Friday, June 12, 2009

Living in the grey

Yesterday's "mountain" post was prompted by a few things: a couple of clients who are struggling at the moment (each for completely different reasons), a few blogs I've read lately, a conversation I had last week with another fitness professional, and my own personal experience with the ups and downs of living a fit life.

There's another point that I wanted to get across, more about the old black and white/all or nothing mindset that many of us fall victim to. That insistent (and incredibly WRONG) voice in your head that tells you that since you already messed up BIG time by eating those two Tim Tams, you may as well continue on and have X, Y and Z as well. What the hell, you've ruined everything anyway.

So on the one hand there's the white, where you do everything perfectly: train your butt off daily, eat 100% on-plan, drink seven billion glasses of water a day, sleep for eight hours every night, take all your supplements and walk around feeling virtuous. And probably a bit superior to the mere mortals who surround you.

On the other hand, there's the deep, dark black. Inhabiting that part of your personal reality means skipping workouts, eating crap - even though you may actually start each day with good intentions and a hot bowl of oats & whey - staying up late and drinking as much alcohol as you like because, hey; it's the weekend. Life's for living, right? And then you get to indulge in some serious self-flagellation by tossing a big dose of guilt, frustration, anger and tears into the mix.

The hard part for most people is grasping the concept that we actually live most of our lives in the various shades of grey in between those two extremes. We may have some perfect days, we may have some truly awful days, but neither is the norm. I've come to believe that the black days are useful, because hopefully you learn some important lessons from them. And as Bike Boy said to me once: You have to have a really crap workout now and then so you can recognise and appreciate a good one when it happens. I think that applies to life too.

We're human, we're imperfect, we lead busy and complicated lives and we should all aim to do our very best. That doesn't equal perfection. Sometimes perfection is what you'll get, but it rarely lasts. Mostly you have to accept good enough rather than perfect. Believe it or not, you can still achieve amazing things, living in the grey. And you tend to be a lot less driven or obsessed, and a lot more fun to be around.

Here's the important bit, so listen up: somewhere in the grey is the thing everybody's looking for: balance. And along with that comes an inner peace, acceptance of yourself - warts and all - and hopefully, happiness.

Now off you go and have a lovely, grey day.


AlleyCat Runs said...

sensational posts Kek. Thankyou.

Charlotte Orr said...

Great post Kek

KatieP said...

Love it Kerryn - I can recognise the black and white, but I need to remember that the particular shade of grey isn't constant either.

What constitutes balance, harmony and happiness today may not be the same thing tomorrow.

All shades of grey work, not just the perfect half way between black and white.

Magda said...

Yes I'm listening and you're coming through loud and clear. Grey is it. Grey is good. Grey is what we strive for. I'm printing this one off and putting it where I can see it every day to remind me that its not all about black and white (lord when that sinks in it'll feel like a lottery win)



Trixie said...

WOW,feel like this post was meant for me! I think if I had a blog it would be named "Shades of Grey". Thanks for addressing this topic:)

Unknown said...

Love this post! I am actually having a black day today- which, like you said will be usefull as I usually pick myself right back up and get back to it after the shock of a day like today. I can happily say that most days I travel along in the grey which lessens the feelings of guilt associated with the occasional black one!

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