Taking Risks and Facing Failure

Fitness is defined by how much progress you have made in your journey, no matter how little it may seem.  Whether it’s increasing your bench press by 5 pounds or 50 pounds, progress has been made and you are inching closer to your goal.

With progress comes risk and failure.  Adding weight to your max bench press, or any other lift, carries the risk of failing to complete your set and needing a spotter to help you finish.  You may only be able to crank out 3 reps, and be done.  And that’s OK.  To make progress, you have to test your limits and see how much you can lift.  Getting to the point of failure and not being able to do another rep means you’ve exerted the maximum amount of effort possible.  It encourages you to come back to the gym with a vengeance and turn failure into success.  Failure breeds success and progress, in part because failure forces you to try your hardest and motivates you to work harder.

In Master of the Flying Guillotine, Wu’s daughter sets a precedent and competes with only men in the martial arts tournament, the first time this has ever happened. Though she is not able to defeat her opponent and is bailed out by her father, she is able to gain experience from her failures, and is able to apply it to her future in martial arts.


Is cheating a good idea?

I know. Isn’t this a diet blog? Why did I post this mouthwatering picture of warm waffles drizzled in Nutella, topped with decadent ice cream and sweet strawberries? I know we’re all about promoting flexible eating here, but no matter how hard we try this meal would never fit our macros. But will it fit our minds? Let me explain with TWO WORDS:


A cheat meal is self explanatory; you go a whole week (or a few days) eating clean foods, and at the end of it treat yourself with one meal. This meal can be whatever you want it to be; even a whole pizza if need be. Now does this seem like a bad idea– or a good idea? At a cursory glance,  it may seem like a HORRIBLE idea. Why would you work so hard one week just to ruin it by eating an entire pizza, right?! WRONG.

Though seemingly a bad idea, it actually proves to be extremely efficacious and beneficial. Adequately planned cheat meals serve as a reward for hard work. It motivates the dieter to finish strong knowing that they’ll be indulging by the end of the week. It prohibits people from treating themselves too often or too little.

Sometimes bad ideas can turn out to be good, or good ideas can end up really bad. Thinking about such ideas can also be called “Bad Idea Farming.” Though something may seem like a great idea (for example firing all the teachers at FVHS), it might actually turn out catastrophic (the students rampage the halls and burn the entire school down without supervision).  This works the other way around as well; though something may seem like a bad idea (cheat meals), it may actually turn out very good (self discipline and reward).

-Minh Thu Le P. 6