Originally published at stronginsideout.com on July 5, 2017.
I’ve been 125 lbs and I’ve been 155 lbs.
I’ve regularly eaten 1000 calories a day and I’ve also routinely eaten so much it hurt to breathe.
I’ve logged 2 1/2 hours of exercise a day, 6 days a week, and I’ve gone for months without moving my body at all.
I’ve put hours into: increasing the weight I can lift; getting insanely specific with corrective exercises; running further, faster; getting into crazy yoga inversions even when my body wasn’t ready, and more methods of movement that experts told me I hadn’t been doing enough of before.
None of it was ever enough.
After years spent subscribing to the idea that honing my metrics would perfect me as a person, I’ve realized that these numbers are worthless. Metrics don’t make us better or worse. They force us to qualify ourselves — they give us something to feed off of when we can’t see the worth within ourselves.
Focusing on increasing our worth by perfecting our metrics is deriving happiness and fulfillment from someone else’s definition of “good enough.” When we reach the numbers that someone has labeled as “good,” there’s always more. The desire turns into need turns into desperation, and it never ends.
I made these numbers, these qualifications, my worth. One extreme was good, and the other was bad, and when I fell into either of them, I also became good or bad as a person.
Many of us have been taught that extreme thinking is something to strive for. To our detriment, we’ve normalized it. We extremists want all passion or nothing at all. We want to dive in head first or we might as well not even start. We want fast results NOW, otherwise it’s not working or we’re not working hard enough.
We’re taught that the gray zone is mediocrity; that it’s just as bad as the negative extreme.
Well, I have a radical perspective shift that might finally help you find some peace: the gray zone isn’t failure. This gray zone (balance) is in fact the goal. This is where the bliss and peace is actually found.
This gray zone is where true Health lives. The journey is the goal.
How many times have you read that last part of that sentence or a similar piece of advice and just glazed over it, not taking it in, not really even seeing it because it’s so far from the truth of your current belief system that it just comes across as filler? Can you do me a favor? Take a deep breath, then go back and read that italicized, bolded line two more times:
The journey is the goal.
– take another deep breath –
The journey is the goal.
Having reached my goals in many areas, I know first-hand that there’s no or very limited relief in the achievement. When we place our worth in the achievement of a goal, we need it. It’s too heavily charged with desperation. We are looking to be made whole by something that will never have that power.
And yet, I see so many of my clients striving, putting off any kind of satisfaction until the “end.” It’s for them and for you that I say with all my heart and soul:
You are so much more than some high and mighty “performance health pro’s” number requirement. Every day that you wake up and feel good about what you’ve done is the win. Every day you wake up and tell yourself it’s not enough is the metric-mind speaking for you.
You’ve been told not to fit in, but then you’ve subscribed to the idea that you need to fit this mold of beauty, strength and worth. You’re being advertised conformism in a non-conformist façade. Your worth doesn’t depend on any of that bullshit.
Starting today, I’m going to encourage you to rebel against the metric-mind. Stand with me as we stand up to the collective “performance health”-bullies who preach that we need to be X to be good enough.
FUCK them. We are enough because we are breathing! We are enough because of this fire that lives within us that doesn’t need to blaze to be enough.
When our fire rages, we are enough. When it merely smolders, we are enough. Even when we burn out, we are enough.
The term, “health,” has been poisoned by “experts” from all realms of fitness and wellness. In fact, I’m guilty of it, too. Before this awareness, I was a metric-mind subscriber and peddler. For that, I’m so sorry. It’s why I removed a large chunk of old posts from this site. It’s now my mission to make it up to you.
Now that I’ve woken up, it’s my mission to redefine what “health” truly is. To strip away the bullshit requirements of “good enough” so that we can focus back in on what makes us feel good, now and for the long haul.
I commit to you to redefine Health from a place of loving acceptance, fire and balance.
I commit to welcoming, encouraging and guiding the willing goal-getters-turned-journey-seekers, no qualifications required.
I commit to putting you as a human being first; over numbers, over skills, over molds.
From here on out, Strong Inside Out is a metric-free safe zone for you to be fully who you are, however you choose to show up.
You never have to be alone again as you go through this journey. Come stand with us, and bring your fire. We’re going to need it.
Stand with me on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag, #fmetrics. Make it easy — click here.
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Amy Clover is a speaker, writer and mental health advocate. This post was originally published on StrongInsideOut.com, a site devoted to helping you build individual health — mind, body + spirit — without scales or judgment. Join the email list to get weekly inspiration + goodies >> Click here.