I have always wanted to look like Kate Hudson. She’s beautiful, has a great butt and amazing figure. I love it. She’s also big into fitness and healthy living. So naturally, I chose her as a role model and set a goal to be just like Kate. It started off great. I worked out every day and kept pictures of Kate on Shape Magazine to keep me motivated. I ate clean and felt pretty good about the way things were going. After I began to see some results, I would end up breaking a little bit. Friday night would come around and instead of staying in and doing cardio followed by a delicious dinner of kale and steamed chicken breast (bleh), I would put on my dancing shoes, have a lovely dinner and sip martinis. I felt great in my clothes and wanted to show off my results like a peacock showing off its feathers. It was so much fun that I did the same on Saturday.
Sunday would hit me like a ton of guilty bricks. “I can’t believe I just threw away a whole week of hard work for some stupid fun this weekend.” I felt defeated…not to mention guilty, anxious, regretful, self-loathing and bloated. The next week I was back on the horse, working out hard and sustaining on kale and chicken breast. Friday came around and again I put on my dancing shoes. I did the same on Saturday and inevitably, I felt the same on Sunday. This cycle would repeat on and on and I began to go a bit crazy. Was I about to give up my life for Kate’s fabulous butt? No, there had to be other ways to achieve my goal.
Despite all this mental anguish and negativity, I still looked better than when I had started…but I was the last one to notice.
My next step was the extreme diet and fitness solution(s). I spent a fortune on 10 day juice cleanses and body transformation fitness fads. Anything to look like Kate. Nothing worked.
This is when I started to breakdown. I became moody, irritable, would cry for no real reason and was a hot mess that no one wanted to be around. I didn’t want to be around myself either!
I was frustrated and knew that to achieve my goal, I would have to sacrifice things I loved. And I just couldn’t, I wouldn’t give up the things I love to become someone else.
That was the beginning…
I started to ask myself the hard, but smart questions. Could I achieve Kate’s bodacious bod without drastically changing the things I love about life?
Why Not? Well, because I set an unrealistic goal and didn’t want it bad enough to drastically change my life to achieve it; I was essentially setting myself up to fail. Simple, hard truth. You can quit with the diet hacks right now. I realized that changing your body is a very difficult thing and requires discipline, knowledge, time, genetics, hard work, money and sometimes, even surgery. I just didn’t have the discipline to only have dessert once a month. I need my fun and I need it often! So I started setting small goals, baby steps, that were achievable and helped me find the right balance. That meant I felt good in my clothes and felt good about sipping martinis on Friday. Instead of 2 days a week of pure gluttony, I was able to cut it down to 1 day and things got better…I actually achieved a goal I set!
The best part? I found my balance and I still have it, almost ten years later.
I guess the moral of the story is to understand what is realistic for you and your life. Don’t give up what you love to become someone you are not and set yourself up to fail. Instead, set yourself goals that compliment the positive, wonderful and fun things in your life. For example, maybe a baby step for you is working out one more day a week or maybe it’s substituting your Friday morning bagel with a healthy omelette. Baby steps are good, they are better than going the extreme route and far more sustainable in the long run. Just look at the contestants of the Biggest Loser. How many of them were able to sustain their extreme results years after they left the show? Very few. So stop with the fads and extremes, eliminate false idols, and take a baby step. Try to become your own idol. I promise you will get where you want to be in the end.
To the beauty of baby steps,
Party Smart. Sweat Smarter.