“In life, we have 3 choices – give up, give in, or give it your all” – Charleston Parker
So, when I first saw this quote, I completely agreed with it – three choices for every challenge. Then, thanks to some wonderful comments and conversations with close friends this week, I’ve come up with a fourth category that sometimes takes the prize.
Choose To Give It Your All
We can easily choose to give it everything we have, can’t we?
Now, I’m going to share a bit of a personal story here, one that I was hoping to leave until I could make it into a “Give it Your All!” or “Here’s Proof Working Hard Always Works!” kind of post, which you’ll soon see this is not. So, I’ve always been the type of person to eat super healthy, work out at the gym (cardio and weights), and try out new sports activities, like 5 years of Mixed Martial Arts, Hot Yoga, my stint in a kickboxing club, and a short meander into the world of tennis. Luckily, I’ve always had a clean bill of health, too.
Challenge: I cannot lose weight!
Well, it’s simple, you say, diet and exercise.
Lift weights. Run more. Run less. Have 6 meals a day. Intermittent fast and only have 3. Have 500 calories two days a week.
Trust me, I’ve tried it all. (Yes, I stuck to each food and workout plan exactly – motivated, determined, and ready to tackle the challenge!)
A Lack Of Progress
For anyone who’s curious, here’s a mini trajectory of me giving it my all, for the past 16 months:
- Jan 2015-April 2016 – Tried losing weight on my own, eating about 1500 calories a day, 60-80g of protein, 2 strength/weight training workouts per week
- May to August 2016 – Hired a personal trainer, diet changed to about 1300 calories a day, 100g of protein, 30 mins super intense weight training twice per week + Bodypump, some cardio. Lost 4 kg and 4% body fat, a very slow progress rate for 4 months.
- September to December 2016 – No trainer, as I was abroad – Bodypump twice per week, running for cardio, similar diet. Gained 1 kg and lost it upon return to Barcelona. Very surprisingly slow weight gain, too, considering the changes I’d made
- January 2017-April 2017 – New intense diet with trainer, 1000 to 1300 calories, 120g protein, 2, 60 minute weight training sessions twice per week+ Bodypump. Lost 1 kg and 1% bodyfat.
Snail-like progress. Sleep 7 hours per night. Drink 3-4 liters of water daily. Perfectly clean doctor’s bill of health, (including thryoid and cortisol), except the need to shed 10kg (and 8% bodyfat). That’s according to four doctors, including an endrocrinologist.
Puzzled specialists. Perplexed personal trainers.
So, what do you do when giving it your all doesn’t work? You keep going! Actually, for those who are curious, I am starting a new plan with a sports nutritionist/dietitican on Tuesday that will switch up my workouts to include more tonification and less weight. Supposedly, it’ll give me extra calories to “kickstart my inactive metabolism” and get me off the plateau, we hope.
Stay determined and focus, and you can accomplish anything, right? While it may be the most optimistic viewpoint, that’s what first got me thinking about the fourth category.
First, let’s cover the second and third…
So, what is giving in? To me, this means conceding to another person (or viewpoint) you don’t truly believe.
- Hold your ground – Understand your viewpoint and why you hold it
- Listen – Try your best to understand the other viewpoint
- Collaborate – Sometimes, giving in is a part of collaboration. So, it’s not always negative. Sometimes, you have to give in to reach a solution together. Giving in can also be compromise, and that’s a healthy part of any relationship – whether it’s a business partner, friend or other important person in your life.
So what can you check off your list when you are feeling like you just want to give up?
- Be Determined & Confident – You can do this. Know that. No matter how hard it is, be determined to push through and find a way
- Find A Role Model – Search the internet, find a blogger who has been through your journey, and create a plan you can follow. If you can find a way to afford it, hire an experienced specialist to help.
- Visualize the Future and Stick to the Plan – You must stick to it! Even if you can’t fully visualize the end result, try your best to imagine a road you are following, with the “prize” at the end.
In fact, sometimes you may need a motivational poster or two to get you in the mindset. Posters can help set up a motivational atmosphere and aid visualization. You have access to my free printables library, right? I add a poster in there every single Monday! There are 24 of them in there already, so you can start sticking up posters!
Well, back to the problem I mentioned earlier with all my fitness journey trouble – what do you do when giving it all isn’t working? How do you stop yourself from becoming depressed?
Giving It A Rest & Respecting The Process
When is it okay to give up?
Wait a minute, you’re writing a motivational post, right? Well, this is the category that Charleston Parker’s quote misses out. It’s okay to define our priorities and decide that we don’t want this anymore. The effort outweighs the benefits we would receive. Personally, I’m not at that point in my fitness journey yet. Despite the 16 months of specialists telling me that anyone else would have gotten there by now, I’m going to keep going.
Know that it is okay to choose to stop, though. For example, in 2010, I stopped working in the corporate world, despite having to take a huge gamble on entrepreneurship to leave a job I hated. I gave up and left the corporate path I thought I had wanted for years before that. It wasn’t worth the stress.
Choose To Respect The Process
Well, a friend of mine coined this term yesterday. What process, you ask? Well, whatever goal we have in sight, we have to remember that it’s not all in our control.
Actually, this is the HARDEST part for me, especially when I’ve been diligently following plans that are not working for me. Sometimes, the process is going to take longer, and be more challenging in one or two areas of your life than it is for those around you.
RESPECT the process. That’s my goal for the next three months, when I’m following a new strategic plan and “giving it my all”.
How do you all feel about respecting the process? About having patience and not being able to control the whole path towards our goals? As this is a topic that’s particularly emotional for me, I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Have a lovely and productive Monday!
P.S. Photo fans, the main photo for today’s post (and poster!) is from a kickboxing tournament I was part of, in Whitby, Oxford (2013).
Grab Your Free Motivational Posters!