Why is it that we fear falling off the wagon so much? Why is the worst thing that could ever happen to us that we take a few steps backwards?
Maybe it’s that we don’t want to have to do the hard work again that we have already done once. Yes, that can be frustrating. But what makes us think things, fixes, solutions are permanent anyway?
Or maybe the reason we hate falling off the wagon so much is because of what other people will think of us. That we are lazy, stupid, fat, undisciplined, a bad business person or worse. Well you know what I think about what other people think of us, right?
Or maybe the real reason is that the person we will disappoint most is the face that stares at us in the mirror every day. Maybe the harshest words and biggest criticisms will come from inside ourselves and maybe we can’t possibly bear that pain again.
But I am here to tell you that some of my biggest positives, some of my game-changers in life, some of my most important break-throughs have come as a result of me falling off the wagon…again. Not once, but many times.
They say there is a silver lining to everything, and I would agree. In fact one of my favorite habits is finding the good, the lesson or the opportunity in challenges. And for me falling off the wagon whether in self-care, my diet, my parenting, my friendships, my relationship with my husband and even my client work, is one of the best things that could happen to me each time it happens. And you may say that sounds weird, like I WANT to not be at my best in all those areas or I hope I fall off the wagon again. And of course that isn’t true. My preference would be to be perfect all the time, but of course that’s not possible. And we are all going to back track in different parts of our life at any given time, so why fight it? Why not embrace it. Or as I love to say “Lean in” to it? It just might help us find our wings and learn to fly.
So here’s where the truth comes in for me. Over the last six months, I worked my buns off. I worked nights and weekends again like the old days which I swore I wouldn’t do again. I traveled like a mad woman and I neglected many things, myself mainly, in the process. I put on 10 pounds of the 40 I had lost, I stopped doing yoga to the detriment of my body, and I found little time for other practices like meditation and reading that really are the foundation of my healthy lifestyle and my happiness. But I also accomplished a TON of amazing things during that time. Things that I am proud of. Things that in many ways were worth the price I paid. Things that you will see in the coming weeks and months.
And here is the silver-lining…here is the lesson that will be a game-changer for me in 2014. If I hadn’t fallen off the wagon, if I hadn’t felt the pain of what not doing yoga, what not eating right and meditating, and what becoming disconnected from friends and family felt like, then I would NOT be even MORE committed than ever before to getting these things right in 2014.
I thought I had fixed all these parts of my life for good and somehow must have believed that with no time or attention they would stay fixed. But I now realize that even the most gorgeous and lush garden will die if you stop weeding and feeding and watering it, right?
So falling off the wagon this year came at the perfect time for me. It was a very welcome “wake up call” and I was able to get back on track faster than ever before. I took responsibility for the behaviors that caused my set-backs, and I honestly am grateful that I gained ten pounds not 40 pounds. So with this attitude of gratitude instead of abusive self-talk, I was able to plan and to get back on track with my healthy eating and exercise immediately instead of procrastinating or making excuses for why it would be too hard to diet during the holidays. And now I am already 8.5 pounds down this month, with less than 2 to go and they should be off by the new year. And trust me, I allowed myself a lovely plate of food for each of my holiday celebrations. So I wasn’t deprived. In fact I think that for me falling off the wagon before the holidays actually kept me from gaining more weight in the holiday season—another blessing. And now I am thrilled to be starting the New Year in a happy AND healthy place.
So what about you. Can you find the silver lining and opportunities in your life if you have recently fallen off the wagon? Can you resist beating yourself up and telling yourself how miserable your path is going to be for the new year because you have taken some steps back? And can you give yourself credit for all the other AMAZING things you did accomplish while you were not 100% in an area or two?
I learned 2.5 years ago when I first began my weight loss journey and getting healthy regimen that I had to forgive myself and love myself first with all my imperfections, at whatever weight I was before I could ever be successful at loving myself thin and staying that way. It’s the same with relationships, your work or any other area you have experienced a set-back in your life. Acceptance and Love are the first 2 steps to success.
So what do you think? Can you make any area in which you have Fallen off the Wagon this year a silver-lining that will move you into your best year yet? Can you start today? I for one think you can do it. And I’ll be here rooting for your success.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my silver-living approach to life and how you think it will or already has worked for you.