This year, I lowered my expectations for myself. I know, it sounds like a bad idea. But here’s why I did it.
Hi there! My name is Chantal. I’m a mom of two, certified personal trainer, and constantly working on my personal health.
If you’re new here, you should know that I have struggled to lose weight in the last few years. I have been stuck at a plateau about 25 lbs over my pre-baby weight.
Even while working out with my own personal trainer and eating 1,500 calories per day, my weight hasn’t really changed.
It hasn’t seemed to matter if I’m working out five days a week, or two.
So anyway, I have been struggling. You might think that since I’m a personal trainer myself, it’s easy to stay motivated and eat healthy. Wrong.
Anyway, over the last year or so, I realized that maybe I need to lower my expectations for myself.
So that’s what I did for this year. I lowered my expectations.
I think that the year 2020 yielded epiphanies for many of us – at least that’s the boat that I’m in. Though it was a tough year, it gave me the opportunity to learn about myself more and prioritize a little better.
One such thing I’ve learned about myself is that my obsession with weight loss can sometimes get to an unhealthy point.
When that happens, I think that it sometimes backfires for me.
I can be an emotional eater if I feel that I have failed, or when I’m feeling discouraged. That leads to inconsistency, which sets me back further. Maybe the cycle is familiar.
In recently years, it dawned also on me that I was probably eating too little. Wearing my Apple Watch helped me figure out that I’m actually burning way more calories than I thought.
I calculated my BMR (basal metabolic rate) at about 1400 calories per day, and had been basing my calorie budget on that in the past. However, I’m really not a sedentary person – even on days that I don’t exercise.
I’m too busy chasing children, scrubbing floors, cooking, shoveling snow, and wiping butts. 🙂
So, really, I discovered that I’m burning 2,000-2,200 calories per day on non-exercise days. While only eating 1400 calories!
My body was actually holding onto extra weight because I was under-eating most days. (At least that is my theory.) WHAT.
Anyway, right before Covid I had just busted through my plateau with this new knowledge. I was down to 155lbs, finally below 160 after upping my calories a bit.
But then, with the homeschooling, doomsday shopping, unemployment, and sickness fearing, I stopped worrying about my nutrition and exercise.
Now, I’m back where I was – right about 160.
However, I’m a bit older and wiser now. I’ve changed a lot over the last year. Weird. 🙂
This year, I still want to lose weight, but I’m going in with a bit more patience and a lot more knowledge.
Firstly, I feel like I’m giving myself a bit more grace now more than ever. It feels great. I’m not obsessing, and I feel happier.
The thing is, I am realizing that while I still should lose about 20 pounds, I certainly don’t have to be 125 pounds ever again in my life. Seriously.
140 pounds is healthy for my height and age.
Plus, I am still homeschooling, still navigating the emotions that come with this crazy pandemic, and all of the politics of this year.
In our state, gyms are still closed down, indoor recreation is basically non-existent, and a social life is unheard of. Ha. You can’t even sit indoors in a restaurant.
I still have a child that isn’t potty trained, and I am still trying to be a great homemaker. So, while I’d love to exercise and meal prep, and eat nothing but healthy foods, this season is going to need to be more flexible than that.
I’m allowing myself that.
When I refer to seasons, I’m not talking about the weather or the months of the year. I’m talking about this season of babies, postpartum, homeschooling, needy children, and weird societal shifts.
A weird, hard season of life that will surely come to pass.
You see, every year, for seriously 6 years now, I have gone into the new year announcing to the world that I would lose 30+ pounds. This is THE year, y’all!
I will be happier, fitter, and more successful than ever before!
Lol. You know what I mean. The year of empty promises. The result has been less than successful.
In fact, those super-high expectations almost always backfire on me. Do you understand what I’m saying?
When I put a ton of pressure on myself, it’s like setting myself up for failure. I have never ever lost 35 pounds in one year.
And when I don’t meet my crazy goals, it takes a mental and emotional toll. I’ve beaten myself up like this year after year.
It’s not building any confidence.
This year, I have decided to do something entirely different.
You see, I have learned that if I don’t set any goals for myself at all, I tend to get a little lazy. I need to set goals and write them down for accountability.
However, they need to be totally reasonable. Completely realistic and attainable.
Just within arm’s reach – but not much further.
This year, I have decided to ask myself to simply do better than last year. This applies to business, to personal fitness, and just life in general.
Now, to “do better” is quite vague, and to not set any specific goals is to fail entirely. I know that. I’m not motivated without goals. KNOW YOURSELF.
So, this year, I have simply asked myself to lose 15 pounds. Over the course of the entire year. That’s less than 2 pounds per month.
Why? Because I simply want to end up with an improvement. Not a complete overhaul of who I am. Year-over-year improvement is all we can really hope for.
I want to be sitting here, this time next year, saying, “I did it! I really did that!” I think that will be infinitely more powerful for my psyche than anything else.
Truthfully, my mental state is going to thank me for it.
Fifteen pounds will be enough to give me a sense of accomplishment, but not enough to to make me feel completely obsessed with food constantly.
I need to lose less just 1.25 pounds per month in order to do this. I CAN DO THIS.
I don’t want to model some sort of obsession with food. I don’t feel like I fit in with a lot of other fitness bloggers because I feel wrong shoving supplements, workouts, and meal plans down your throat.
It’s about so much more than that.
It’s about balance. It’s about small healthy habits. It’s about an attitude of respecting your body.
Then, if you have children, it’s about passing down this power to them. I’d encourage you to think about this a little bit. Are your goals unreasonable?
As far as business goals, I’ve done the same thing. No crazy expectations like usual.
I just aim to do better.
Last year I made a little more than $7,000 over the course of the whole year. (That’s with this little blog you’re reading.)
It doesn’t sound like a lot – because it isn’t – but it is actually better than the previous year. So. My goal is simply to beat that.
Well, I broke it down. In order to beat my previous year, I need to make an average of $585 per month. Some months last year, I made over $800 in ads alone, so I know I can do it. Just have to do it.
I have no major plans to start selling any crazy products or start selling my soul, I just want to keep at it. See what happens if I don’t give up. (Like I have wanted to do many, many times before.)
So, now you know why I lowered my expectations for myself. Maybe I’ll be happier, more present, and more carefree. (I’ll let you know how it goes.)
All I wanted to do what keep you posted, and encourage you to check in with yourself.
Are you asking too much of yourself, or maybe too little? It’s not too late to change up your goals.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year,