How to fail



Shame -> Innovation

Shame and embarrassment block innovation. Have you gained five pounds, blown a presentation, or tried a new healthy recipe that turned out gross? That’s embarrassing, but that’s also part of trying.

It’s so important to see failure as a sign of creative and courageous effort. Develop resilience by welcoming criticism (“It was awful, wasn’t it?”), admitting vulnerability (“I wish it had turned out differently!”), fighting perfectionism (“Better luck next time!”) and discounting what others think (“I’d like to see you take a shot at it, too.”)



Avoid the negative self-talk that stops you from completing that project. As weird as it sounds, accepting yourself and loving yourself where you are now, despite your existing flaws, quiets the self-critiquing until you’ve finished.

Don’t work on a project and criticize your work at the same time. Savor the imperfections of a work in progress and have more fun along the path.


Impulsive -> Patient

It may take some time for you to recognize – and accept – the benefits of a particular failure.

I remember sitting in a therapist’s office every week for a year, unraveling my failed marriage, and trying to figure out what led to my deep sense of unhappiness. My kids weren’t doing well. My work was successful but unsatisfying. I’d like to say I solved all my problems in that year, but I think I merely laid the groundwork. Even though I worked out action plans to help focus my efforts on solutions, those results were still years in development.


Devastation -> Adaptation

Although wallowing in past failures is a recipe for dysfunction, let yourself feel anger or disappointment in the moment, so you can prevent prolonged regret.

If you catch yourself ruminating (getting mentally and emotionally stuck, chewing things over and over again), take your mind in a different direction. Establish a mental board of directors whose advice will help change your internal narrative. Include great leaders who focus on love, like Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, and the Dalai Lama. Connect with your spiritual leaders regularly by signing up for their newsletters on their websites or following them on Facebook.


Don’t let your failure be the final word on your worth or ability. Failure is not the beginning of a trend. Not getting along with your boss doesn’t make you a bad spouse or a lousy parent.

To grow from failure, figure out what you did wrong so you don’t do it again. Consider creating a pie chart (using a paper plate). Start to think about all the different factors that contributed to the failure. How much did each factor contribute? Some of the slices may be factors you couldn’t control, but many factors may be under your control: I can choose healthier foods; I can focus on health and freshness instead of taste and creaminess; I can stop eating as soon as I feel full; I can exercise before work.

The pie chart provides an objective way of looking at a situation, offering visible proof that your individual actions are just part a larger whole plan that also involves the difficulty of the task and the contributions of others. As you plan further goals, you can proactively identify and work harder on the parts that lie within your control.

FAMOUS FAILURES – I’m impressed at the number of people who became superstars in the exact same area of interest where they failed miserably in the first place!

1919 Walt Disney is fired from his newspaper job for “lacking imagination”

1926 Lucille Ball is told by her acting coach that “she’s wasting her time, and ours”

1936 John F. Kennedy runs for president of the freshman class at Harvard – and loses.

1960 Steven Spielberg is rejected by the film school at the University of Southern California

1962 The Beatles are turned down by Decca Records

1973 Hillary Clinton failed the D.C. bar exam

1975 Anna Wintour is fired from Harper’s Bazaar because her shots are too edgy.

1977 Oprah Winfrey is fired from her news hosting job for getting too emotionally involved in her stories.

1980 Bill Clinton loses re-election as governor of Arkansas

1981 Michael Bloomberg is fired by investment bank Salomon Brothers

1985 Steve Jobs is fired from the Macintosh division of Apple

1996 J.K. Rowling is turned down 12 times for her Harry Potter manuscript

This year – you decided to try again to achieve something that matters dearly to you. I love you for that. You’re amazing. Turning all that negative into positive is strength and grace personified. Own it. It’s yours!

Controlling Cravings

As babies, we ate intuitively: We fussed when we were hungry and stopped eating when we were full. As we grew older, the world around us began influencing what, when and how much we chose to eat. After years of advertising, overabundance, and grandma’s comfort foods, we’ve completely lost touch with our real hunger and satiety signals. We confuse cravings with hunger and end up overeating—or emotionally eating—as a result.

But hunger and cravings are very different, and by learning to distinguish the two, you can be more satisfied with your meals and reduce your calories without feeling the urge to continue eating. Here’s what you need to know to get back to your intuitive eating roots and manage your weight.

Hunger: Eating to Nourish

By definition, hunger is “the painful sensation or state of weakness caused by the need of food.”

Simply put, hunger is a signal from your body that you need nourishment.

When you’re truly hungry, your stomach, brain, or both, will give you cues to tell you to eat. Signals from your stomach may be growling, an empty, hollow feeling, or hunger pangs. Your brain may send signals such as a headache, trouble concentrating, irritability or fogginess. Hunger does not go away — although it can decrease as your body turns to stored protein for energy.

The breakdown of proteins results in a syndrome called ketosis, where protein breakdown products accumulate in the blood, damaging the kidneys and liver, but also tricking the brain into a feeling of satiety. Any food will satisfy your hunger and take the hunger signals away.

Another important strategy, as you become aware of your hunger signals, is to eat with others and allow distractions during your mealtimes, so that the food is not the main attraction of your meal. Watching TV, reading, using the computer or paying bills while eating is not what I’m talking about.

Eating with others will help you slow down, and you’ll be able to sense your satiety earlier. You’ll also eat less when you surround yourself with others – I’m convinced that disordered eating is mostly done in private, in the nighttime of in a car, for example.

Try having a conversation with a friend while you are checking your Facebook feed, and notice how this distraction limits your attention to your friend. Welcome these distractions at mealtimes and allow yourself to take the focus away from the food.

Appetite: Your Interest in Food

We talk a lot about appetite: “I worked up an appetite at the gym.” Appetite is not the same thing as hunger; it actually refers to an interest in food.

It’s often said that someone’s appetite can override their hunger and fullness, and this is what allows for overeating when you’re not really hungry.

How many times have you sat down to a delicious meal and continued eating even though you were experiencing sensations of fullness? This is an example of appetite overriding the signals from your body.

As you start becoming more aware of hunger signals, you’ll become an expert at identifying appetite versus hunger.

Cravings: Your Desire for Specific Foods

Cravings are very different than hunger. Look up “crave” in the dictionary and you will see “to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly.” Usually, the foods you crave are not a necessity and are often unhealthy.

Cravings, unlike hunger signals, change over time, even over a period of 10 minutes. They are usually triggered by emotions (stress, boredom, sadness, etc.), or proximity to appetizing food. Driving past a coffee shop reminds you how much you’d like a latte, right? Unlike hunger, where any food will quell the sensation, only one specific food will satisfy a craving.

Consider looking deeper into why that craving is there. Are you bored? Did you have a stressful day at home or work? Did doughnuts appear in the cafeteria and now all you can think about is eating one (a thought that previously hadn’t even crossed your mind)? Dig into the reason behind your longing for a certain food.

Certainly, it’s important to take pleasure from food and get satisfaction from the food. Cravings are normal and have a place in a balanced diet. But learning to satisfy them in a controlled manner will keep your relationship with food in balance.

This makes it even more important to stop and examine why you want to eat something. Many healthy eaters have come up with delicious and crave-worthy recipes that can satisfy their longings for a particular food without going overboard. Other times, you may simply choose to eat the food you’re craving. Both situations are OK as long as you are making conscious decisions and practicing moderation in the 90/10 Reset Revolution way.

When you stop to think about your hunger and fullness levels, your appetite and cravings will be more in control surrounding food, which can help you return to an intuitive way of eating that helps you manage your weight without ever going hungry or feeling deprived.


Why Balance Helps You Lose Weight: 4 Key Steps

By Sean Cordry, Get Waisted Coach in Morristown, TN

We know that weight control is about balancing the energy from the food we eat with the energy that we expend doing stuff. Usually, we think about this balance over a twenty-four-hour time period. But, your body doesn’t want to balance energy over a twenty-four hour period, but over a time span of just a few hours.

Take Jill, for example, who thinks, “I’m eating out tonight, so I’ll save some calories by skipping lunch. That way, I’ll still come in under 1400 Calories for the day.” This is a convenient way for Jill to think, but as it turns out, no one bothered to tell Jill’s body that it was supposed to work this way.

All afternoon, Jill’s body would be in starvation mode, slowing her metabolism and maybe even scavenging some lean muscle mass. (Her body doesn’t know about Jill’s dinner plans.)

Later, when she overeats at Chef Bubba’s Soul Food Buffet, her body will go into fat-storage mode, and slap that piece of blueberry pie right on her hips. The net effect is that Jill is not as lean tomorrow as she is today; her percent body fat has increased.

So, eat when you’re hungry, and don’t over-indulge when you do.

That first part is pretty easy, but the second part is tricky. How can you make sure you eat the right amount of food at each meal? Your stomachs tells you, but you need to learn how to listen.

Here are some tips to help get in tune with your tummy.

  1. Fibrous foods first. Your stomach takes about twenty minutes to register how full it is. Start your meal with low-calorie offerings that will take up lots of space in your stomach. Later, when you start on higher calorie, carbohydrate-rich foods, you won’t eat so much.
  1. Mind your food. Eating is a full-sensory experience: see it, feel it, hear it crunch in your mouth, smell the aroma, and taste it with your whole mouth. Wait until your bite makes it all the way to your stomach before you shovel in another. For one meal a day, eat completely without distractions: no radio, no TV, no books, no YouTube, no work – just you and your food.
  1. Pause for Pandora. The infamous goddess let temptation get the best of her and regretted it. Don’t let that happen to you. After eating about three-quarters of your food, pause. After five minutes or so, see how your tummy feels, then decide: will finishing this plate of food unleash regret?
  1. Quench arguments between your tongue and your tummy. Sometimes, our mouths say, “More,” when our tummies say, “Done.” When this happens, I’ve found it’s usually time for a big drink of cool water. Cravings for something sweet or salty after a meal can simply mean that you’re thirsty.

Be patient with yourself. Your tummy isn’t used to being listened to, and it can be bashful.

Sean Cordry is a Get Waisted Director in Morristown, TN. He discovered the light and came out of the cave, switching from a “paleo” diet to a plant-based one. As a physics professor, martial arts instructor, novelist, blogger and health coach, he stays busy.




Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD

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