Setbacks

I knew when I started my journey toward wellness I would experience setbacks along the way. I would have great days that I was completely proud of and that made me feel fantastic. I would have other days that did not make me feel good and like I could have made better choices. I knew things wouldn’t be perfect and I knew I would stumble. My goal from the beginning was not give up when I did experience those setbacks. To let those times be just that, setbacks, not the end of my journey. Having come out the other side of my first setback, I am proud that I have not given up and that it isn’t the end of this journey for me.

A setback is defined as a check to progress, a reverse or defeat. Setbacks happen throughout our lives and can take so many forms. In my lifelong journey with wellness I have had no shortage of them. It may be you get sick and there is a pause in your routine. Or you suffer an injury and are not able to exercise. It could be a holiday with tempting treats and drinks. It could just be that time of the month. Or it could so many other things that affect your mood, and your perception of situations. Even small things that seem inconsequential individually, but can add up to something that is a lot more significant.

For me it was the culmination of a lot of things. I had a few days where I wasn’t feeling good, my back was bothering me, it was almost my time of the month, all while still working through the emotional rollercoaster of the world right now. I just hit this wall. Everything felt like it was converging on my at once. It felt like there were so many things going against me that I decided that I wouldn’t go for my walk for one day, which led to two days, then three. And then it was Memorial Day weekend, and there were cocktails and a couple of treats. By the time Monday came, I was feeling a bit defeated. Like I had really messed something up.

But I had promised myself that I wouldn’t give up. That feeling was nagging me. By Wednesday I finally said enough is enough. With a little push from Riley, I got up and went for my walk. I recommitted to making healthy food choices. I realized making the other choices didn’t make me feel good. It made me feel sluggish and less cheery. To me, the treats and extra time just weren’t worth it. I remembered why I had made walks my goal. I love being outside, with the fresh air, walking by Lake Washington. It relaxes me. It gives me the time to be in my head and really think through things. It reminded me that this journey is for my own good, for my benefit.

Going on that walk got me thinking about why this stumble happened. Why I had taken this break and was on the verge of not powering through. I ultimately came up with two things. First, even though I have committed to this journey I still doubt myself in the back of mind. I have given up and returned to healthy habits a lot more than I have committed to the healthy habits. Even as I am trying to stay positive, there is always that little voice telling me it won’t work long term. Second, it was easier to give up than it was to push forward. It is easier to not think through your nutrition choices. It is easier to not go for a walk every day. It is easier to just order in cheap food when you are hungry. It is easier to sit on your couch and not do anything.

I will probably have more stumbles along the way, but am proud of myself for getting through this one. What I have learned from this time is to really think about the cause of the setback and work through that. Until next time, friends… CML