Have you ever tried to follow a plan and it didn’t work out? Maybe it was a meal plan, or a workout plan, or anything else! I had this experience recently and I came away having learned something really important about myself.
First, I want to say that I really hate all things fad, trend, quick fix, and “just do this” when it comes to diet and exercise! However, my gym was starting up a 45 Day Challenge and I decided to join to see what it was all about.
The rules were simple:
- Go to the gym 3 times a week for 6 weeks
- Do home workouts 2 times a week
- Follow a nutrition guide to inform healthy meal choices
- Join a Facebook group to connect with your “coach” and peers in the program
The goal? Lose either 25lbs or 6% body fat in 6 weeks.
This sounded fun and didn’t involve any dietary choices that I don’t believe in (like eliminating carbs or extreme calorie restrictions). I was feeling really excited after having signed up!
So let’s fast forward… I started noticing that I was reacting to some components of the challenge in an unexpected way. For example, when people would post about their progress in the Facebook group, I felt demotivated. I thought about leaving the group.
I found myself eating more foods off the meal plan than usual. I am already a meal-prepper and the lunches I have been making for years perfectly fit within the meal plan, but I no longer wanted to eat them.
The final push for me was realizing that participating in the 45 Day Challenge made me want to go to the gym less!
So what was going on??
I had a chat with a close friend and tried to unpack this a little, and here is what I learned about myself:
My motivation is intensely personal.
I did not want to work toward these goals anymore because they were their goals, not my goals. And I should note that these goals are the same. The. Exact. Same. But it was no longer personal.
I realized that I had lost sight of my goals and my reasons for joining the challenge to begin with. I felt like I was just part of this group who was saying go here, eat this, workout now.
I also realized that I was struggling a lot with feeling a loss of independence. My sense of independence is strongly tied to my self-worth, and I realized that I felt like because I was getting help by participating in the challenge, it wasn’t good.. I wasn’t good.. So I thought I should just quit (and eat brownies).
Who knew this 45 Day Challenge was going to be SO challenging for me as an individual, and not because of the burpees! Clearly I had some things to work through if I was going to be successful!
Anyway, I wanted to share this story because maybe sometime (maybe today even!) you may find yourself struggling to keep up with a plan you made – a challenge you accepted – a goal you set for your New Years resolution.
And maybe you are a person who can be incredibly inspired by Facebook groups, a 6-week challenge, a blog post, or a picture of a beautiful (healthy!) model… but if you’re not –
Your goals are yours. You set them for you. You’re going to accomplish them for you, because of you. Because you’ve got this. You are enough. And most importantly –
You are worth it!