There are days when absolutely nothing — not even chocolate or a smoothie — sounds good. There are days when all I want to do is eat junk food and binge on This Is Us (again). There are days where I wear my sunglasses inside the house. And there are days when even the thought of getting out of bed is exhausting.
Sometimes, I am that annoying wellness person who did all the things: meditated before I threw back the covers, downed two big glasses of lemon water, eased in to the day with an hour-long yoga session, made a giant post-workout smoothie and sipped on it while checking in with my intuition about what I would feel good about doing in that moment, made a healthy lunch and some snacks from scratch, did some journaling, and smiled through it all.
Whatever your day looks like, today, I want to remind you that health and wellness is a journey. Every day is different. And everyone’s journey is different. My journey is not your journey. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other.
So here’s a little sneak peek in to how I deal with my mindset around my health and wellness. Because, trust me, I need these reminders, too.
How I feel today is not how I will feel forever.
I was listening to a meditation (I know, I know, there’s that annoying wellness person thing) about feeling your feelings. It’s okay to feel unmotivated or angry or depressed. And it’s okay to feel happy and excited and overjoyed.
What’s important is to remember that that feeling is not how we will feel forever. It sure as hell might feel like it in the moment. But you know…this too shall pass.
So those days when my idea of dinner is some hummus and pita bread? When I’m pretty sure I never want to run again and that I’ll never be able to do pyramid pose?
Those days are fleeting. Tomorrow will be different.
But if tomorrow isn’t all perfectly executed crow poses and beautiful Buddha bowls? That’s cool, too, because a few days in a funk still isn’t forever.
It’s not as hard as I make it out to be.
Do you ever think you have a pretty good idea of how something is going to go and watch it like a little movie in your head? Like you’re setting this expectation before you even attempt that thing?
Sometimes, I do a damn good job of convincing myself that making dinner will be a disaster. I’ll picture myself banging around pots and pans, making a giant mess all over the counters and the floor (that happens on a good day, too), chopping and sautéing and blending for two hours, and sweating my ass off because damn it really is hot in the kitchen. Even with all the windows and doors open.
And — for all that effort — dinner so does not look the way the picture in the cookbook looked and it definitely doesn’t taste the way I was expecting it to taste.
Reality is usually much, much different.
Yes, I’ll probably still make a mess. But dinner doesn’t have to be an Instagrammable, perfectly plated, five-star restaurant kind of thing. It can be simple, and simple is so not hard.
I find that the actual doing of something — whether it’s cooking or going for a run — is much less painful than the story I’m telling myself. And so I remind myself to manage my expectations, to not put so much pressure on myself or moments or, hell, other people. I can’t predict the future, and chances are probably pretty high that things will go a lot more smoothly if I don’t imagine them as perfect before I even attempt them.
I don’t have to be perfect. I am doing the best I can in the moment.
Progress over perfection, right? Hell yeah that’s right.
I was listening to a podcast on a run the other day (I know, I know, annoying wellness person thing…) and this statement stood out to me: Perfection is a moving target.
What is perfect one day won’t be perfect another day. What matters is that I’m doing the best I can right now. I am a firm believer that there really is no such thing as perfection. Besides, once we achieve whatever we think perfection is, we’re just going to think it’s not good enough and try to get even more perfect.
That’s no way to live life.
So, you bet your sweet ass somedays are a little more fruity beer enjoyed on a restaurant’s sunny patio than a homemade smoothie enjoyed on my sunny patio. A little more chips and salsa at my favorite local Tex-Mex place than homemade guacamole.
Always ask yourself what feels good in that moment. What is the best choice in that moment? It doesn’t have to be the “healthy” choice — but, honestly, choosing what you want because it’s going to make you happy right then is kind of healthy, actually.
No one wants to be a whiny bitch when they make a “healthy” choice and totally regret it later. Be in the moment, friend.
I can make changes if something’s not working.
I’ve been doing this whole clean eating healthy lifestyle thing for a while now and what I’ve experienced firsthand is that what works one day isn’t going to work the next day.
Not to mention that what works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone. (Bioindividuality, friend.)
This was pretty apparent after I finished my second half marathon. Running became like a chore. Something I was suddenly incredibly anxious about.
I was not excited about running and, rather than beat myself up and wonder why the hell every run felt like today might be the day I die, I took a step back. I took a break. I hung up my not-so-proverbial sneakers and decided maybe it was time to try something different.
So I started lifting weights. I’m not talking about power lifting Olympic-style, just regular strength training a few times a week. Something I hadn’t done since high school. (And even then I only took weight lifting as a gym class because we didn’t actually have to lift weights. I hope gym class isn’t such an easy A anymore. Sorry, Mr. Humes.)
And my body freakin’ loved it. I started to get stronger. I started to gain muscle in new places (hello, shoulder muscles). I started to notice some serious definition.
Making changes and wanting to make changes doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself or someone else. It just means whatever you’ve been doing is no longer serving you. Try not to turn making a change into a moral dilemma in which you question your very existence or the existence of the universe, my friend, because you’ll feel so much better when you just do what makes you feel better.
Do any of these resonate with you? What are some stories you’re telling yourself about your health and wellness? Do you have a gym teacher you'd like to apologize to, too? Let’s hear it!