What is failure?

I never pegged myself for someone who would enjoy baby classes. But since having my daughter I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in these classes. My favorite class is one called, baby yoga. Yup, we sit on the floor in a big circle and essentially put our babies in yoga poses. It’s adorable. We sing a song that goes, “you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and shake it all about, you do the Yogi Yogi and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.” So fun! Yes, I accept if you’re rolling your eyes reading this! Anywho, before the class, the teacher offers up a positive parenting lesson. This week she talked about failure. She explained that as parents we’re trained to celebrate success. Success is good, failure is bad. We all want our kids to succeed, we don’t want them to fail. We want to succeed, we don’t want to fail. She went on to say that we should actually start celebrating and welcoming failure. The reason, failure means we tried something hard, challenging, foreign, new. I loved this lesson so much. It took the negative connotation away from the word failure and made me think about failure in a different way.

I’ve been thinking about failure all week long. I am so thankful to Carmen for sharing this lesson with me. And I’ve been thinking about how it relates heavily to dieting. Failure is a word that often goes hand in hand with dieting. We all feel like failures when it comes to dieting, our bodies, what we weigh and what size we are wearing. Anyone reading this who isn’t currently at their goal weight feels like a failure. Anyone reading this who is carrying around extra weight feels like a failure. I’ve personally felt failure not having lost all the baby weight and not knowing if I ever will. Every time we give in to temptation and fall off our diets we tell ourselves we failed. Many of us wake up every Monday and feel like a failure for not sticking to our healthy eating plans over the weekend.

I’ve lost count of how many times I set out to change my body. The strong desire is there, I think I want it more than anything, I make changes, yet I experience repeated failure. I repeatedly eat the things I shouldn’t. I repeatedly weigh what I don’t think I should. Repeated failure when dieting causes us pain, anxiety, self doubt and embarrassment.

But her explanation changed that for me. And I think we can all learn from thinking that way. So let’s redefine failure when it comes to dieting.

Dieting is hard and some days it’s just not gonna happen for us. Life gets in the way. This past Saturday, for example, it was a monsoon rain on the jersey shore. So my family and siblings basically hunkered down in the house all day… eating. Life and Mother Nature, got in the way, it happens.

So we set out last Monday to diet and it didn’t work for us this week, we tried. That’s what’s important. Maybe we tried a new food or a new recipe, that’s what’s important. Maybe we made it to the gym or tried a new class, that’s what’s important. Maybe we drank more water or stopped drinking soda or alcohol. That’s what’s important. Maybe we simply cut back on something this week, like made our bowl of ice cream smaller or ordered a salad instead of a high calorie meal. These are all small successes in what looks like one big failure that we should actually be celebrating.

So guess what? You rock and you should be proud of yourself any and every time you TRY. Because if you failed at nothing, you tried nothing new:)

Happy Monday!!


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