Whenever I start a new challenge I try and emphasize that executing my meal plan perfectly or working out perfectly is unnecessary and frankly unattainable. Having the mindset of perfection will almost always promote feelings of anxiety, guilt, and inadequacy. Those feelings make people want to quit since reaching their goals seems impossible. The reality is we cannot execute a plan perfectly because we are HUMAN. The amazingthing is… our bodies respond to our less than perfect efforts! Isn’t that so cool?
Our mindset is HUGE when it comes to accomplishing our health and fitness goals. It is imperative that we are kind and encouraging to ourselves.
Picture this: A mom starting my meal plan follows it all day until dinner. She just dropped her son off at soccer, she has 3 other hungry kiddos in the car and has a million other errands to run before returning home. Overwhelmed desperate and hungry she decides to drive through In-N-Out for dinner. The burgers look good and her craving for a chocolate shake is REAL. She decides to get her burger protein style with ketchup (a better option) and a chocolate shake. Although her kids are happy and she is less hangry, she is feeling defeated because she indulged a little and didn’t stick to the plan the entire day. Here is what her day looked like… I am sure we can ALL relate to this on some level, I know I can!
Breakfast: 177 total calories
-Goes to the gym and gives her best efforts at a new workout!
Post Gym Snack: 126 total calories
Lunch: 325 total calories (Leftovers from the night before)
Teriyaki bowl: 2 cups steamed broccoli (60 cals), 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (100 cals) 3 0z chicken breast (140 cals) teriyaki sauce (25 cals worth)- 325 calories
Since she was hungrier she added another cup of broccoli to her bowl to get extra full with only 30 extra calories. The night before she ran to the grocery store right before dinner time. She bought frozen bags of broccoli/rice and a rotisserie chicken but only used the white meat without the skin. She didn’t have time to cook but threw this together for a healthier dinner.
Snack 2: 195 total calories
Dinner: 920 total calories because real life happened and that’s ok!
Daily Calorie goal: 1400
Actual calorie number: 1743
The perfection mindset is preventing this amazing mom from realizing that she ate WAY more veggies this day then she had in years. She nourished her body with awesome things and had way more energy. She is also establishing the habit of going to the gym even though her workouts are short and she doesn’t feel particularly strong. She most likely burned 100- 200 calories in her workout helping that net calorie number be 1543 calories and only 143 calories over her budget. (Since I know I will get asked this question: I rarely add back calories to my daily allowance since the instruments that calculate calories burned are sometimes unreliable. I just go off of how I feel and add more if I feel I need to. This way makes you in tune with what your body needs and less likely to overestimate your calorie budget)
The week before this she was eating probably around 3,000 calories a day, had no energy, and was filling her body with empty calories with little nutrients. She wasn’t even attempting going to the gym. Even though her day wasn’t perfect… look at the AMAZING progress she is making with her healthy lifestyle! She will continue to get stronger for her workouts as her body adapts. She will eventually workout longer and push herself harder because she will crave how the gym makes her feel. Her food cravings for empty calories will go away and her body will crave the nutrient rich foods (veggies included I swear!). Even with these less than perfect efforts… her body will still respond and change! (Just ask the people doing my challenge!)
FOCUS ON YOUR PROGRESSION!!!!!!!! Your best efforts are enough and you are enough. Keep it positive and fun! Look at all of the things you do RIGHT during the day. Start your journey with the mindset that perfection will not happen. Try your best, ditch the guilt, celebrate every single healthy decision that you make, and gradually add more and more.
Hope this helps!
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