On setbacks and commitment

By Linda

When you write for a fitness/health website, it can be discouraging to find yourself re-visiting the same topics over and over. Like right now, for instance—I had a carby, binge-y sort of weekend and what’s top of mind for me is getting back on track and re-committing to eating whole foods. But man, how many posts have I written just like that? It doesn’t exactly seem motivating for someone to read about how I’ve been eating a bunch of crap and now I’m trying to refocus on eating better, for the frillionth damn time.

Still, that’s the reality for most of us. We fall off the wagon, we get back up. It’s really all about what you do with the second half of that sentence, you know? Everyone has setbacks. Everyone struggles with discipline. We gain weight, we skip workouts, we pass over the vegetables for ice cream, whatever it is. The key to long-term success, in my experience, is how you deal with those setbacks.

So! I’m going to stop beating myself up over a Weekend of Crazy Indulgence, and look forward eating lots of fresh produce this week (CSA box on Wednesday, hooray!). I’m still a fan of the Primal Blueprint diet, but I’m finding it quite expensive. I think I’m going to start experimenting with adding back in certain dairy products (like low-sugar yogurt) and grains (like quinoa) and see if I can still reap the energy benefits while expanding my food options a bit. It’s definitely a good thing for me to completely eliminate sugars and simple carbs, so I will continue on that path.

In exercise news, I’ve been thinking ahead to the Danskin triathlon (half mile swim! AIEEEE) in August, and a super-sprint tri in June. In the last week I’ve been out on my bike, in the pool, and running, and that’s how I plan to spend my summer. I’m excited about all the upcoming local events I have to choose from, and the idea of getting outdoors as much as possible. I’ll be happy if I don’t see the walls of a gym again until next winter.

I imagine I’ll have lots of setbacks along the way. And hopefully, I’ll dust myself off and keep going.

8 Responses to “On setbacks and commitment”

  1. shygirl Says:

    Let me chime in here and say, contrary to what you might be thinking, it IS motivating to read about how you’re committing to get back on track for the frillionth damn time. As someone who falls off the track repeatedly, and beats myself up about it every time, I can’t tell you how inspiring and affirming it is to read your posts about this particular issue.

    I love this blog for the same reason I love your others: you’re upbeat and can-do about the positives, yet brutally honest about the suck. Which ain’t common. It stands out. And I am grateful for it. You have affected my life so, so much for the better with your writing.

    And when I fall off track for the frillionth damn time, it’s incredibly comforting to know that you’ve been there too, and that you *didn’t let that stop you*. Because you know what happens then? It inspires me. I’ve seen the pictures you’ve posted over the years, and that exhilarated grin on your face when you’ve finished a marathon, and I know that what you’re talking about is REAL. Knowing that gives me a solid, real alternative to giving up, and it makes me not want to let it stop me either.

    So here’s to a frillion more posts about recommitting. And here’s to getting up, dusting ourselves off, and getting right back on the horse (HORSE!) every. single. time.

  2. Kate Says:

    Ditto to what shygirl said. Knowing you have setbacks too but try again make you more relatable and well, human.

  3. JennyM Says:

    And ditto again — to quote shygirl: “…it’s incredibly comforting to know that you’ve been there too, and that you *didn’t let that stop you*.” That’s the key right there — I suspect I’m not alone, but when I fall off the wagon, whether it’s with food choices or regular exercise of whatever, it’s easy to fall into that spiral of “I clearly can’t do this, I might as well not even try.” If it was easy, everyone would do it, right? There’s beauty in perseverance in the face of adversity, even when it’s the relatively trivial “adversity” of a Weekend Lost to Carbs.

  4. Lesley Says:

    Lather, Rinse, Repeat, seems to be life’s broad theme. I’m resigned to it.

    When it comes to food, I’ve surrendered to compromise. I need treats on a regular basis, so I made a pact that I could have them as long as they were good for me. So here’s my treat of choice lately. It’s relatively low cal, has loads of healthy components and a minimum of bad ones while still being sinful.

    I blend the following into a rollicking desert.

    Salt Spring Island Organic Handmade Gelato (150 calories in a half cup) – this stuff is TO DIE FOR. Has all the consistency of ice cream with half the calories. The quality is high. It’s $7.99 a pint (CAD) which up here is about a buck more than HD or B&J and so much better for you.

    (I don’t feel gross after eating their gelato, even the times I’ve eaten too much, like a whole pint in one sitting.)

    Whole Foods roasted marinated pecans (cinammon, a hint of cayenne pepper, sugar, and canola oil). I could make these myself but it’s probably better if I don’t because I’d make too many and gain 300 pounds.

    Organic blackberries, blueberries, raspberries.

    The dessert is mainly berries topped with a sprinkling of the pecans and a cup of (usually) vanilla or hazelnut Gelato (though the Chai Latte flavour is also nice).

    If I want something more, I get raw chocolate desserts made with Agave. Though high in calories, these are also healthy. See Kristen’s Raw for recipes.

  5. rhaazz Says:

    Sometimes I feel so sad that eating sugar is the LEAST self-destrcutive thing I can imagine doing. Self-medicating with high glycemic impact foods isn’t ideal, but it’s a lot better than a lot of other behaviors one could name.

  6. K Says:

    I haven’t looked into the ‘primal blueprint’ that you are talking about but I’m very intrigued by it regardless. I am trying to figure out though, what I could eat for breakfast at work. I guess I could pack a breakfast like I do a lunch? I’m just thinking that my go-to yogurt with stuff in it or bagel with peanut butter probably wouldn’t work.

  7. Joanne Says:

    Linda, it’s really reassuring to realise everyone lapses either in eating or exercising and the point is instead of giving up or beating yourself up the right thing to do is recommit to doing what’s best for you.
    You motivated me start exercising again about 2 years ago, I’ve worked out with Jillian michaels, competed in triathlons, started and finished p90x and in 2(!) weeks I’m running my 2nd marathon and planning on a half ironman.
    It’s been fascinating reading about your progress as well as I’ve gone through similar experiences.

  8. blachy Says:

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