I don’t’ give myself enough credit in this department and my guess is, neither do you. We often look at our work-in-progress-bodies and wonder why, after all this hard work, it isn’t perfect yet. Even if we can acknowledge its better, it’s not perfect…and that’s disappointing. If you’ve ever tried very hard over a long period of time to lose weight only to fall short of your ultimate goal you know what I’m talking about. After 15 months of perfect dieting and no less than 8 workouts per week during that entire time (I was walking every morning in addition to my interval cardio and strength training), I still didn’t get there. I know why – it wasn’t for lack of trying. I was not sleeping and way too stressed to be in a healthy hormonal place to get those last few pounds off (and I was injured). And that’s all fine and good to know “why” but it still was maddening! Worst of all, because I didn’t reach my goal, I didn’t feel good about the progress I did make. While I was frustrated to no end that I didn’t reach my goal before getting hurt, here’s what did happen over those 15 months: *My workout frequency was higher and more consistent than it’s ever been and that has carried on almost a year later. I have completely stopped talking myself out of hitting the gym to work another hour or any other excuse. *I had finally made recovery – like foam rolling and stretching – a part of my exercise regimen. I used to finish a workout and say, “I’ll stretch when I get home”, but by the time I got back home to shower I’d be on my Blackberry and email had stolen my attention – stretching would have to wait. Skipping recovery for years had left me injured and unbalanced. I am still not perfect with this, but it happens way more often than it used to. *My diet is healthier – and more consistent – than ever. I eat more vegetables and I cook more for myself, ordering in only once every couple weeks or less. I now bring my meals to work with me – which on long days is often 5 meals. I have a Sunday night ritual where I prep meals for the week and I enjoy it. I make better choices when I am at a restaurant and I finally drink enough water – at least most days! *And most recently, I’ve managed to squeeze in this daily blog in the midst of many other writing commitments and my practice. This daily discipline of stopping to see all the good that’s going on and appreciate what I have has been a huge gift. But alas, when I look at how hard I’ve worked and the fact that I’m still “not quite there” it’s disappointing. Part of the issue is that I was so strict for so long that I find it hard to commit that fully to the diet I need to have in order to sprint through this home stretch – I wonder if I can do it… I know I’m not the only woman to feel this way, I help women deal with this feeling every day at my office. What do I tell them? Of course they can do it! Most of my patients are successful, driven, amazing women who run companies, own their own business, raise families and do any number of incredible things, of course they can adhere to a nutrition and exercise plan! It feels harder than it is…it took a lot of discipline to achieve all the other amazing things we’ve done. All weight loss takes is just more discipline. Think you don’t have it? Look at how many things you’ve accomplished that are unrelated to weight loss? How many successes have you had with your health and weight loss? Just cuz you aren’t there yet doesn’t mean those new habits and smaller success don’t count. I supposed my small handful of graduate degrees, owning a couple of businesses and managing to thrive in a tough city should give me a little confidence that I can eat some good food for several days in a row huh? I may not have a perfect body yet, but I do have discipline – and so do you.