I recently worked with a client who had incredible results in her first month; she had gained 3 lbs of muscle, and lost 5% body fat. Not only did this client latch on to some awesome healthy habits right away, but she was dialed in. I mean REALLY dialed in. But unfortunately it came at a cost.
She left herself with zero room for error. In her next month, she encountered quite a bit of stress with her job and found herself overeating sugary snacks. When she made food choices that deviated from her “plan,” she felt guilty, shameful, angry, and beat herself up for it. To punish herself from deviating from her plan, she’d hold herself back and try to “make up for it,” the next day, only to find she was depriving herself, which would then result in her overeating again.
She quickly found that neither one of her approaches to nutrition was sustainable. Her restrictiveness in month one had backfired, as she never allowed herself any room to go off course. So when she did make poor choices she was cruel to herself. She had grown tired of beating herself up after not being “perfect.” During our next follow-up meeting, the first thing she said to me was, “I have decided to give myself more grace.”
What did giving herself grace mean to her? It meant that she was going to give herself permission to not be “spot on” 100% of the time. Giving herself grace meant she was kind to herself. She enjoyed the occasional treats that she had not been allowing herself, and did not beat herself up when she deviated from her plan.
She also decided she wanted to ditch her scale at home, as well the InBody scans, and focus on the way she felt. And guess what? Allowing herself grace had worked. She began to love the way her body felt with some extra fuel. She loved seeing her strength improvements and faster times in the gym. She reported feeling stronger and better than ever – and as a result, a much happier individual.
I’m always raving about my clients’ “non-scale” victories, but this was a big one. Both for her, and for me. Not only was it the first time in her life, she realized, that she had ever given herself grace, but this journey with her also had a big impact on me. This client taught me how to give myself a little more room to breathe, to make some mistakes, and to acknowledge what is out of my control. I learned to be a little kinder to myself, and to practice more gratitude for what I have. Moving forward, I have vowed to be generous with myself, even when I don’t meet my expectations. So far, it’s done me well. Now I’d love for you to ask yourself . . . how might you allow yourself a little more grace in your life?
Kristen Van Hull
Prowess Fitness + Nutrition