Monday, 20 May 2013

Choices and consequences: you have the power

So have you ever stuffed up?  Like, a little bit, or even a big bit?  In life, at anything.  I’m sure you have; we all have.  I guess my question is, what do you do about it?

a) Do you continue to sabotage all efforts, ramming yourself further into the ground?
b) Or do you try to fix your mistakes, sending yourself into a punishing challenge to go backwards and rectify stuff that happened in the past?  At the same time trying to forge ahead to be perfect ‘from now on’.  Which in turn creates so much stress that you often end up back at a)
c) Or do you recognise, acknowledge, accept, learn, and start afresh?

While c) is the obvious ideal answer, I rarely do that.  I often do a) a few times through, then step in and stress myself silly by trying to do b).  And I say ‘trying to do b)’ because really, it rarely works for me.  Depending on the magnitude of the stuff up, b) can be simply futile.  Yet I continue to attempt it.

Kind of like this transformation thing.  Some people say “I’m a new person” and people say this to me also: “Love the new Kate!”  They’re trying to be nice and I don’t judge them on this – a compliment is a compliment!  But it does make me think.  I think that yes, I am becoming more fit/smaller etc. and changing, but on the inside?  I am still me!  You don’t die and get born again when you lose weight or transform your life.  The person you are becoming is the same person who got you into whatever mess.  She doesn’t leave you!

You are just improving her. :)

I saw this quote on a work colleagues desk today and it struck a chord with me.  I think that so much of our (ok, I mean my) energy goes into analysing why something happened, and stressing out over the fact that it did.  Whereas time would be a lot more better used if we just
focussed all of our energies moving forward.  Imagine what we could get done if we just looked ahead.  Your past is your past, you can’t change your childhood, you can’t realistically make up the 15 training sessions you’ve missed over a few weeks, you can’t regurgitate the Top Deck chocolate you ate last Sunday.  You’ll still have shit times and will probably skip a session again and will undoubtedly one day eat more Top Deck chocolate.  But you have a choice today, to wallow in what has happened, or to get up, and forge ahead, trying to make things better from now on.

I’ve been struggling lately.  About 5 weeks ago, I stopped going to boot camp, and I haven’t been training properly since.  There’s a lot more to this of course, but that is the essential fact.  The longer this went on, the harder it was to get back to it.  That was probably the case for the first 3 weeks.  The last 2 weeks of it though, I have just been panicking about how much fitness I have lost.  Fitness can go very quickly!  My mindset has struggled to do anything because I don’t believe I’m fit enough anymore, and the ‘no can do’ attitude has been intensified by me being down on myself because of this. Option a) from above has been winning…

Over the last few days, I opened up to a few people, did some things that tested my confidence, and was fortunate enough to have some stars align.  This all gave me the confidence and path to get back to boot camp this morning.  Even still, I woke up at 4:30am and lay in bed, with my eyes closed, thinking.  I realised that it’s true what they say, about choices.

I was scared of going back today.  But as I lay there I said to myself that I had the choice of either going back to sleep and continuing on this ‘easier’ path of not turning up and allowing my fear of lost fitness to dictate me, or I could get my ass out of bed and down to the cold and dark soccer field to face everyone and improve myself, no matter how hard it might be at the start.

I felt like I was back at the start of my weight loss mission again.  Scared, unfit and overwhelmed.  That thought in itself is very unmotivating.  But I said to myself that I could choose to continue this way, or not.  The choice was mine.  Where would I prefer to be in 12 months time, or 6, or 3?  Yep I stuffed up recently and today would be hard, but wouldn’t this be better than in 3 months time, me wishing that I had I kicked my butt today?  Which choice was bringing me closer or further to where I wanted to be?  When does this cycle end?

Essentially I could choose the easy road, or be a big girl and face my current fitness level head on.  If I struggled to keep up then that would be a smaller price to pay than not trying at all.  If I’m at the back of the pack or have trouble breathing then that is just something I have to face – it’s the consequence of what I chose to do up till now.

I don’t know how I ever got so philosophical being half asleep.

Anyway, I got up, and I went.  And, like most things we conjure up, it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.  I stopped running at one point.  In the moment it was because I needed to.  In reality, if I’m completely honest with myself, it was because my head told me that.  I was ok.  Yep, I need to regain my fitness, I have definitely lost some, but my trainer reckons that will happen very quickly and maybe I haven’t lost as much as I have been telling myself.

So from now on, I will try to focus my energies on where I want to be and live in the moment to help this, rather than dwelling on ‘stuff ups’ and sabotaging myself by allowing them to continue.

I get to choose what I do.  I just have to choose to do what is going to get me closer to where I want to be, no matter what.


  1. Ahhh Kate, I love the way you think and pull apart a topic and then put it back together again. I though think I am a new Carol. Not forgetting the past, but I have a new look, new hair, new outlook on life, new lifestyle I'm embracing and with it comes new goals, new challenges, new hopes and dreams. So I don't forget the old me, I embrace her, but she was sad. I like the new happy me. So I don't mind if people acknowledge that, I'm thrilled that they see the difference.

    But I like that every action has a consequence. So go get back to boot camp and get that fitness pumping again. Love your work.