If I look back over my life, there are certain moments where I can pinpoint what I deemed major disappointments and setbacks. I consider myself a pretty complicated individual at times: I have periods of happiness, periods of sadness, high energy, and low energy. There are many people out there like this, several of my close friends all struggle with the same thing. Maintaining a positive attitude during times of defeat is not something that can be easily done for everyone. Many people when faced with setbacks and disappointment (such as myself) tend to retreat within themselves hoping that time away will help them gather their thoughts and recenter their energy. It’s not always pleasant, but it is necessary when facing a long road with ups and downs.
At the beginning of the year, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to open my eyes and see things as if I were seeing them for the first time. This is the first time in my life that I have ever promised myself that I would be responsible for my own happiness and my own life experiences. When the clock struck midnight, I was going through major emotional turmoil and it was then that I vowed I would no longer live in defeat and I would not allow my experiences of the past to continue to define my future.
Throughout my weight loss and subsequent strength training journey, I often feel defeated because I haven’t gained the amount of muscle that I want or I wasn’t losing my c-section belly fast enough. Whenever I would hit that threshold, instead of seeing the positive and what I have done, I would always focus on what I haven’t done, thus starting my cycle of retreating and discounting all of my hard work just because I didn’t have the results I wanted right then and there.
Maintaining a positive self-image is key to succeeding during your fitness journey. In this post I spoke about the importance of a good workout partner, well before we get there you must have a positive image of yourself or you won’t achieve very much.
I’m not saying go into every workout feeling on top of the world, but you should always give 100% when you’re ready to quit keep pushing a little bit more. It’s once you get over that hump where the real results lie.
Tieing your attitude to long-term value instead of short-term emotion is another way to keep yourself motivated and going during your dark moments. If you can remember the saying It’s always darkest before dawn you will be able to get through the moments of self-doubt and indecisiveness. Remember just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not working.
Your goal should be to ensure you have a positive fitness journey. Don’t study the scale, don’t focus on the inches and pounds lost–focus on your attitude and how you feel. If you feel great then you’re doing something right.
There are two things that I have learned on my fitness journey which have been invaluable to me. Both of which I have carried over into my everyday work and personal life as well.
Life is a lot more enjoyable when you maintain a positive mental attitude, working out will be more enjoyable with a positive attitude and a positive self-image of yourself. You can’t go into your fitness journey expecting things to change overnight, if life worked that quickly we would all be much happier and probably much better off. There are many activities that can be used as teachers in our life. For me, fitness is one of those teachers. As with many things in life, I’ve learned that I have to work just a little bit harder than others to achieve my desired results. If you had asked me three years ago if I ever saw myself at this point I would have said nope, not a chance. But here I am standing at my goal smiling and so happy I can finally say I did it!
When you realize that you are in control of your actions, reactions and thought process throughout your journey–you will realize you have the power to control the outcome. You may not always feel like working out, trust me you don’t have to. That’s when changes in other areas of your life become just as important. Proper diet and regular activity can help you in the times where you don’t feel like hitting the gym and working out. It’s one giant cycle, where you lack in one area you must supplement in others. Throughout all of this, consistency is key to success.
Life is about the journey, not the arrival. It has taken three years to get to this point and I have learned so much along the way. My children are happier and healthier, and as a family, the three of us are making significantly better food choices than we ever had in the past.
I don’t follow many health and wellness people on Instagram because for a short time I was so focused on what they were doing and trying to emulate it that I couldn’t focus on my own journey. Remembering how far I’ve come and that I still have ways to go has helped me tremendously over the last few months. There are always people who are going to be ahead of me, I’m not in any competition I’m not trying to win a race, I’m doing this for my own personal development and no one else’s.
I’ve learned to not be discouraged by the progress of others, I definitely don’t know their struggles or the path that led them to where they are now. Looking back at my own path, if anyone has endured half of what I have I don’t envy them in the least bit.
Miscarriages, depression, anxiety, and divorce has all littered my path over the last few years; I spent a lot of my time praying for a change, unaware of the fact that I was making the change all along, I just couldn’t see it.While it has not always been pleasant, it’s definitely been worthwhile. I’ve been able to inspire so many others and I hope I can continue for years to come.
It takes a conscious effort to enjoy your journey while you’re on it, don’t spend so much time focusing on the end result that you forget to enjoy yourself and live.
So how do you go about maintaining a positive attitude in times of defeat?
- maintain a positive self-image it all starts with the self. If you don’t recognize and acknowledge the progress you’ve made, how will you ever succeed? Your physique may not be where you want it to be…yet, but you are on your way. Don’t give up!
- support this is where finding a good workout partner or fitness group comes in. If you feel like you can’t continue on your own, find a group of like-minded individuals that can motivate you.
- know when to let go if it’s not working. It’s not working, move on to something else.