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Failure Is Not Your Enemy


January 29, 2018

For the conclusion of Wall Street Cosmetic Surgery’s series on long-term weight loss and lifelong health changes, we want to talk about a dirty word: failure. At some point, all of us stall or move backward on our journey to the body we want. We each stumble, and let’s be honest: it’s discouraging.

In many cases, people abandon their goals after they experience enough failures, and the entire process leaves us less likely to try again. Many of us don’t even attempt to make changes to our lifestyle because we’re afraid to fail.

That’s why we wanted to write today’s blog: to help us frame failure in a different way and keep us moving forward after we stall or stumble.

Failure Can Only Mean One Thing: You’re Growing

Failure means you reached beyond yourself to something better—something higher. Failing doesn’t mean you’re weak or that you are a failure. Failing means you tried something difficult, and that’s worth celebrating. When it comes to weight loss (either with a workout routine or with eating), the important thing to remember is that you are in the middle of a process.

If you remember that you’re a work in progress, every failure isn’t an end–it’s an opportunity to learn. Examine each failure without shame and without resenting yourself; instead, look at each failure to figure out how you can learn from it. This is how we grow, and this is how we sustain change.

Think in Terms of Decades, Not Pounds

It’s important for us to recognize that long-term weight loss is exactly that: long-term. If we’re truly making a lifelong change, give yourself time to adjust to new habits and new ways of thinking. You’re not trying to lose 60 pounds in 60 days—that’s not healthy. Instead, imagine yourself as a sculptor chiseling your own future body, chip by chip.

Another reason failure discourages us is fear: many of us are afraid of never reaching our goal, or that we’ll never “fit in that dress,” “look that good in a suit,” or “find someone who loves my body.” One way to let go of that fear is to remain patient in the process. Are you trying to lose weight by your high school reunion? Trying to look trim for an upcoming vacation?

If you eat off-plan or skip the gym for a couple weeks, don’t think about that deadline—think about your entire life. Chances are that even if you skip the gym for a couple weeks, that’s not really a “failure” when you’re thinking in terms of 20 or 30 years. It’s a blip. Don’t let a blip stop you.

We leave you with one last thought:

You’re not powerless to change. Failure convinces us that we’ll never overcome ourselves, but it’s not true. You can change, and you will—as long as you give yourself room to fail and learn in the process. It’s not about reaching the end. It’s about walking in the same direction.


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