Monday, August 19, 2013

Perfect August? More Like, "Way Better Than Before" August.

Well, it's official. Perfect August has collapsed under the weight of this weekend temptation:

Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. Nom, nom, nom.

After my 12-mile run on Saturday morning, I was craving a burger. And when I stopped by Wendy's to grab some lunch for my husband, I gave in and ordered this delicious lunch for myself, too. And with that, Perfect August and my "no fast food" challenge came to a halt.

On one hand, I'm disappointed with myself. I enjoy this sort of intense, short-term challenges, and I know I could have been strong enough to stick with this one. On the other hand, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I made a conscious choice to eat and enjoy the burger, and that's that.

More important than failing my own challenge is my response now. The old me from years ago would fall into an all-or-nothing mindset, and now that the challenge is lost, fall back into old habits, stop going to the gym, and eat whatever junk I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted.

But I'm not that guy, at least not anymore. I don't have to be an all-or-nothing fatalist about it. Yes, I had fast food over the weekend. This morning, though, I took the time to prepare my snacks and healthy lunch and pack them into my cooler to bring to the office. And then I was right back at the gym and running the recovery miles according to my Marathon Training Plan.

Short-term challenges are fun and serve a purpose, and I am going to continue this one and have the best August that I possibly can. But I won't let a single meal send me into a tailspin. The bigger picture here is my overall health and fitness, and that cheeseburger really didn't impact that at all. And since I am right back on track, I will still have a fantastic August that I can be proud of.

I may not have a Perfect August, but I will still have a way better August than if I hadn't attempted the challenge at all.

PS: To my friends who are struggling right now with their own, "I messed up and won't reach my goals," issues right now, I offer this reminder. You are not your mistake or your slip-up or your occasional bad day. You are your commitment, dedication and determination. So start acting like it.