Big, huge reset buttons, like a New Year's resolution or the Monday morning diet. The reset button is fabulous. The problem is we forget to use it, and we let way too much time pass in between.
I just had a birthday, which means I had a nearly week long sugar binge. It was delicious. Cake, more cake, cupcakes, Clear Rock cookies, Girl Scout cookies, a giant Reese bar, etc. Wow, did I feel tired, foggy and bloated.
And, I could hear the inner tyrant start to act up.
So Saturday I hit the reset button. Back to back Tread classes, healthy lunch, salad for dinner, lots of water and sleep. I felt so much better after one day of eating clean and working out.
Years ago, however, I would just keep the binge going. Once I was off track, I stayed off track. I didn't know how to get back. Not only would the binge continue, but I would beat myself up while I was doing it. The conversation in my head sounded like this:
"Stop eating that."
"I know it."
I would live under that mental tyranny until a giant reset button would come along. But if you use a New Year's resolution as your reset, you know the deal. The binge is on from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, because there's this fear of never getting to eat any of the yummy stuff again. Better stock up on pleasure, life is about to get radically unsatisfying.
Ahh I am going to be so good from now on. Perfect, even! I am going to eat 100% clean, work out every day, and lose all this weight by my spring vacation.
And the first time someone invites you out to eat and you go, you order your old favorite, and your attempt to reset/change is called off because the inner tyrant says, "You just blew it!"
Ugh, what a nightmare. The problem is, it turns into a constant beat-myself-up-fest. There's no growth. No empowerment. No peace.
I've come to look at things a different way. Instead of rare, huge resets, I see them as little daily resets. Sometimes several times a day. If the morning didn't go so well, I can do a nice little reset, eat clean for lunch, drink lots of water that afternoon, and get right back on track. If the weekend gets away from me, I can take a deep breath, become present, and make a different choice as soon as I become aware. None of this has to wait until Monday or January.
What those of us have learned, that are invested in life long fitness, is there are little failures, bad choices, and wrong turns all along the way. They are common! But knowing there is grace truly helps empower us to make better choices. It's the beating ourselves up that makes it so hard. Who can make a good choice when they are being yelled at from within their own head??
So...screw up. A lot! And reset. And try again. And start over. And step out. And shake your head. And feel frustrated. And feel determined. And get empowered. And grow. Learn. And hit the little resets over and over and over until the time in between is so small, so short, it doesn't feel like you got off track at all.