You can still get an A without all the correct answers…


Lately, I’ve been reading about the frustrations of people who are in the process of losing weight or of those who have lost weight and are struggling with maintenance. The theme I’m noticing is feelings of guilt for having gotten off track or not having “figured it out” like they thought they had. We’ve all been there. And I know that deep down, these people know that we have good days and bad days, and that they will eventually pick up and move on. Sometimes it just feels good to get it out and confirm that we aren’t the only one experiencing it. Because we aren’t.

We all have days of clarity when we feel triumphant, where everything just clicks. Then we have days of utter confusion. You know those times when you say to yourself, “Why can’t I get this right?!” Jen, a priorfatgirl even called it a “roller coaster of healthiness“.

So I’m writing this on day of clarity, when I feel great and things just make sense. That way, I can come back on a day when I feel confused, defeated or like I’ve failed.

One day not too long ago, when I was out running, this thought popped into my head:

You can still get an A without all the correct answers.

Let me explain.

I was a pretty good student in school. I got A’s in my classes most of the time. {And yes, the plural of the that letter grade does have an apostrophe so as not to be confused with the word as.} 😉

But you know what? I didn’t get every answer on every assignment and test correct. But I still got good grades. I still learned. My teachers did not fail me for not getting every question right.

So why is it that when we decide to lose weight or improve our health we feel like we must carry out every detail of our plan perfectly? Why is it that if we make one mistake or go off our plan we suddenly feel like we’ve failed. Why can’t we just learn from our mistakes and evolve on this trek, like we do with everything else in our lives? We do we feel like we have to start over?

This is one of the problems with “diets”, in my opinion. So many people {myself included} have started and “failed” because we think it’s an all-or-nothing process. We have an optimistic mindset at first, but when we make that first mistake, we consider it “failure”. Instead, we should focus on progress. When it comes to weight loss, it is the downward trend that matters most. It’s changes you make and habits you form for a lifetime that matter, not eating one cupcake after seven days of not doing so. That’s why I’m not on a diet. Instead, I’m learning to make small changes and evolve on this path toward my well-being.

You can still get an A without all the correct answers.

Think about it. If we get one thing wrong in class, we don’t fail. We still learn. And in life, isn’t learning from mistakes the best way to do so? So let me ask you…

When you make a mistake in life, do you start over from scratch again? If you fall down {literally}, do you have to start all over and learn how to walk again, as if you are a baby? No. You already know how to do it. So you just get back up and carry on. This may come back to you from a previous post:

Yes, I am about to hit you with a bunch of inspiring, positive, motivational quotes. But just remember that:

When I was setting goals to earn trips with The Traveling Vineyard, I taught a class on how to do it. I used this analogy: If you are going on a roadtrip across the country and you encounter a roadblock, you don’t just turn around and go home. You’ve come too far! So what do you do? You find another way!

“When you encounter a roadblock, find a dozen ways to get around it and take action.” ~ Unknown

Sure, that may sound great for a long-term goal. However, what if you make that one mistake and it’s just eating you up. Consider this:

“If you miss your exit on the highway, you don’t pull over and just quit. You make a U-turn and come back.” ~ Unknown

Don’t be so quick to fail yourself. Instead, learn from your mistakes, find new ways, adapt and evolve.

Today, I want to know:

In what area of your health would you give yourself an A?

What inspirational and motivational quotes do you love?


2 responses »

  1. I live by the following:

    It is impossible to observe the rule of 80-20 if you cannot forgive yourself for the 20 and wholeheartedly embrace the 80.

    If you’re going to go off the rails, make sure that whatever your indulgence ends up being is Best In Class.

    (Translation: It had better be the best cupcake/beer/plate of bbq/wings/burger/turtle cake from Cafe Latte that you’ve ever had. Overindulging on something that rates as a “7” or lower on a scale of 1-10 is where the guilt starts to pile on in my opinion.)

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