I remember hearing somewhere that to truly succeed at something monumental or difficult, you have to want it as badly as a person who is underwater for a long time and wants air. If you’ve never been under water too long, it’s a horrible feeling of anxiety coupled with an unbelievable desire to get to the surface. But while it’s frightening to be underwater and needing air, that strong desire is something you need to feel when working toward a goal. That desire, that almost instinctive yearning; you need to channel that into any goal you want to achieve.
I feel that strong desire when I’m lifting weights or when I’m running. I feel that as I’m about to embark on what is most like going to be the most difficult training experience I’ve ever had in the military: WOCS. As a 53 year-old, it’s going to be challenging physically trying to keep up with the much younger candidates. But, my desire to get through it is very strong, so as long as my body can handle it, I will push.
When I started my first Whole30, my mindset was that it was my last chance at changing my life and losing weight, and that failure wasn’t an option. No, I didn’t use that just as a catchphrase; I actually believed it wholeheartedly. That’s important to note. Catchphrases can help motivate people, but saying it or repeating it doesn’t confer any magic abilities or power to you. Words are just words unless you grasp the meaning and take it to heart.
No surrender. No sabotage. No failure.
Those three danced through my consciousness throughout my entire first year into my new lifestyle. They are what kept me from drinking alcohol, eating large portions, or eating foods that weren’t Paleo (or Whole30 when I was on a Whole30). They are how I’ve been living my life for the past 29 days (today is day 30 of my latest Whole30).
What happens when you lose sight of the goal, or lose focus? This is an easy one to answer. Re-focus. When I’m running and realize that my breathing is too easy or that my pace has gotten too slow, I pick it up and push harder. The same holds true when I find myself doing something I shouldn’t in regards to my diet. There’s no need to beat yourself up. It’s not productive, and can actually lead to you not getting back on the horse, so to speak. Brush yourself off, refocus, and go.
How badly do you want to succeed? How sick are you of your current situation, either with your weight or your fitness? Get mad! How excited are you at the prospect of wearing sexy clothing? Get excited! Let those emotions flow! Use them to empower you to set realistic goals, and then do not accept failure from yourself. Promise yourself that you’re going to do this. You will not sabotage yourself. You will reach your goal, and you will take on this new lifestyle for your health and for the benefit of those who need you in their lives. You can do this.