When we start something new or make a promise to ourselves it is usually with good intentions in mind. We start with a positive can do attitude and are not planning on taking a detour or hitting a roadblock along the way. However life happens and maybe your plan that you thought was such a great idea was not such a doable one after all. Maybe giving up all sugar for example was a little extreme.
This past summer I started training for a 25k (15.7 miles) Trail Race with good intentions in mind of course. This wasn’t just any trail race however. This was the Bulldog named after its long 4.3 mile long hill that climbs up to 2500 hundred feet. This was a brutal trail race and it was supposed to be my “first” big comeback race since the birth of my youngest son. Sure I had run the local races around town but this was going to be my first big test. For those of you that don’t know, my third pregnancy really threw me for a loop both mentally and physically and finally two years later I felt ready to go at it again.
Well the big day arrived and my body was ready, but mentally I was not. It was literally the HOTTEST day of the summer and I began to have my doubts. I had been envisioning a top three finish but that soon clearly became not the case. In the middle of the wretched Bulldog hill all I wanted to do was turn around. It was hot, I had fallen off the pace and there was an “old “ lady that just passed me up the hill. My good intentions started to turn into no intentions. My friend’s husband caught up with me and we started talking. Clearly if I was able to hold a conversation up the Bulldog with him I was not pushing myself. We arrived at the aid station at mile 7 and after the volunteer doused me with fabulously cold water something clicked in me. My race was not going how I had envisioned it to but I was not a quitter. I said so long to my friend’s husband and was off. My body was flying up and down the trail and I was passing runner after runner. I came through the finish line feeling depleted. I made up so much time I ended up beating my friend’s husband by eleven minutes. I did not finish in the top three as I hoped but I felt good that I did not let my whole entire race fall apart. My intentions were to run hard and finish at least third woman. My reality: I ran hard the second half of the race and had to settle for sixth woman. As I drove home from the race that day I felt disappointed and sad that I did not accomplish what I had set out to do. (I was also wising that I was not such a competitive person!) However I did not let myself completely fall apart which is something I should be proud of. My goal that I had set for myself with good intentions in mind was not completely fulfilled but I did not abandon it because I hit a roadblock.
When you set a goal for yourself whether it is to include more fruits and veggies in your diet or to workout more often and you hit a roadblock don’t jump ship. Get over the obstacle and continue where you left off. It is often thought that if a person eats one so called bad food during the day that their diet is ruined and they may as well continue to eat poorly the rest of the day. This is not the case. Get over the “bad food” and jump back to your plan. The same goes for exercise. If you can’t get your full one-hour workout in and can only fit in 30 minutes, do it! Something is better that nothing.
So next time your healthy living plan that was made with good intentions of course does not go as planned don’t jump ship. Make adjustments and continue on.
Katie Valdes MS RD CSSD
Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition and child nutrition. Katie maintains her own practice in Southern California consulting with individuals of all ages. She has taught university nutrition classes, conducted nutrition seminars and lectures, and continues to author a nutrition newsletter.
She is an avid runner, having regularly run long distance competitively in high school, at USC, and she continues to do it today while pushing two of her three children, ages 2, 5, and 8, in a stroller. Katie has placed 13th overall female in the Los Angeles Marathon, 4th overall female in the Napa Valley Marathon and regularly ranks at the top of her class in races today.
Katie holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is Board Certified in Sports Dietetics in addition to her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from USC.
Image from Flickr Creative Commons lululemonathletica