We start off strong by going to the gym and watching what we eat but by February, we've ditched our resolutions and reverted back to our old ways. If we get the slightest bit sidetracked (e.g. skipping the gym to meet a deadline at work, eating rich foods while traveling, etc.), we somehow veer off course altogether.
If we can't follow through perfectly, we decide to give up completely.
In October, I decided that my physical state needed to match my mental state which meant getting physically stronger. Since I was out of shape, I started with the basics. At home, I did sets of burpees, knee push ups and lunges every other day for 6 weeks. The first couple of weeks, I was winded and needed to take long breaks between sets. After a month, I was doing the routine with more ease.
Once the 6 weeks were over, I started going to the gym. To get over the feeling of looking dumb as I clumsily figured out how to use the equipment, I had a trainer guide me through the basics. I started lifting weights about 2-3 times a week even though I wasn'tlifting all that much weight most times and I was certain the buff guys at the gym were secretly laughing at me.
Months later, I confidently know my way around the weight room. Instead of being intimidated by guys at the gym, I feel a camaraderie with them (Mom, I'm almost friends with the cool kids!). And as the ultimate testament to my progress, instead of the "girl" push ups I struggled with at the beginning, I can now do a proper push up that any woman or man would be proud of.
"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good," my favorite writer John Steinbeck once wrote. Because in the end, isn't being good to yourself what it's really all about?