When I was in elementary school, I was very smart academically. Learning came easily to me, and I did extremely well. I don't know what happened next. Perhaps it was too easy and I learned I didn't have to work. Perhaps I just lacked the drive I needed. I do know one thing:
I didn't try.
I must have been a thorn in the side of my teachers. I was the student that had plenty of potential and was smart, but I didn't do the work. It wasn't that I couldn't do it. It was that I didn't. I put more effort into avoiding homework then I did in doing it. I remember reading a fiction book under the desk of science class or quickly finishing french homework in the few minutes I had to change.
Yet, I got by. I always got by. It seemed like I had an instinctive sense of just how much I could slack, just how much I could let myself slip. I always passed, and when it mattered, I could still excel. Every once in a while I would study for a test. Or I would spend an evening writing an essay rather then 20 minutes on the bus ride to school.
I didn't start doing homework on a regular basis until twelfth grade when I suddenly decided that I did want to go to University and needed better grades. Even then, I can't say I gave it everything I had. Just that the minimum needed went up a bit, so I met the new minimum.
If you always hold a little back, you can always say you could have done more. Then when you don't succeed you can always say that you could have done it. But, is that any better? Is there any glory in claiming you could have done something? Because fact is, if you didn't do it, it doesn't matter.
Every part of life is connected, and I'm at the point where I am making the connection between my acceptance of mediocrity in school and my lack of drive in losing weight.
If you're one of my loyal blog followers, you'll probably notice that I started off strong. I had the mindset down and the scale showed the results - for the first month.
Then something happened. I still had the mindset, but the scale wasn't showing the results I expected. It wasn't easy anymore. Suddenly I was starting to have to work for it and it frustrated me.
Yet, I continued to get by. Then life throws some obstacles in the way. The last couple weeks have been rough on me. Once again dealing with sickness in my house and sleepless nights. But, hello! That's life with kids.
The point is that I've fallen back into the pattern of mediocrity that I accepted throughout my school years and beyond. I have a new minimum standard, and I haven't let my eating go completely down the drain. I've been reasonably active, and good weather in the last week has made that easier.
But, I've done nothing to excel. I haven't gained any weight back, but I've done nothing to break past the plateau I've been sitting at. What's worse is, it's not because I can't. It's because I haven't.
For once in my life, I want to look back and say that I did everything that I could. I tried as hard as I could. And whether I succeed or fail, I will have that accomplishment.
I don't like to set weight goals attached to time lines. I know that you can do everything right and still not see the scale move. So, I have other goals in mind.
1. For the next month, I'm to return to the motivated mindset I had when I started. The mindset that had me blogging more days then not. I'm going to track my food and commit to my workouts. I'm going to eat clean, cook healthy meals, and keep fresh fruit and veggies around.
2. At the beginning of August, I am going to return to a backpacking trail that I did on my honeymoon. It's a hike that is very strenuous and I'll be carrying 40 or more pounds. It also leads to one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
3. Next summer, I'd like to do a triathlon.
Overly ambitious? Maybe. For one, I can barely swim, so I'll need to take lessons and get some serious practice in. I also don't run. I'm still worried about the impact the extra weight I'm carrying will have on my knees. I do bike and I figure the 70 pounds of kids I pull in the trailer is a bonus for training.
I am setting a goal that I don't know if I can complete. But, I do know one thing. This time I'm going to try. Actually try.