On your way or almost there: Acceptance during change

Scenario: Pearl has been on a clean eating campaign for two weeks, successfully. After a long day, Pearl comes home and suddenly that spinach and artichoke salad seems like punishment. Pizza it is. After Pearl has enjoyed an un-disclosable amount of slices, she is overwhelmed with guilt, regret and a lingering taste of pepperoni. The next day, as Pearl wakes up, she remembers she committed to jogging Saturday mornings. She also remembers her pizza festivities the night before. “What’s the point? After eating all that junk food, I can’t do this. What’s the point of running if I’m just going to come home and stuff my face?” Pearl resigns to her bed; after all, she read a study that sleep promotes weight loss. 

I may or may not be Pearl. Either way, I can relate to this scenario. I commit to developing a new habit, I mess up along the way, and my new leaf cartwheels into a pile of failed attempts. Change is hard, no doubt. Consistency is even harder. The good news is that I’m pretty sure Serena Williams was recently reported to be at a Chinese restaurant when someone tried to steal her phone. During training, Micheal Phelps eats 6-8 slices of pizza for dinner with pasta. This is just to say that eating pizza and lo mein doesn’t mark the death of a warrior. Imagine Serena quitting tennis because she ate 7 too many wontons the night before.

You committed to something, and you did it for 2, 3, 4, 5 days straight. Celebrate that! That’s something you weren’t doing before: you’re in the process of changing. Acknowledge and accept that positive shift you’ve made.

You’ve lost 8 pounds, but your goal was lose 10 pounds. Celebrate the 8 pounds and have a plan of attack for the next 2 pounds. Don’t get defeated because you haven’t met your goal. Goals, successes,–we approach them, we don’t land them.

I hope you’re ready for the next part: Joel Osteen says…while you’re waiting for better, don’t be discontent.  He  says we should learn to accept ourselves while we’re in the process of changing.

I think that if you can accept yourself while you are changing, the process of change will actually be easier and healthier. And sometimes, the real lessons don’t happen because you are now a size 8 from a size 12. Sometimes the lesson, the aha! moment comes when find yourself at a size 10. Instead of hating your position until that promotion comes…maybe find ways to enjoy it–that might make actually expedite the promotion! Did you do something that you said you weren’t going to do? Take a moment to remember why you decided change, acknowledge how poorly that habit makes you feel and continue. But don’t give up on the way.

With three interviews next week, and eventual employment creeping up on me, I’m actually lamenting over all the time I spent mopping while I was unemployed. Another thing JO says, is to learn to enjoy the season you’re in. I wish I would have done that. The people in my life…I know they wish I had!

Full disclosure : These positive, hopefully uplifting posts, are incredibly uncomfortable to write. It was a lot easier to write about negative stuff. But Joel Osteen says….