Bouncing Back

Weekends are difficult for me. I can keep nearly any habit from Monday through Friday (or at least Thursday).

But on the weekend, I run into the buzz saw of miscellaneous celebrations, family days out, or some other weak excuse to bail on my nutrition plan.

This past weekend, my wife was supposed to have gone out of town with her friend to my parents’ mountain cabin. My wife’s friend came down with a nasty case of appendicitis, so we decided to make it a family weekend.

We did so and I, well, I was not faithful to my Whole30 commitment. I did keep the 10,000 step commitment and knocked out a strength training session. But my eating? That was not, by any stretch, a reflection of the all-natural, grain and sugar free ethic that is Whole30.

Pizza, cheeseburger, some wine, and mac and cheese. Absolutely none of these items are allowed on the Whole30 nutrition plan. And there were Ruffles and French onion dip. Also not allowed.

But if I’ve not made anything else clear in any of my previous writings, it’s this: I am a fellow struggler. I’m an American suburbanite who is slowly developing better habits, but occasionally sucks at doing so.

This weekend, I sucked at better habits with my food choices. Only 5 days into my Couch to Cave Challenge and I was eating nothing that a cave dweller would have had access to. Unless Twizzlers have a more colored history than I thought.

I have a choice. I can either bail out or pull myself back into line and bounce back.

How Do I Bounce Back?

That is the main question.

I used to beat myself up if I had a hiccup in any kind of life change effort. Not that I want to fall off the wagon, but I’ve learned to be more gracious. To me, that’s the key to bouncing back: grace.

You will not be perfect. You might be wonderful at mastering habits, but on some level, in some area of your life, even if it has nothing to do with eating a paleo-based diet or avoiding sodas, you will screw up. You will drop the ball. You will fail.

Grace allows for imperfections while we figure out how to make the habit stick over the long haul. The question isn’t “Did I do this thing perfectly?” The question is, “Can I keep on going even if I don’t do it perfectly?”

How about some motivational questions to leverage grace:

How will you handle that failure and bounce back?

Can you bounce back? (I think you can)

What’s at stake if you don’t bounce back?

Is it important enough for you to redouble your efforts and recommit?

Will you have grace and be merciful to yourself enough to allow the journey to define you, not this moment where you strayed off course?

Who else cares if you bounce back or not?

The Power Duo: Grace and Clarity on Your ‘Why’

Grace is helpful to allow us to not throw in the towel. For some dumb reason, people will take a slip as an excuse to say something along the lines of, “I just don’t have it in me.”

Grace gives us some breathing room when we wish we were perfect.

Another helpful mindset tool is to be clear on your ‘why’.  If you’re not sure why you’re making the effort in the first place, or if you’re not compelled by why you’re doing it, then you need to take some time to have a definite purpose.

As for me, a lot is at stake. I think about the health I want to have at 75 or 80 and consider what choices I need to make now in order to achieve that goal.

I consider my kids and my wife and my ability to have fun. The kids are only 6 and 8. I’m 43. I want to be not only around, but agile and healthy and energetic as they hit their teen and collegiate and beyond years. Yes, I want to have the chance to spoil grand kids.

I also love how I feel when I’m eating well. I don’t at all love how I feel when I don’t.

Heck yes it’s worth bouncing back.

So I’m back on the Whole30 wagon. I’m continuing the 10,000 steps a day. I’m scheduling my 4 strength training sessions this week. And I’m continuing moving from Couch to Cave.

What do you need to bounce back from today?

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