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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bennett

The latest struggle bus....

I'm on the struggle bus. Ever have those moments? I know you do, because we all do. Everyone has a season where they are struggling with something. Just like everyone has seasons of great pride. They happen. I've recently gained a little weight. It happens. Make poor choices with a little consistency and it just happens. And this is my current reality. I'm 15 lbs away from the weight I was this time last year. And somehow this little bit of weight gain has done a few things to my mindset.

I've become a little attached to the scale and I've let it define my success and failure. If it goes down then I feel good, if it stays the same or if, god forbid, it goes up I equate that with failure. I recognize this and am working to turn it around. But it doesn't change what is now. It is a struggle. I know that I'm not a failure, but in that moment the number is the boss of my emotions.

Why do we let ourselves go there? How do we turn it around?

So now I'm going to start preaching to myself, but if this is you too, please pay attention.... First you have to stop the negative talk. Whatever choices you made in the past that got you to where you are now are just that... the past. And guess what? Your past called and it has nothing to say. Because it doesn't control your future. You always have the opportunity to make better choices moving forward. And you know that better choices, made over time, will produce the results that you want. So do that. Second you have to start celebrating yourself and the things that are going well. Because when you do that, you turn your mindset around and start playing above the line. What do I mean by that? I'll start explaining by telling you what living below the line is. It's where you take a stance of defensiveness or blame. Where you're defeated and angry or anxious at your current reality. So you have to reach up to the line of curiosity and start questioning why you are where you are. Moving above the line is where you find the grace, the gratitude, and the forward thinking to the solution. It's not a place where you ignore the reality but you begin to treat the circumstance as just that. It's a circumstance, and it doesn't have control over you.

I often post pictures of my progress on social media. And if you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you know I have a lot to say about understanding what is real and what is curated. I love to see my pictures where everything looks perfect. But there are times where the imperfections just scream at me and my inner critic becomes my outer critic. Where my inner voice shows up on my face. Yesterday I posted a picture of my back progress, because the workout I did was amazing. I struggled with it but I did it and I wanted to celebrate that. (And we all know, if you work out but don't post a pic on social media then it just didn't happen right... ok I kid). When I looked at the picture I only saw the things I liked for a split second. But what I saw more of were the flaws. I saw the flabby back of my arms that I'll have to accept as a part of tremendous weight loss. I saw the fluffy back roll that I have right now because of the extra lbs, but also because of the saggy skin due to the aforementioned weight loss. For a few hours yesterday I felt defeated all because of a picture. See, I'm already talking more now about the flaws and not the things that I admired. The badges of my achievements. I stopped focusing on my growing back muscles and shapely shoulders that I just absolutely tore apart yesterday (in a good way... truly).

Our health is a daily process. Yes it's about making good choices for ourselves on a daily basis, but it's also about playing above the line. Looking at failures as opportunities for growth and not blaming ourselves and being angry about where we are. Because if i look back over the last 3 years, I have so so so much to celebrate. And if I go back even further to 6 years ago there's even more to celebrate.

Bottom line, we have to stop beating ourselves up for temporary setbacks. I repeat... TEMPORARY. We have the opportunity to turn things around. We can wish all danged day long to go back to a time where things were better, but wishing gets us nowhere. Put some action in and over time we're right back where we want to be.

I'm going to take you guys through an exercise that I use every time I start becoming fixated on my circumstances. The 3 "What's"...

What's happened? I've gained 15 lbs and my clothes are a little tight.

What can I do about that? I can start making better choices consistently to turn it around. I can remove temptations and set myself up for success.

What's next? Today I'm going to get my workout in like I usually do. Hydrate well. And eat according to my nutrition plan that I know works to get myself back where I should be.

And I do all of this because I deserve to treat myself better. I deserve to be healthy and that is something that is within my control.

Don't beat yourself up for things that have happened in the past. Be forward focused and set goals. Lean on your healthy habits and let them carry you forward.

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