At the Crossroad-Choose to Move Toward your Goals, or Away From Them?

I wrote this post a couple days ago, and hesitated about publishing it. After all, this blog isn’t about me per se-it’s about living a healthy, happy, fit gluten free life-and I didn’t want to sound like I was whining ;) I decided to put it out there. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Today, I feel fragile. Brittle.

As some of you know, I am preparing for a fitness competition. It’s coming up quickly now-in 18 days to be exact from the day I am writing this. It is my choice to compete, my choice to go through the things that are necessary to achieve that level of athleticism. No one makes me diet the way I do, or train the way I do. It is my choice, and a choice that I
embrace. I embrace the challenge, and the accomplishment. I am training and dieting smartly, not jeopardizing my future health, and I am fortunate to have a wonderful support system in my coach, friends and family. And yet, some days I feel fragile.

There comes a day where you stand at the crossroad, for so many things in life. It could be changing your diet to reflect more healthy choices, or moving to a gluten free lifestyle, a career change, a move, so many things. When decision time comes, do you continue on your path forward, toward the goal which you have been working toward? Of do you take the fork in the road, take the easier path, but that which takes you away from your ultimate goal?

At the crossroads-do you choose the path toward or away from your goals?

Photo credit:elkfish

Today, I felt tired. I had a great training session at half past dark in the morning, got ready and went to work. (With 4 meals packed.) Unfortunately my energy wanes fairly quickly, and fatigue sets in.

Work was-well, work. Not a good day. Then my co-workers weren’t happy about the smell of my broccoli. And one of them also makes faces (that she thinks I don’t see) at my physique as I get leaner and appear more muscular. (I’m not-in real life I’m pretty small, but as the fat gets stripped away the muscle is more prominent.) And I felt brittle.

Did I want to dive head first into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia? You’ll bet your sweet behind I did.

But when I stood at the crossroads-although I felt tempted to choose the immediate gratification, the path of least resistance…

I didn’t. I chose to take the path toward my goal, not away from it. I did not deviate from my planned meals, had a cup of mint green tea, and went to bed early.

This does not make me special. These choices are ones we make every day, when we choose to honor our bodies and our minds, to treat ourselves well, to listen to requests both spoken and unspoken from within and without. We are constantly making these choices. The choice to love our partners, to follow thru on our commitments, to enrich the planet by our existence. Or to do none of these things, to choose to smoke the cigarettes, to eat crap, to be inactive. All of these are your prerogative and your choice. Our lives are a series of choices.

We can’t always be perfect or be infalliable. We can’t even come close most of the time. But if we can, when we come to the crossroads, make the decision that will bring us closer to our goals and ideas of where we want to be…

Then we have won.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this, or your story of your personal crossroad in the comments.

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  1. monica says:

    I appreciated your shared contemplations about choices. Goals and working through challenges are an important part of forward movement and growth in life.
    Side note: I always find it interesting when people make negative or unsolicited comments about the foods I consumme for my health while I reframe from commenting about their not so healthy choices. Good for you for sticking to your higher aspirations!

  2. Erin,

    This is great on so many levels. First off, you admit to weakness. We’re all in this together. It’s not always easy to make good choices. But what you’ve alluded to here, I tell my clients and work on myself all the time. Diets don’t work, finding something that trumps eating the Ben and Jerry’s does. You have to find something that is more important than the temporary high you get from stuff like that. Yours is your goal, your competition. Not some “diet.” I have my own “story” I’m working on right now as well. Do I want some of the dark chocolate with apricots and Himalayan sea salt I made for Easter gifts. “You bet your sweet behind I do.” But I’m staying away from it because I have a goal. Maybe in a few weeks, I’ll make another batch and have a few bites. Not now. Something else is trumping my desire to eat a bunch of chocolate. Goals! We need goals!

    You go girl!
    Melissa

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Monica-thanks for the encouragement! Goals and friends make the world go round. I agree-somehow it’s accepted and OK to disparage healthy choices, but certainly NOT OK to do the same to unhealthy choices. I hope that changes as we move toward a world of greater awareness of how nutrition affects our health and well being-and financial bottom line with health care!

  4. Erin says:

    Melissa!
    You are, of course, right on. A higher reason that just “being on a diet” is needed for success-there has to be an investment in the whole process as well as the outcome. Although I think in a sense “diets do work” if you look at in the strict numbers sense, that calorie balance will ultimately win-but dieters often fail their diets without that higher purpose that trumps the temporary pleasure of eating. And that’s when the diets don’t work. The psychology of dieting, of any change in eating pattern, is totally fascinating and something I’ll be writing more about.
    Dark chocolate with apricots and Himalayan sea salt? Sounds like heaven… ;)
    I’m looking forward to hearing your “story” when you are ready to share it!
    Goals are the beacon in the storm of decision….

  5. Vicky says:

    Glad I’m not the only one to get discouraged. I have been making myself think about my food, writing it down along with my goals and thoughts. It helps to be making a CONSCIOUS choice to be healthy, not to be on a diet, but to be healthy.

  6. Erin says:

    Vicky,
    We all get discouraged from time to time. The key is the trend over the long haul.
    Writing your food down is SO helpful when it comes to making conscious choices as you mentioned. You really think twice when you have to write down that you had 2 handfuls of M&M’s!
    A diet is just a method of eating-unfortunately the word has gotten a negative connotation over time. But yes-conscious decisions to make healthy choices. Sounds easy-but can be challenging. But conscious decisions to make healthy choices can lead to optimal weight and health-again, over time-the trend over the long haul.
    Thanks for sharing your insight!

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