Just this week I have had some really amazing and interesting conversations. A couple of them have included reflecting on fitness and weight loss efforts. In a great conversation with a trusted friend we were both discussing the ups and downs included in this part of life. A piece of advice that I often offer is to define your new 100%. I too am guilty of remembering what I used to look like, used to weigh, and my old mile time. Often I can strive toward an old vision that used to work in the midst of a very different season of life. I believe what is the most important element in defining our goals is to see where we are at today, and take all that is whirling around us into account into developing them.
I personally enjoy exercise and healthy eating. (It was a journey to get to that point, but it is now a reality and high value for me!) In my life I value excellence in everything I put my name on, whether people see it or not. However, over the last year, my body, mind, and spirit has been through a lot. Perhaps I am not at my ideal weight, or spending time planning my wholesome healthy dinner menus. But, if I am honest and gracious with myself, I can admit that I have done the best I can during this past season. Therefore, I have been challenging myself to show love and acceptance to who I am today and what I have done. I believe I gave 100%. This was a different 100%, but 100% nonetheless.
I have a friend whose transformation and energy towards wellness is infectious. She is now 22 weeks pregnant. Post triathlon and half marathon, she is often frustrated at how her body is talking to her about her limitations. Despite these limitations she continues to partake in working out and extremely healthy eating. During her first trimester she was carb crazy or ill! Now she is feeling better but slowing down and gaining some baby weight. (Which is exactly what is supposed to happen!) She craves fruit, and her baby bump in workout tanks looks positively phenomenal! However, for someone who is competitive, driven, and loves her daily workout regimen, she has been feeling slightly less than. I encouraged her to define her new 100% for this pregnancy. There is no way she could be or do what she was 22 weeks ago; and in order to be healthy, she shouldn’t! She has grasped the concept and finds it hard to deny that her attitude and disciplines are not max efforts. She has a new 100%.
Example three: A young man who I know very well has an incredible drive for doing everything at peak performance. This man is an athlete and values health, fitness, and sport. Because of special project recruitment, being a provider for the family, and managing the role of all things man, his workout routine and softball league has had to take a backseat. When it comes to an early morning sweat session or getting an extra hour of sleep after a long night of work, he choses sleep – and that is wise. Even though his athletics and fitness protocol are not where they once were, he is giving 100% where he needs to. In order to counter balance this change, he continues to eat mindful and healthy due to his decreased workout schedule. This is his new 100%.
I know a beautiful young lady who is now in love, partakes in long work days, and has a busy life in love, career, and family. She aches for the young 20 something body she developed before a previous vacation. This friend has also been battling celiac disease and regulating what her body can eat. Cutting foods out, and adding them back in has been anything but easy. Slowly but surely her body is agreeing with the changes she has implemented and she is slowly feeling better. Now, add the love of her life moving near to progress their relation to the next level, and a career that requires full attention and travel. When it was just her, it was easy to get to the gym every day and have scrambled eggs for dinner. Now with health issues, a relationship, and life settling in, she has had to define her new 100%. She recently told me she hated me for telling her about the new 100%, but that it was a priceless piece of advice. She has a new 100%, and I am so proud of her and the balance she is creating.
I am very excited to turn the page into my next chapter, and it is coming! I will soon be defining my current 100%, just as each of my friends will do the same. My point in this is that we can be incredibly hard on ourselves striving for something that is too difficult to attain for our current circumstances. Let us remember that the magazines are filled with airbrushed pictures, and that life happens. Our bodies will forever react to lack of sleep, increased stress, changes in finances, longer commutes, pregnancies, health issues, and more. As always, I encourage you to set the bar high and bring it! However, let each of us learn to be proud of the changes we are making, or the healthy lives we living. I know you guys, and you all work so hard. We all do! Try it: Define your 100%…for today!