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Week 4: Crash & Burn

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

I was asked by a school to give a talk last week for parents via zoom about family wellness. While answering a question during the talk, I gave a disclaimer that, "even I, as a wellness "expert" and someone who teaches others how to practice wellness in their lives, have never had a "perfect" week of wellness".


Yep, that's right. If by "perfect week" you mean that I exercised every day that I intended to, drank all my water, got all the sleep I should, meditated when I was supposed to, ate perfectly, and had the family dinner menu plan go off without a hitch, then yeah... I've never had a perfect week. I mean, come on. You know I'm not a robot, right?


It was a bit of a "deer in headlights" moment as I watched most of the attendants' eyes grow in diameter as they stared into their laptop screens in disbelief. It was even more interesting when a friend who attended the talk texted me afterward to say how comforting and validating it was to hear that I have "imperfect" wellness weeks.


I don't think that until that moment I truly knew how much people linked wellness with perfection.


Y'all! Hear ye hear ye! Practicing wellness is anything but perfect. It's a PRACTICE. Another try and a fresh start each and every week. Some weeks will be pretty darned good. Others will be laughably horrible. Either way, there is no room in wellness for perfection. Do you want to know what the practice of wellness IS??


Resiliency. There is no success in wellness (and quite possibly, in life itself) without resiliency. In fact, the quickest way to fail in practicing wellness is to hold onto the delusion that it will ever be perfect. Why do you think people get so frustrated with New Year's resolutions?


Because:

1) They think their overreaching goal will just "happen" with little to no effort.

2) They have a low tolerance for when an outcome of the best laid plan is less-than-perfect.

3) They lack the resiliency to try again on Monday.

4) They quit.


Resiliency. That's it! That's the big secret. The way to be healthy and well is to make a new commitment to it every Monday (or whatever the first day of your week starts on). Or heck, at breakfast the next day after you ate your emotions the night before. Or the next morning after you've made all the excuses in the world to not put your jogging shoes on for the past 10 days. Resiliency. What other choice do you have? To give up and scream "I CAN'T DO IT!" when it gets hard and requires too much effort? Please. That sounds like my son when he was 5 years old learning to ride a bike.


After being a wellness coach/consultant/expert/whatever for all these years, here's the conclusion I've come to about perfectionists.


They're weak.


Don't we all wish we could just sign up for things that we know we could do perfectly? But as I sit here... I can't even think of what that thing would be for me. I don't think there's anything I can do perfectly. Not that I care. Perfectionists aren't my people. My people are those who bravely sign up for the challenging thing knowing full well it won't be perfect and are willing to put their grown up hat on over and over to try again. That's resiliency. And wellness won't, can't work without it.


So, yep. I crashed and burned on week 4. I remember some Chinese take-out, some Chick-fil-A, some BBQ nachos (and accompanying night sweats), some "breakfast" (as in cereal) for supper, but most of it's a blur. I'm not really sure what happened.


Wait. That's a lie. I know exactly what happened. I didn't plan our menu on Sunday night. I don't remember why I didn't plan it, but for whatever reason, I didn't. So, the week was a bit of a disaster. It's as simple as that. Do I feel yucky from eating too much unhealthy food in one week? Yep. Am I beating myself up over it? Nope. Does it mean I can't "do" wellness? Please.


It just means that if you've been plotting to kill me, you'll know exactly where to find me this Sunday morning-- at my kitchen table with my cookbooks spread out, planning my family's supper menu for the week. Trying again.


A word of caution: I'm pretty strong and won't go down without a fight. You know I work out, right? (Well, maybe not perfectly every week, but still...)







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