pushing through the messy middle

Pushing Through (Week 4)

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Getting Uncomfortable and as you can imagine, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride thus far. At this point in time, I’m smack dab in that part of any journey where things can go either way. At any point in time, you can give up because it’s getting too hard and results aren’t coming as fast or as steadily as you want. It’s really, really hard to find a reason to go on. Pushing through the messy middle is PAINFUL.

You Guys Know How This Goes…

You start off with a new project—it doesn’t even have to be weight loss. It can be anything that you need to be in for the long haul, training for a race, going for a degree, raising a toddler (or a teen)… You start off all gung ho. First you do your research and you find out everything you need to know about this task you’re setting yourself upon. Then, you get excited. This is going to be more AWESOME than a Lego movie! You are going to ROCK THIS! You are going to be the best person who has ever (INSERT PROJECT HERE)! There is nothing that’s going to stand in your way! And for the first week or so, it is awesome. You are rocking it! Even when it seems hard, you remind yourself of what you signed up for and you give yourself a little pep talk. And you make it through that first week. You even might make it through the second and third and fourth and fifth weeks. But somewhere along the way…

Things Get Rough

Some days you feel invincible and like nothing will stand in the way of your success. Other days, you feel like you’re a fool for even thinking you can do this. It feels easier to just give up. And that’s what most people actually do instead of pushing through this part. They give up. I wanted to do just that a couple of times this week. Not that I wanted to faceplant into a plate of loaded nachos or anything (YUM), but I did find myself…well, bargaining with myself to stay in this “game”. I needed to find some way to start pushing through.

Wait…What Exactly Is the Messy Middle?

I know, I had never heard of this concept either, even though I’ve probably experienced it dozens of times in my lifetime. However, I was listening to my favorite blog podcast the other day (yes, I am a total nerd, I know) and I was confronted with exactly what I was going through. Ruth Soukup is not only an amazing blogger who has literally built a blogging empire from nothing, she has a fantastic podcast called “Do it Scared” . This podcast is primarily for people starting business or blogging, but it is absolutely relevant to so many of us who aren’t, as well. Her guests and the stories she shares are so inspirational—and exactly what is helping me push through the messy middle. The Messy Middle, according to Ruth (and I believe she coined this phrase from Scott Belsky, author of The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Venture) is that part in the middle of your journey where you aren’t excited anymore. You aren’t seeing these results you want, and the finish line is sooooo very far away. Sort of like Mile 6 of a half marathon.

This is Exactly Where I Found Myself This Week

I wan’t exactly thrilled with my progress so far, and the finish line to this project definitely seemed really far off. I started to doubt the whole weight loss thing… Like did I really need to lose 23 lbs? Couldn’t I just be happy with myself the way I was? It was really hard to see the forest for the trees at this point. Related Posts: Skinny Mom in a Not-So-Skinny Mom’s Body Speaks Out So in the messy middle, you have two choices basically. Giving up…or pushing through. Obviously if you’ve made a commitment to…well, committing to something, the best choice would be to push through. But how does one do that exactly?

Pushing Through the Messy Middle

Well, first off, remember way back in the beginning when I made a promise to you guys that I would see this through? Since I hate to break promises if I can help it, quite honestly, it was enough to inspire me to push through. Being accountable to someone—anyone—can be enough to prevent you from giving up when the going gets rough. But obviously, that might not be enough for someone else to crawl out of the dreary messy middle pile that drags us down when the going gets rough.

What Works for Pushing Through?

*Revisiting your goals could be instrumental to pushing through the messy middle. Seeing them written down can remind you of why you wanted to accomplish them in the first place. *Or maybe picturing yourself actually accomplishing your goals and what that would feel like. This can be inspiring—imagine yourself finishing a 5K or getting the keys to your very own house. What does it feel like? Do you want to have that feeling in real life? *Listening to an inspirational podcast like Ruth Soukup’s that can really help get you in the right frame of mind to push through that messy middle. Here is the link if you’d like to check it out. *Sometimes just allowing yourself a day off from your goals is good. Be okay with not staying on track for a day or two (like a cheat day) and get back in the swing of things the next day. Don’t wallow in the fact you had thoughts of giving up—just don’t give up!

You Know What Else Works?

Getting closer to your goal. Yeah. I got on the scale and lo and behold…I saw this:

img_3999 (Please ignore my toes, which are in desperate need of a pedicure—it IS winter after all.) That’s a loss of 3.2 lbs for those of you keeping track…a total of 8.8 lbs since I started my whole Getting Uncomfortable project in efforts to lose weight. It was definitely the much needed win today. At any rate, it’s enough to help me push through another week of the messy middle. Because I know there’s going to be many more weeks like this. I’m not near the finish line by any stretch of the imagination. But I’m going to keep pushing through until I get to my goal…and so should you. pushing through the messy middle]]>

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