Let's talk about failure today.
Over the past few weeks, many people have reached out to me to talk about failure - failure to eat well, failure to be active, failure to stick to a plan to get to their goals, or failure to keep the fat off. I noticed that in each of their stories, there is attached to this failure a sense of personal lack; a sense of overwhelming moral judgment the speaker places on him/herself. The stories are saturated with phrases like "I'm a failure - I can't do this" or "I'm a failure and I'll never succeed so why bother?".
When I hear such words, it disheartens me because one thing I know for sure is that it is only through failure that any one of us can ever truly succeed in becoming healthy and whole
and breaking the cycle of obesity and personal shame.
Sometimes blessings come to us in forms we don't want or expect, and failure is one of those blessings. We all fail regularly at something in our lives, but what we need to understand, what we must get, is that failure is the way to success. Failure points out our weak places; shows us where we need to improve. Without failing, we would never be able to grow and become as strong, capable, and amazing as we have the potential to be. It is through overcoming struggles and challenges, through failing, that we temper our resolve and find authentic solutions to our problems.
With regards to losing weight and gaining health, failure is not a moral issue - it does not indicate how good of a person you are, how capable you are, or what your outcome will be. Thinking of it in such terms is self-limiting dialogue that reinforces bad habits and negativity. What you need to do is emotionally step back from the situation and view things critically. Failure is not a personal attack - it is simply an outcome of things you have tried. Failure provides us with a golden opportunity to learn and improve our lives if we view it in a healthy way. If you are not taking the lessons from failing, if you internalize and personalize the failure, you will continue making the same mistakes.
If you have failed to stick to eating healthily, rather than say "I can't do this - I'm a failure" you should ask yourself "Why have I failed to make healthy eating decisions?". Rather than say "I gained all my fat back - I'm a failure" ask yourself "Why did I fail to keep the fat off?". Always remember that "failing" and "being a failure" are two different things. Failure should allow you to ask the right questions you need answered in order to succeed.
The best lessons I have learned on my journey to good health have come from failure, not instant success. I fail all the time - every week there is something new that shows me my weak points. And I am grateful for the blessing of this failure because I know when I finally understand and embrace the lesson, I'll be so much stronger, happier, and healthier than I ever could be had I not failed.
Think about it