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in all-or-nothing, something gets lost

August 4, 2011

… something important.

The past few weeks have been completely insane.   I am going through one of the biggest transitions of my whole life, and I admit — with embarrassment, with humility & with some acceptance — that, until last night, I hadn’t worked out in weeks.  WEEKS.  Wow.

They say if you don’t have time to work out, make the time.  I tend to agree.  The average American doesn’t have several wide-open hours every week just begging to be filled, but many people still find a way to move their bodies on a regular basis, and when they do their bodies are happier and more energized, which feeds the rest of life.  Still, even within this paradigm there may be times in life when everything is changing and schedules are overflowing and you aren’t even finding time to breathe and to sleep.  There may be a day or a week (or even a few weeks) when exercise just doesn’t happen.  Rather than trying to deny this reality or blaming yourself for it (which is what I have been doing), the far more useful reaction is to ask yourself how you can work with your long-term goals even when the short-term doesn’t have much room for them.

The key is not to think in terms of all-or-nothing.  This is what I have learned in these past few insane weeks — and I learned it the hard way.  The last thing I needed on top of everything else was to blame myself for not exercising, but that is what I did, and what I eventually noticed was that I had fallen into all-or-nothing thinking.  Rather than asking myself what little things I could do for my body during this time, I found myself thinking things like, “doing crunches and leg lifts won’t help if I’m not going to the gym” or “I have officially fallen off the wagon and there is no getting back on.”  The voices saying this were quiet at first, but powerful nonetheless.

I started feeling hopeless, started giving up, started feeling like I’m just not one of those people who can succeed.  Ridiculous!  I’m totally one of those people who can succeed.  Everyone is, as long as they don’t give up.  (Interesting twist 😉 ) And the whole reason I am in this busy transition time in the first place is that I am pushing myself to do new things, to follow my dreams and my passion, to be true to the part of myself that believes in me!  So, I think it’s time to give myself a break, emotionally speaking.  I think that’s what prompted me to work out last night — after spending time with friends and feeling loved, I finally had a window of time to work out and I seized it because I wasn’t being hard on myself, because I was in a loving mood and could do what was loving for myself.

This whole experience helped me pinpoint the reason why being hard on myself is counterproductive:  Negative self-talk leads to all-or-nothing thinking, which leads to hopelessness, which leads to inaction.  This is a truth I have been dancing around on this blog for months.  I have always felt it to be true, but now I see exactly how it functions.  And then the opposite is true too — being good to myself gives me the hope it requires to act in ways that are good to myself & others.  This is a beautiful cycle & it is the way I want to live.

❤ Diana Banana

image: “Faces” by Marlene Inc.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen E permalink
    August 4, 2011 2:37 pm

    This is a great reminder, Di, and so well said. No point in beating yourself up about the past; what you can do something about is the future. You are looking so well and comfortable and confident. I’m cheering you on and sending you big props! Love, Karen

  2. August 4, 2011 2:59 pm

    thank you Karen, that means so much! ❤

  3. September 27, 2011 12:51 pm

    Love it! I am trying to get back into working out regularly too. Thanks for the inspiration!

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