Take pride in failing - it means you're on your way to success
Failure is success in progress.
You know what's funny about that above quote? I thought, last night, I was a super genius for coming up with it. Little did I know that Albert Einstein is the originator of that statement. Therefore, Einstein and I? Yeah, same wave length. LOL!
But in all seriousness, BJ and I were walking the complex a few nights ago, and I find that we have more meaningful and spiritual conversations there than anywhere else. It's our safe zone. We certainly don't talk to each other at the gym. We have our headphones on - and we zone out - going through the motions. But I feel that when we're together at the complex, pushing each other, teasing each other, and making it fun for one another - we talk more. We talked about failure and success the other night, and I've come to realize something. Every time I've "attempted" to lose weight or get healthy - I feared failure. I feared publicly saying "I'm on a journey to lose weight" and then a few months down the road - not making any progress. So, I'd quietly give up and go back to old habits. What I've learned to understand is that I HAVE TO fail sometimes in order to succeed. Success is not a straight line to the top. We learn best when we make mistakes. We find 99 ways to not do something. It only takes 1 right way to achieve our goal. How else do you find that right way? You experiment. You fail. You get up and keep moving.
When plan A and plan B don't work - get up, dust off, keep going - and be grateful that there are 24 more letters in the alphabet.
I've been on a weight plateau for the past several weeks. Now, normally at this time I'd say "fuck it" and quit. I'd get discouraged and wallow in self pity and go eat a cake. Instead, BJ and I have been looking more deeply into WHY I've been on a weight plateau, and finding ways to get me off it. In our midst of research, we've decided that a partial factor may be because of how tightly wound I am as a person. I have a very high maintained level of stress every day. I'm constantly worried about things. I stress about my job, I stress about money, I stress about bills, and upcoming doctor appointments. I stress about BJ's job, I stress about the house being a mess. I stress about my family and their health. I stress about our vehicles breaking down, I stress about heating costs in the winter, I stress about EVERYTHING. So, with all this stress - my cortisol level is always extremely high.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. And, it is public enemy #1 when it comes to retaining and gaining fat instead of muscle. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands and sends your body the "fight or flight" signal - and this occurs when you're fearful or stressed. The problem with high levels of cortisol don't stop at weight gain - it is directly linked by scientific study to depression, mental illness, and shorter life expectancy. It also interferes with your ability to learn and retain information, with memory, lowers your immune system, lowers bone density, and the list goes on and on. That's some pretty terrifying stuff. And it's something to really be looked at if you're a person who is high strung like I am.
A few weeks ago BJ was surfing Youtube for videos about cortisol and its affect on weight loss. We discovered Dr Sara Gottfried (LOVE HER!) who had a video (about an hour or so long) discussing the many things that are both good and bad about cortisol, about the female body, and it's response to hormonal changes. I highly recommend looking her up on YouTube and checking out her videos. She's not one of these boring technical doctors that use big words and make it as confusing as possible to understand.
So after watching many videos, and learning all we could about cortisol - we looked into cortisol blockers. That, also, entailed much research to make sure we were getting something that was not only effective, but also not harmful to my body. We ended up with Cortibol, a cortisol fat blocking supplement. I've been on this supplement for about a week, and so far I'm very impressed with the results. Not scale results, as I don't plan on weighing in for another 2-3 weeks - but as far as stress and anxiety go - my cortisol levels are way down. I haven't exploded, gotten overtly or irrationally angry, I haven't worried about work or whats not getting done, and the best part? I've actually slept the past couple nights without nightmares. I would say last night was the best night sleep I've had all week. I got about 9 hours. I normally sleep 2-3 hours a night. We will see what the next week of being on Cortibol brings.
While I may not have moved on the scale the past several weeks - what I have succeeded in? Not giving up. Not allowing the scale to dictate my worth or my progress. Not giving in to old habits. Have I stumbled? Have I had things I probably shouldn't have in the past few weeks? You betcha. But I didn't allow those one or two bad things snow ball into a weeks worth of binge eating. I got back up, dusted off, and tried again.
Next week we are going to do the egg fast challenge from our Low Carb forums on Facebook. I like eggs and all... but I can't lie and say I'm not apprehensive on this fast. It will take much creativity to come up with 7 days worth of only egg recipes to keeps us satisfied. But I am pretty sure we can do it. When you have a goal that you know is attainable, you fight for that end rewards. So, if I have to occasionally egg fast to get there? By golly, I'm going to do it.
This weekend we are going to find a place for BJ to target practice with his bow, and I will work on some photography. The leaves are changing vibrant colors, and the earth feels more alive. Perhaps some apple picking is in our future this weekend. I'll leave you with these beautiful shots I got last weekend from one of our adventures.
Stay focused. Stay strong. Stay the course. Failure is not the definition of you. It's just a stepping stone towards the person you want to become.