How Embracing Imperfection Helped Me Get in the Best Shape Of My Life

For years I struggled to lose weight and get in shape.

I set goals I never reached, started diets I never finished, and spent way too much time beating myself up for not my lack of discipline and willpower.

I was struggling and thought I was the only one who couldn’t finish what I started. I assumed that everyone who was fit/slim/healthy stuck to their diets 100% of the time, exercised every day, and never messed up.

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I would start a new diet and inevitably mess up within the first few days which led me to throw in the towel altogether. The same was true for my workouts. I would set a goal to do cardio “x” amount of times per week and when I skipped a workout within the first week I considered it a failure.

And then when I “failed”, I’d go weeks without doing anything until I was so disgusted with my body and laziness that I would set another intention to “start again on Monday”.

After years of feeling frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged, I decided that I had had enough. I read the quote “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and knew something had to change.

I scaled back my expectations, allowed myself to skip workouts, and started focusing on eating healthy foods 80% of the time, and my body began to change.

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As it turns out, it wasn’t the failed diet and missed workouts that were holding me back from seeing results – it was my mindset.

The “all or nothing” mentality (or belief that I had to do things perfectly) was making it impossible for me to stick with anything long enough to see results.

Once I embraced imperfection, I was able to stay consistent for long periods of time because one bump in the road (skipped workout, extra glass of wine, etc.) didn’t throw me off track.

And the best part? I FINALLY started seeing results.

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My body began to change.

My habits solidified.

My strength increased.

My stress-levels went down.

Embracing imperfection helped me get in the best shape of my life. 

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Now, as a mom of 2 little ones and a business owner who works from home, embracing imperfection has never been more important.

Trust me, if I were trying to follow a plan perfectly in this season of life I wouldn’t last a day!

If you can relate to this “all or nothing” mentality and want to break free from the feelings of failure and discouragement, consider joining me in The Balanced Life Sisterhood. It’s designed specifically for women who are ready for a fresh, guilt-free approach to health & fitness – and want to embrace imperfection so they can be more consistent with their workouts.

I want you to experience this shift. I want you to experience this freedom. I speak from experience when I say embracing imperfection can change your body. And more importantly, it can change your life.

xo,

This post was written in partnership with Reebok Women as a part of their #perfectnever campaign. Clothing provided by Reebok Women: Elements Winter Pack Quilted Crew Sweatshirt, Hayasu Trainers, Dance Mesh Legging. (Currently LIVING in this entire outfit – I’ve been so happy with the quality and fit and highly recommend all of them!)

10 Comments
  1. Lauren C 10 months ago

    Hey Robin! How did the contest/nomination process (? I don’t know the right word) turn out with Reebok? You are MOST deserving of recognition in their campaign! Your philosophies and guidance have changed my life. Good luck and may your success and outreach continue to grow!

    • Author
      Robin Long 10 months ago

      Aw, thanks Lauren! I don’t think I made it into the finals so it wasn’t meant to be this time around! I SO appreciate you nominating me! xoxo

  2. Jamie 10 months ago

    Have you ever read Gretchen Rubin’s article on abstainers vs. moderators? As I was reading your post, my mind pinged back to some of the things she mentioned. Here’s the article if you’d like to check it out: http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2012/10/back-by-popular-demand-are-you-an-abstainer-or-a-moderator/. I’m definitely an abstainer! It may seem drastic to ‘never’ or ‘always’ but for me, it’s like I’m liberated of ever having to think about it again. Of course, there are moments where I say “Yes!” and totally enjoy it. 🙂

    • Author
      Robin Long 10 months ago

      Yes – thank you for the reminder! I need to review this. So good. 🙂

  3. Courtney Lee 10 months ago

    Robin, thanks for sharing again about your experience and how far you’ve come in living a life where you thrive and empower others to thrive. Using the word “skinny” makes it sound like that’s one of your aims (or that being skinny is what you meant by seeing positive changes in your body), and I know that is not your intent. I’m reading your post from the viewpoint of someone who may not know your background or story, whereas sisterhood members know exactly where you’re coming from. 🙂 Thanks again for always being real!

    • Author
      Robin Long 10 months ago

      Thank you for this Courtney! I’ll re-read and make sure it comes through as I meant it to. 🙂 I appreciate your help! xoxo

  4. Nathanya 10 months ago

    Robin I am have been following your you tube channel for quite some time, mixing it in with cardio. Your blog here just really reasonated with me as I feel so guilty now when I miss a workout and throw the towel in then and eat my guilt away and then starve myself to try to make up for it.. I’m getting married this year and I’m struggling. I need to lose roughly 10lbs but I’d love to lose 14 before the wedding and I feel I don’t know where to turn. There’s so much mixed advice out there. I’ve tried gym classes and my shape changed but my clothes didn’t fit as it was bulky muscle. I see that you lost weight and you look so amazing and I’m wondering was that strictly with your balanced life workouts or was there added cardio too. Obviously I know it’s diet too and I am beginning to tackle that but it’s the exercise department that I just feel so confused I don’t know what to do. I know you can’t tell me what to do but any advice to help a desperate and confused bride to be would be appreciated

  5. Antiquariat Jaipur 10 months ago

    I always looks like these type of blog. this is much informative and useful for everyone.

  6. Erin DeGroot 9 months ago

    Thank you for this Robin, it speaks to what I believe so many women feel! I’m so appreciative of you – I’ve been a Sisterhood member since day one and feel like we are close friends!! I want to simply thank you for all you do!

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