Average to Athlete: I’m Not Perfect. So What?!

by Jacob Warwick
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Average to Athlete: I’m Not Perfect. So What?!

No gimmicks. This is real.

I have progressed immensely since embarking on my health journey. I have seen weight loss upwards of 60 pounds and weight gains ballooning back 25 pounds. There have been bouts of depression, anxiety, and unrealistic expectations. Success has been prevalent as well: career success from improved confidence, mountain summits, and a high altitude half marathon. Along this roller coaster, these three points have been my guidelines. I’ve learned that good health can be achieved through a positive attitude, a consistent plan, and a tenacity for self improvement.

I enjoy writing for the HelloHealthy community, because it has given me a sounding board to continually grow. The comments and feedback from readers is raw. REAL people voicing their trials and tribulations. I cannot find a more welcoming and beautiful community. With that said, here is some advice I have picked up along the way.

Learn to accept less than perfection. Learn to fail. These have been difficult but rewarding lessons in my health journey. Coworkers bring cookies – and you eat them. Families make dinners – and you over-indulge. Friends go to bars – and you drink.

Temptation.

Temptation is ubiquitous and quick health trends are not sustainable. We are almost driven to lack self-control, self-esteem, and give into peer-pressure. We learn quickly that health equates to sacrifice. While there is truth in this, I invite you to take a different approach.

1. Health is moderation.

Health isn’t about denial, it’s about discipline. A healthy lifestyle revolves around moderation. Focus on making healthy decisions nine times out of ten. If you make one healthy decision today, try for two tomorrow. Never punish yourself for making mistakes. Brush off your shoulders and pick it back up, tomorrow is a new day.

2. Health is community.

Talk about your latest efforts. Share your experiences with your friends and family. Many of my friends experience similar struggles regarding health and weight control. We’re not perfect. Being open about our health invites others to inspire.

3. Health is consistency.

I used to think that I could flip a switch. Wellness, healthy eating, exercise… These are all habits that develop in our journey through life. It’s not something that we do tomorrow, it’s what we live every damn day. Our decisions right now influence our community and our future selves.

If you have any comments or feel like reaching out, I am open to conversation. Together we can be healthy and accepting of our real bodies, our real struggles, and our real lives. Keep moving forward and don’t give up. If my story has motivated you in anyway, please share with your friends and family.

Stay fit my friends.

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  • Joshua Hartley

    I am 24 and lost 85lbs in 2010. I then gained back 50lbs. I am currently down 12 1/2 lbs. and will keep going. What are some best practices of yours?

    • Focus on drinking water and staying consistent. Water has helped me so much. (It’s not just the water, it’s the conscious effort that keeps you thinking healthy and positive. The one constant focus on water reminds me to make healthier decisions elsewhere.)

      • Karlo Garcia

        I am drinking at least 8 – 10 cups the last 2 days 🙂

  • Lisa Burch

    Thank you I really needed to ear this. My whole family and I are on a journey to get healthy this year. We created a facebook group page for just us where we can share about our journey loss and gain and issues. It really helps me I know to be able to that. Thanks again for sharing..

    • Happy to help Lisa, that’s a great idea that you have with the group! Keep me posted with your results!

  • Jay

    Keep up the good work Jacob! I seem to struggle with “Never punish yourself for making mistakes” the most. Sometimes I feel so low for setting the unrealistic targets or not keeping on track with health goals I end up overeating, it’s instant gratification followed by further shame, it’s a bad cycle to get into and true what they say you can be your own worst enemy, it’s certainly not impossible to get out of, everyone has success and failure and everybody is different sometimes you just have to stop looking at everyone else and accept who you are. Learn to take the good with the bad and just keep moving forward!

    • Jessie

      I totally feel that! I have my own struggles with this mindset too. Though I’m sorry that you find yourself in this cycle, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. And at least we realize it! I think it is important to take a step back to view and appreciate ourselves still. 🙂

  • Lindy Davis Crawford

    Wow!! I really needed to read this today. I have been on a fairly dedicated journey to achieve a healthier life style for about a year and a half now. i have lost 50 pounds and then started to have problems with my gallbladder. I had surgery to have it removed last July. Throught that portion of my journey I gained back 23 pounds. I am proud to say I am back at it, making mindful choices. This week has been particularly rough as we all have the flu, and I have not been able to get to the gym and do my normal routine. I started to allow myself to entertain feelings of disgust and self loathing, however, I know better, this is out of my control and I will do my best while we are all ill, and I will get back at it as I am able. I think what really helped me with your article is the message that you will have ups and downs and you must learn to roll with it, don’t allow yourself to dwell on things, take your wins and your losses, pick up your bootstraps and keep on keepin on! Thank you for sharing this, I know that so many people are motivated and positively influenced!

    • Lindy! You rock! Really appreciate the support. This community is amazing. Remember that you are an inspiration!

  • Ms Trim

    Having lost 80 pounds, I understand everyone’s comments. I still struggle to maintain my progress without allowing myself to digress.

    • Hang in there! That’s some impressive work!

      • Ms Trim

        I’m definitely going to stick with it. Not only is it amazing to wear jeans that are seven sizes smaller than when I started, I love the way I feel. Being overweight was mentally exhausting. I’m down 82 pounds today. I’m currently 14 pounds below my original goal weight and just trying to maintain.

        • Truly inspiration. Consistency pays off!

        • Ken Roper

          Super job, Ms Trim! Proud of you!

  • Just Me

    I wish they had a like button. Because, you are helpful. Some of us aren’t as “chatty” as others

    • Hey, a reply is better than a like button! Thank you for the kind words. Inspiring others also inspires me, so I have been getting something out of it too!

  • Jonathan W

    Jacob great words I am not sure if my posted comment is showing so I am trying re re write it. I struggle with the perfection issue in my mind. I know what I want to look like but the mirror never agrees.

    • Al

      This kid has bad gyno, get checked bro..

    • Ugh, that mirror is a nasty character huh? Obsessing is so difficult to get over, focus on progress and finding your rhythm. And focus on that positive mindset! You rock!

  • Ashley

    Holy cow, I really needed to read this today. Thank you for being such an inspiration!!!!!

  • Corkydoesit

    Jacob, Awesome article and well written. I often fall into the trap of overeating later at night. I find that when I drink lots of water during the day, its almost as if every glass is cleaning the “filter” that is our bodies. It helps to be kind to ourselves and fill your mind with positive thoughts during the day, so that when workout time comes, you feel great that you are making further progress!! I just started back and have lost 6 lbs in 3 weeks. Its a good start and my goal is to drop 20 in a healthy way through lifestyle not a short term diet and exercise plan… Heres to a succesful 2015 and beyond. Remember success is relative to your attitude!

    -Topnotch40’s to come

    • Very sound advice. My focus on water helps me focus on the other things too, like over eating at night (Happens to me too, but damn the Oreos were calling me I swear!)

  • Frustrated

    Thanks. I really needed to read this today. My mind is constantly yo-yo-yoing between body disgust and wanting to change. I have failed many times and but I hate where u am at. As Ms Trim said, it is a constant emotional battle being overweight. Thanks for your inspiration and I look forward to following you.

    • Consistency will get there, don’t hate you! Use those emotions to motivate yourself. You got this!

  • Tavster

    I’ve been with fitness pal for a while and it’s been very therapeutic we all go through stumbling blocks and watch your weight is fine but how do you feel in the inside how do your cloths fit, as you get fitter you gain muscles, and lets face it we don’t talk about the fact that a square inch of muscle weighs more than a square inch of fat…. Weight training is a great way of helping slim down lose fat and feel orsome (I’m not talking Arne) just a tone up :)) trust me high reps low weight makes a long lean muscular frame 😉 play grounds can make a great gym planks on the swings press ups on the bench lunges and step up on the bench and for the adventures lunges on the swings tricep dips and pull ups on the climbing frame 🙂 enjoy life and live it to the full 🙂 you go dued !!!!

    • lindsay

      Never stop. You can always start over the next day and make good and healthy choices. It’s not easy. It’s worth it though.

  • Cee12

    This made me feel so much better! I constantly crash diet and I’ve finally listen to my boyfriend and have tried moderation! And I’ve lost 3 pounds this week!
    Working out is kind of hard how do I motivate myself to be constant with working out?

    • Stick with what you can at first. It helps to find something that you love, and work out to improve your sport ig. tennis, volleyball, basketball…

  • Sally

    Great story & inspiration ♡ I personally lost 15 last year & gained back about 6. I recently changed jobs & now I sit at a desk for 8 hours rather than on my feet. Getting back to logging calories & hitting the gym 4-5 days a week. I haven’t shed a pound yet. Super frustrating. Then, I read your story. Staying motivated & strong. Fit will be my life.

    • The scale often times holds too much control in our lives. Do you feel good working out? Do you get more energy and motivation? Learning to love that energy will help develop consistency, then the weight becomes a byproduct.

  • Charlie

    Great article and comments, and really appreciate the positive tone and attitude. I agree that success is largely tenacity – learning to get back on track despite all of our mistakes, injuries, and other issues life throws at us. It’s really helpful to have supportive friends, family, and/or coworkers, as well as folks like Jacob sharing their wisdom and experiences.

  • Tara S

    Congrats Jacob!
    I am stuggling. I need good ideas. I don’t eat a lot of meat. I need breakfast ideas bad!!! Can someone maybe make a menu for the week? Thanks all.

    • Do you like eggs? They are my secret weapon in the morning. The protein keeps me going! Generally make myself an omelette with 2 whole eggs and 3 egg whites. Oh, and broccoli. I love broccoli. A serving of steel cut oats and you have yourself quite the breakfast. Then toss in an orange before lunch!