“If at first you don’t succeed…”

“…try and try again.” I’m sure most of you have heard that cliche before. It seems like sound advice. Somehow, it’s not as simple as it should be, though. In fact, I would change it to: “If at first you don’t succeed…identify what obstacles are in your way, do some trouble-shooting with a trusted friend, and then…try and try again.”

In the past three weeks, I’ve been attempting to eat a little more mindfully. The winter is over, my weight (which goes up 4-6 pounds each winter) no longer feels comfortable as the days grow hotter and more humid. So, in my attempt to be more mindful of what I’m eating, I thought it would be helpful to keep track of my weight a few days a week. In the first ten days, I started to feel better; I was more mindful of what my body really wanted and was soon pleased to see my weight drop a few pounds. Around the end of week two, however, my weight started trending back up to the starting point. Today, at the end of week three, I’m just one pound off from where I started. Somehow, this feels like a huge failure. I have some of the same thoughts I had years ago when I was mired in disordered eating and thinking: “I’ll never lose weight. It’s pointless. Why is my body betraying me? If I can’t lose the weight, I’m a failure.” It goes on and on.

Bear with me…there’s a happy ending to this story!

So, when I wondered what I could write about in today’s post, that adage in the title came to mind. I realized that I have spent years and years “trying and trying again”, each time identifying what I thought were the obstacles, but never sharing them with others and each time trying again with little progress. Today I share with you, my friends, what I believe are my obstacles to success, and some possible ways to reframe the situation, and I ask for your feedback (in person, email, or commented on this post).

Obstacle #1 – Knowing that I gained about 5 pounds this winter, I have this desire to lose the same amount for the summer. ***Reframe (a “reframe” is a new way of looking at a situation) – Maybe being mindful about what I’m eating means that my body might not want to or need to lose the 5 pounds I gained this winter. Maybe my body has a new ideal weight.

Obstacle #2 – No matter what or how much I cut out of my daily intake, my weight isn’t dropping anymore. ***Reframe – If I’m only focused on cutting calories out, instead of listening to what my body truly wants and needs, I’m not really being a mindful eater. Maybe I could focus less on cutting out calories and more on being good to myself.

Obstacle #3 – Weighing myself every time I go to the gym is becoming an obsession (again). ***Reframe – Again, if I’m simply being a mindful eater, the number on the scale won’t matter at all. My body might need more food and be heavier at certain times of the year, month, or week. If I focus less on the number on the scale and more on giving my body what it needs and wants, I could save myself the aggravation of constant weigh-ins.

What obstacles are in your way to success? Share them with a trusted friend and see whether you have renewed energy to “try and try again”!

Peace, joy, and health.

–Megan

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