I used to stop what I was doing and look at my “mom arms” all the time.
I didn’t realize it but it was my equivalent to smoking — a bad habit that actually made it more difficult to be healthy or productive.
Let me explain.
This isn’t about weight loss.
When we’re building something, it’s easy to look at all the parts or the things that don’t look any different and feel frustrated or let down that something’s not working.
For me, it was losing arm fat, tightening that muscle.
I used to randomly look at my triceps and jiggle the fat, thinking about how I couldn’t see any difference despite the exercises I was doing.
I’d get frustrated, start ruminating about everything I was doing and feel guilty because I felt like I should’ve been doing more. As the old saying goes, “What you do in one thing, you do in everything,” and for me, this bad habit of critiquing each piece without giving it time to strengthen, grow or fit into a larger puzzle went beyond my arm fat.
The thing is, a lot of things we do every day don’t have an appearance of improvement.
We go to the gym four times a week and see nothing for weeks, if not months. We wake up and brush our teeth, but day to day you can’t see anything. We wake up to work on that project every day, never feeling like we’re closer to success.
Until one day we wake up and we have muscles. We look at our teeth and they’re white. Our project suddenly has form and all we have to do is continue that last push to get what we want.
Because we put in the work.
It’s tempting to judge ourselves harshly. In fact, it’s completely understandable. We’ve been taught our entire lives to judge and that it’s okay to be judged. To critique our processes. Be better. Do more. Feel bad about everything we’re doing because it doesn’t fit some crazy idea of what it should be.
It’s easier to judge.
I think we can do better than that, especially if we want to reach our goals in life.
What if instead of checking in every single day to see if we have progress, we check in to feel if we love the process?
One of the worst things we can do is stop to see how far we’ve come when we don’t love what we’re doing and haven’t built any resistance to giving up.
I’m a self-awareness fiend, so I completely understanding checking on progress and being present as we work, but if we haven’t worked long enough or hard enough, don’t feel committed to the process, or lack the willpower to continue despite not seeing any improvement, we will fail.
How can you reach the feeling you want if you’re critiquing every step of the way? Or if you’re judging what it should be. Critiques need to happen at the end. Auditing happens during.
So stop looking at your arm fat or whatever your equivalent is.
Enjoy the process and you’ll get there. Commitment and consistency will carry you every day, get you results, and might even lead to other amazing things.