How do you define failure?

1763319 group of funny animals with food

Have I failed?


Not really.

Well, maybe a little.

I mean, I guess it depends on how you look at it.

I don’t believe in getting an A for effort. But when it comes to making major life changes and working towards a lifelong goal – like losing weight, keeping it off, being in good shape, and staying healthy – I think there should be a bit of leeway.

It’s like when someone gives up smoking. Sometimes, you get a whiff of that smoke or see someone holding onto a cigarette after a meal, and you have a lapse.

I had a lapse.

I was down to 157 pounds. I was exercising 5 days a week.

Then depression and anxiety slipped in.

Every day it was a little harder to keep up.

I’d tell myself I “deserved” a whole Godiva bar for accomplishing a minor task, or I’d bribe myself with some premium, fully-loaded ice cream for being at all functional.

I stress-ate until I was full, and then I stress-ate some more because, hey, I’d already blown it, right? Might as well blow it all the way.

I stopped logging my food. Why bother? I knew I was eating too much, and I’d stopped getting any real exercise.

Eventually, the depression and anxiety began listing.

I weighed myself.

Back up to 166 pounds. And I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been on my exercise bike. Couldn’t remember the last time I’d meditated. Couldn’t remember the last time I’d logged my food.

Clearly, I’d messed up somewhere.

But was it failure?

I decided it wasn’t. I decided it was time for me to start again. I’d slipped up a bit. I’d fallen back on bad habits. It happened. I wasn’t excusing it, but I was understanding it.

I began logging my food. I began exercising – just 15 minutes a day, but better than nothing. I began meditating, even if it was just 10 minutes at a go.

I’m back down to 163 pounds.

Not an amazing jump, but it’s a difference. And if I keep it up, according to my little food and exercise tracking app, I should be able to get back down to my 157 by the end of the year.

Steady as she goes.





About Katherine Sanger

Katherine Sanger was a Jersey Girl before getting smart and moving to Texas. She's been published in various e-zines and print, including Baen's Universe, Black Petals, Star*Line, Anotherealm, Lost in the Dark, Bewildering Stories, Aphelion, and RevolutionSF, and edited From the Asylum, an e-zine of fiction and poetry. Her poetry has won numerous awards, including First Place in Byline's "Autumn Poem" contest, First Place in "Lucky Thirteen" contest sponsored by Sol Magazine, and Honorable Mention in: The Houston Chapter Award, The Hap Fulgham Prize, and The "Varoom-Varoom" Award.
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