It's the beginning of August. And just as it happens every year, at this time, I hear an overwhelming number of people profess their defeat. It's over. They have failed. Their New Year's resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, etc. have not only tanked, but in many cases, they've even lost ground in the battle of the bulge, and have put more weight on since December. Summer came and is quickly becoming a memory, while the beach body they promised themselves never happened.
They are failures. And while standing in the checkout lines of back-to-school shopping, or drowned in the ocean of post-summer vacation piled up workloads, they have decided it's unequivocally over for the year.
Disappointing ourselves is not just the most common reflex of human nature, it's also the most damaging perspective because of what we do next.
Because we didn't meet our expectation of ourselves, because we failed by our self-imposed scale and timeline -- Because we have decided we just weren't good enough to make it happen -- We are bad. And bad should be punished, right?
So then, we tend to do one of a couple of things:
Here's the thing: Neither of those natural tendencies work at all. They do absolutely no good, and as a matter of fact, they only create a greater downward spiral to our problems.
No problem that you have with yourself can be solved while you are in a state of self-loathing or self-punishment. Sure you made some -- or many -- mistakes in the first half of the year. Sure you dug an undeniable hole for yourself to accomplish what you'd like. SO WHAT? Those are just the first half stats. And just like our favorite championship moments in sports -- THE GAME ISN'T DECIDED UNTIL THE 2ND HALF.
THE SECOND HALF IS PRIMETIME. It happens after a moment is taken to shake off everything that went wrong thus far -- every bad call and decision -- THEN COMING UP WITH A NEW PLAN. A new plan that works with what -- even if it's not much -- is truly working with what you've got today.
Coming up with a new, winning plan to come up from behind requires being honest with yourself about what is working for you and what isn't -- AND ACCEPTING THAT WITHOUT CONTINUING TO BEAT YOURSELF UP. Winning in the second half requires HONORING WHAT YOU HAVE WORKING FOR YOU AND BELIEVING IN IT. AND THEN, FORMING A PLAN THAT GENUINELY INCORPORATES THAT INTO EVERY PLAY.
It's the beginning of August. YOU HAVE NOT LOST. IT'S PRIMETIME. You are 7 months into the game that you promised yourself you'd play well. Do better by yourself. Stop beating yourself up for what you haven't done... For where you dropped the ball. Your plan -- or lack thereof, for some -- didn't work. Don't punish yourself. You need a new plan -- constructed from your best attributes, not your worst.
The first 7 months are over. There's nothing you can do about it. But the game is far from over. IT'S PRIMETIME -- What is your comeback strategy based on your best self?
The best athletes on Earth have trouble with that question at halftime. That is why there are coaches. If you don't know how to answer it, you are in good company -- that's most people. I encourage you not to give up. Change your perspective. Come up with a plan that you can honestly and successfully execute from where you are today, without judging yourself of what you "should" be able to do. Ask for a little help, if you need to.
The game is hardly over. Primetime just started.
Balancing your nutrients in a pleasurable way can be tricky. Without an intentional plan, most find they are eating far too many of certain macros, and not nearly enough of others. Particularly if you are working on your fitness and working to build lean muscle, getting enough protein can be tricky.
And then there is the issue of boredom. It's Friday night, you've worked hard all week, and the last thing you want to eat is another boring chicken breast. You want flavor, maybe something savory... maybe something that will do a glass of wine justice. I get it. Me too.
While many have chicken breast heavily represented on their meal plans, the more savory duck breast is often overlooked. True, it has a fair amount of fat attached to it, but the vast majority of fat is right underneath the skin. Simply remove the skin before cooking, and you've got a much leaner and meaner bird (just be sure to keep it moist).