How many times have you been cruising along, nailing your new diet or training strategy – your meals on point, crushing your workouts, making good progress…
And then something comes up that throws a little kink in your plans?
You’re at a dinner party and indulge in something that triggers eating past satisfaction, leaving you bloated, lethargic, and uncomfortable.
You head out on the town with some friends, stay out a bit later and drink a bit more than you’d planned, wrapping things up with some late night grub and crap sleep.
You have to stay with a family member in the hospital and, without access to your usual options to prepare your “go to” meals, you just grab something highly processed, nutrient poor, and tasty but unsatisfying from the cafeteria.
You have to stay at the office a bit later than normal to put out some fires that necessitate prioritizing work over your planned training session.
For some reason, you let this discrete situation turn into a whole day, then a week, and then a month.
At some point, you realize that you haven’t been living in alignment with your goals to get leaner, stronger, and healthier.
You see how your body has changed for the worse, recognize how crappy your old lifestyle makes you feel, and you resolve to correct course.
For some reason, though, you…
You’ve “fallen off the wagon”, and your best attempts to get back on just aren’t working.
Try or plan as you might, there’s that resistance – that voice in the back of your head – telling you that it’s going to be too hard, that the damage has been done, and that you can’t do it.
You’re going to fail.
You’ve got to start all over.
There is no wagon.
You’re not starting over.
Sure, the way we’ve been living recently hasn’t been moving you towards your goals.
However, every effort you made before this deviation before isn’t “undone” or “erased”.
You’re still a different – better – person than you would have been if you’d never started in the first place.
Every bite of every meal.
Every minute of sleep.
Every repetition of every lift.
Every training session.
Even if the physical adaptations from these efforts – the fat you lost, the strength you built, the chronic health issues that you alleviated – have faded away, their intangible effects on your life do not.
You know now that you’re capable of doing something positive for yourself.
You know now that you’re capable of being the kind of person who prioritizes their health.
You know now that you can set a goal and – even if you aren’t as consistent as you’d like to be – work towards that goal.
You know now that you are capable of these habits, behaviors, and skills for improving yourself.
You don’t have to struggle through the learning phase that you previously did.
That was a different time, a different you.
While you’re certainly not perfect now, and never will be, you’re better than you were – even if physically you don’t recognize it.
You’re not going to nail the habits and behaviors required to lose fat, get stronger, and improve your health right off the bat.
Even when they become seemingly effortless, you’re not going to nail them for the rest of your life.
There will always be dinner parties, nights out, family members who need you, and late days at the office.
Life will present you situations in which you might choose to prioritize other things.
Hell, sometimes you’ll prioritize other things just because you want to – or because you’re a human being with conflicting desires and goals.
The stars of life will not always perfectly align for you to hit every single meal, every single workout, and every single other habit that makes a perfect human.
Your life is simply a long series of decisions – some of which align with being the person you want to be, some of which don’t.
In this moment, you have zero control of the decisions you’ve already made.
They’ve been made.
In this moment, you have zero control of the decisions you’re going to make in the future.
You can’t make them until their time comes.
You don’t have to worry about how you’re going to have the resolve or the willpower to make them.
The only thing you need to worry about – the only thing you have any control over – is what you do right now, in this moment.
This training session.
This is all that matters.
What are you going to do?
Who you are going to be?
How you are going to treat your body?
How are you going to treat yourself?
Are you going to “start over” or “get back on the wagon”, only worry about how long of a streak you can maintain before you screw up again?
Or are you going to make this next meal – and only this next meal – healthy AF?
To make this training session – and only this training session – as mindful and deliberate as possible?
To get the deepest, most restful sleep that you can tonight – and only tonight?
Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come.
All you have is today.
What can you do right now to take one step closer to being the person you want to be?
Until next time, have a most excellent day!