, Peter. Imagine the worst thing that could happen as a result of this failure you’ve just had. Got it? Ok good…. So, now what? What are you going to do? The sun is still going to come up tomorrow and you’re still going to have to make the choice to get out of bed”
I hate that she’s right. There are few people out there that WANT to admit that their mom is right about anything. And yet here I am to say the she’s got a point. It’s kind of brilliant what she did when you think about it. She got me to reframe what I perceived as a failure as just another step in the process. The “So now what?” moment is the most important step in getting yourself back into the swing of things, back in the game. Again, it all starts with a choice.
I choose to:
Acknowledge my challenges, fears, and failures.
They are real and my emotions around them are also just as real. When I have a positive support network that is honest and non-judgemental then I can accept that my mis-steps and failures are not the end of the world. They do not have control over my future. My future starts right now. Practice naming fears out loud. Practice being honest about what caused a specific failure. Practice choosing to accept the past and leave it there. The future has not been written yet.
Obviously something has not been working. I might need to change up my nutrition, my sleep, my exercise, or focus more on my relationships and personal well-being. I have to be open to experimenting with a new way of doing things that is unique to my own experience. I can’t keep thinking that by doing the same thing that hasn’t been working, might begin working in the near future. My goal is to find the best thing for ME, for my own life. I love the concept of doing n=1 experiments on myself. Do I need more fat or protein, more sleep or less exercise, different workouts, or maybe a new artistic outlet. Being aware of what is working and what I’m willing to do to switch things up takes practice. You need to practice being honest about what is working and what isn’t. Maybe start with just one change at a time. Make the goals for those changes small and achievable so you have an opportunity to measure (honestly but non-judgmentally) varying degrees of success or failure.
Reach out for support
My circle of friends are also my family. I choose to invest my heart in them because they give me strength and sanity (also insanity, lots of laughter, and occasional loss of sleep…). My family are also my friends. I choose to be open and honest about where I am in life and will not hold back from difficult conversations out of fear over what might be said. Since I don’t want to be judged, I try to practice being non-judgemental with them. It doesn’t always work but I’m honest about when it does and when it doesn’t. The process is more important that the result. Being part of an interconenctive, supportive network involves is not easy. Some things to think about are:
- Adaptable at each step of the process
- Open and honest, but also non-judgmental. We all have tough days, weeks, month, years.
- A Give and take, two way street. You’ve got to give support to get support
- Interested and invested in learning to be better today than they were yesterday
- Present and intentional. Actually being there to listen (turn your cell phone off).
I will not always be there, or be perfect. I will make many mistakes along the way. I just want to try. I will try. I am trying.