Didn’t I already learn this lesson?

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I am feeling a bit a lot frustrated today. I find myself in a place that I have been before. A place that is the result of falling back into over-working and not taking care of myself for the last 3 months. A place I didn’t want to be again.

I tell myself it was out of necessity, setbacks at work that lead to this. As I told you earlier this year, I made some staff changes and so my story excuse goes like this…”I have no choice. There is no one else to take up the slack of a rapidly growing business than my very small staff and me. Even if it means sacrificing myself–I promise it will only be for a short while”


So here we stand 3 months later and the storm has passed (Thank God). It was painful but we have brought on new team members that are GREAT (Hallelujah!) and we can certainly see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are no longer carrying the weight of the world on our own. We can now get our lives back.


And this help should feel great, right? In fact in concept it does. It feels tremendous. It feels life-changing. And I know it WILL BE really soon. But I would be doing you (and me) a disservice to not show you “behind the curtain” of my journey and the aftermath of falling off the wagon (and being run over by it) for those few months. I have to tell you what I learned…AGAIN.


You see, when you have a BIG victory like I have had over the last two years in the form of getting healthy, losing 40 pounds and really changing the way I think, you feel like you are “fixed” once and for all. You feel like you have finally conquered this demon you have been battling for years. And the truth is I did conquer it.


But where I went wrong was thinking it is a one-time fix.  Thinking I was on the wagon permanently. It isn’t permanent. And even though in my head I know it is a life-long commitment to be healthy, I started ACTING like it was all nice and tidy and complete and I could just go back to “being me” with all my no exercising and poor eating choices and everything would stay perfectly “fixed”.


WRONG!! And I am really seeing what I did to myself on a daily basis right now with physical pain and body injury , 5 pounds that have crept back on the scale (ugh! and right before swimsuit season no less) and my body seems to be generally ticked off at me. It is not bouncing back quickly. It is digging in it’s heels. It is going to take some REAL work to lose these 5 pounds, get my low back fixed with yoga, get into a cardio habit again and start really feeling great once more. And I am trying like hell to not be down-right mad at myself because my head and my heart say that will only prolong the process. But I am VERY frustrated.


Thankfully, as this always seems to work, just this morning one of my daily email subscriptions popped into my inbox. It was like my mind had been read when I opened en*theos from Brian Johnson and saw this AMAZING post by Christine Hassler called “Feel like you are backtracking?”

I wanted to scream “Hell YES I do!” but I didn’t want to wake up my family at 6:00am. So I quietly read to myself these amazing words…

There is an expectation in the personal growth industry placed on consistently making positive changes. The promise is that over time as we do our work, we continuously “get better” (whatever “better” means). What often isn’t addressed is that our learning and growth isn’t linear. It’s not a straight shot from an “aha” moment to being totally transformed. Please don’t torture yourself by buying into the misunderstanding that your growth needs to be straight up. That’s a lot of pressure – and also not possible. Growth is more fluid. And over time the lows (or perceived backtracking) become shorter in duration and the time in between them becomes longer.

Sometimes the best way we learn is when we take a few steps that feel backwards. Often when we have a big “aha,” the Universe will then bring us a situation that feels similar to past experiences. Often people get frustrated and think, “This again? I thought I learned this already!” That may be accurate; you may have learned the lesson and now the Universe is bringing you an amazing opportunity to practice the learning so that you can fully integrate it.


BINGO! There it is. I am supposed to PRACTICE what I have learned so I can FULLY integrate it. TOTAL Clarity! The Answer. I had already told myself last week that I knew there was a reason I was in this place again. I knew it was a moment I was supposed to learn something BIG. And I was pretty sure the lesson was “You can’t stop taking care of yourself day and night for 3 months and not have major damage as a result and a lot of hard work to fix it!” And the question I was to ask myself was “Do you really want to be at the bottom of this hill again, needing to muster the energy to climb it once more?” and “Why do you make your life harder than it has to be, Tobi?”


But the great news is that I saw the light this time after only 3 months and 5 pounds, not a year and 40 pounds. I clued in before I had an insurmountable obstacle to climb. I got the message and can likely repair the damage in the next month or so. And that’s not so bad. A month is really short in the grand scheme of things and in fact this learning experience is another VICTORY for me! Will this be the last time I learn this lesson? I hope so, but probably not. But will I see my mistakes even sooner than 3 months next time? I’d like to think I will.


And have I REALLY learned what my unhealthy behavior meant for me this time? Well thanks to my health coach extraordinare, Julianne, I think I figured out that consciously making bad food choices because I am in a miserable few months and I “deserve” to eat what I want plus consciously deciding I am too tired or busy for exercise is a way of “withholding love” from myself. WOW! Another Lightbulb!


I now know I was punishing myself for making bad staffing decisions and bad scheduling decisions. And I was also feeding my emotions of misery, anger and frustration with food again. Self-sabatoge at its best. So just like any other kind of addict, emotional eating is a very slippery slope. But loving myself first…self love and self care, REALLY is the answer to fix this addiction. Love Myself First! Stop Withholding Love. Hello?…I have been preaching this message to all of you, but somewhere along the last few months I stopped listening to it.


So there you have it. Another transparent look at my journey in business and in life. Are you struggling with setbacks? Have you back-tracked and you’re having a hard time getting back on the wagon? Are there promises that you made to yourself that you are not keeping? Are you withholding love from yourself…love you really deserve?


Tell me your story in the comments below. I think the more we embrace our challenges with honesty and without shame, and we love ourself first, the less challenging these obstacles become and the less power they have over us.


Today is the day I get back on the wagon. It may be a bumpy ride, but at least I am back in the driver’s seat and I’m loving myself along the way. Giddy-up!


Tobi Signature


p.s. To find all these great quotes, check out my Health and Fitness Pinterest Board. It’s my source of inspiration for a healthy AND Happy body!

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13 Responses to Didn’t I already learn this lesson?

  1. Alicia phillips says:

    I had lost 20 pounds but between moving,getting set up and school I totally fell off the wagon .I really needed this!Thank you! XO Allie

  2. Debra Rogers says:

    I agree – seems sometimes I’m just running along side the wagon wheel!

  3. Meredith says:

    OMG did I need to see this today! been struggling the last couple of weeks and not seeing the answers….blame and frustration leading to procrastination in many areas!! and nary a budge in the scale, either! going to really try and OWN some of this and stop expecting overnight changes and progress!! thank you, thank you , thank you!

  4. Alison says:

    Wow, Tobi. What an honest and difficult gift to share. I’ve been missing your daily updates and wondered how you were doing. I assumed you were riding high with your glamorous life. You really are such an inspiration when you share your reality. I was planning to let exercise slip this very busy week, so I really appreciate your insightful reminder to take care of myself first.

  5. Alan says:

    I totally feel like I have been ran over by that same wagon!
    Balance in life is really about a constant attempt to stay on the right track. Life is sometimes like that crazy TV show, where people battle against all the obstacles in an attempt to get through. It’s easy to get off track and fall when things are coming at you, but if you continue to adjust and get back on track you are actually winning!
    Thanks for getting my week started on the right track!

  6. You are singing to the choir at my house! I’m sitting here having my hot lemon water and starting a new diet! Yes, my lbs have crept back and the frustrating part is I never got to my goal the first time! Treadmill here I come.

  7. Franki Parde says:

    I’m getting ready to “flog” myself, too. *sigh* franki

  8. Hi Tobi, It must have been fate that I read your post today. You and I have been in very similar situations this year. I had staffing changes that absolutely rocked my world and have been working 65+ hours a week since January. Even with that, I’m always behind and even turning away business. Things are starting to finally settle and new hires are getting trained. I’m a workout fanatic and had to cut my training schedule from 6 days a week to 3 and it killed me mentally. I’m back up to 5 days and I can live with that. I still want my life back but see that it’s at least within reach. Thanks for sharing your struggles. Somehow it helps to know someone else has experienced the same stresses. Good luck to you!

  9. Diane says:

    Good luck Tobi. I recently read a quote that so resonated with me:
    Don’t avoid something because of the time it will take to accomplish as the time will pass anyway.
    This just seemed to turn a bulb on for me so if losing five pounds take one month or three months, you will have accomplished a goal in time that was passing anyway.
    What I do know is that, as we age we become much less harsh on ourselves. I have been in your shoes making difficult mother, wife and working woman decisions. But I am proof positive that it all gets done, no one is irreparably harmed by most of the things we as moms, wives and “just women” do, so hang in there! And thanks for sharing your moments, it is inspiring to all of us.

  10. Thanks Tobi for your transparency! About ten years ago I lost 70 pounds, worked out every day, and was so proud of myself. But four years later, multiple family severe health issues that went on for years (even now), knocked me off my feet. I gained all the weight back, then developed knee problems. I’m the mom, the wife, the daughter. I have to take care of everybody before myself, right? NOT. Well, I’m working harder on my self care now, and have lost about 35 pounds with more to go. Unfortunately, due to my knees, I can no longer exercise. Even walking is very painful. So, yeah, try not to not fall off the wagon in the first place, and get back on ASAP. Plus, it gets harder the older you get. Thanks for your inspirational quotes!!!

  11. Denese Bottrell says:

    tobi, i appreciate your willingness to share this. for the past few months i’ve been struggling with sugar – something i thought i was soooo over. even while i was teaching yoga and “mindful eating” classes i was struggling myself. talk about disheartening. i do yoga. i meditate. i eat a lot of veggies, i drink a lot of green juice… i have more goodness in my life than i ever dreamed of….why am i stuffing myself with chocolate on the way home from the grocery store??? (note: even organic, dark chocolate can make you feel like garbage when you eat too much 😉 your post reminded me that this is simply the universe handing me yet another opportunity to go deeper, to keep letting go of beliefs, stories, patterns that are not working for me, to find more ways to love myself, and to simply show up and “practice.” thank you for doing what you do, tobi. you are one of my favorite teachers.

  12. Nancy says:

    So very true and so timely! I’ve just gained 10 lbs in a few months while accomplishing a major milestone. I’m in it with you! I’m going to lose 5 lbs before a major vacation next month and am promising not to beat myself up over the other 5 lbs. It helped me to put it in writing, so Thank You!

  13. Lindsay says:

    Hi Tobi! I read your blog often and just wanted to comment to let you know that you aren’t alone in your struggles and I appreciate your honesty!