Project Sexification: The Art of Failing

Have you ever had the feeling that things were going too good? Not just regular good, but good to the point where it didn’t feel like you were living your life anymore? If this were a typical day in the life of you, the big fail beast would be racing down the street at a breakneck speed to trip you up before you started to get too full of yourself.

That’s what went down in my life this week.  Since last check-in, I’ve been 100% compliant with my workouts and nutrition with no struggle at all. I was so on point with everything that I was within 1lb of my goal weight 5 days ago.

But then it happened. On purpose.

I failed in a big bad way, and I loved every minute of it.

After a pretty decent workout, I decided to go on what will go down in the history books as a roaring rampage in the supermarket. Mac & cheese? Yes please. Cookies? Don’t mind if I do. Cake? Oh you’re far too kind! I still got in my regular amounts of  fruit, veggies and protein, but when all was said and done I consumed over 5,000 calories. I was bloated and groggy for the rest of the day, and I wondered how bad the damage would be the next day.

Plus 7lbs from the day before. Perfect.

I know that it seems asinine to purposely mess up a good thing; that would be like stopping to do the James Brown 5 yards short of a game winning touchdown, but let me explain. It’s easy to be upbeat and positive when life is filled to the brim with sunshine and unicorns and you’re knocking out your objectives with a 1990s Mike Tyson level of ferocity, but what happens when you make one little mistake that deviates from your master plan?

You stumble. You begin to question your abilities and your resolve to achieve what you set out to do. You may very well even pack it up and call it quits right there.

If you’ve never seen a grown man beg then prepare to be stunned and stupefied because here it comes: I beg of you NOT to do this.

As with many things in life, looking at a situation in a different way is sometimes all you need in order to overcome it. Instead of treating failure as something that marks the coming of your doom, view it as a tool that will bring you closer towards success, even more so than always staying the course.

It’s inevitable that you’re going to one day fall short of the mark that you set for yourself. You’re going to miss some workouts, you’re going to not finish your product by the deadline, and you’re going to screw up on the path to greatness – a lot. You’re not perfect and if you were life would be no fun to live anyway, so it’s best to accept this fact right now because it leads to the next, most important piece: The horror of failure isn’t in the act of falling, but staying there.

When you find yourself down there on the floor of life, ask yourself this question: Will this kill me?

If the answer is no, which it always is, then stop feeling sorry for yourself, stand back up and start moving. Don’t put it off for later, because later never comes. Do it then.

Falling shows that you’re a human with faults.

Staying down shows that you’ve allowed yourself to embody and become those faults.

Getting back up again and again shows that you’re not going to allow these moments of imperfection to define and guide you; you’re better than that and you’re gonna prove it by moving forward and succeeding.

You learn more about yourself in failure than you ever will in victory, and failing on your own terms is one of the most powerful tools that you have at your disposal. By doing so you condition your mind to become that of a winner so that when the real thing comes you don’t even have to coax yourself to get back into the game, because now it’s automatic. – you’re back on your feet before your right buttcheek even hits the floor.

You’ll have trained yourself through experience to know that the world won’t end if you falter. As long as you choose to rise and continue to move forward with a purpose, you will get there. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably sitting on the ground, nursing their wounds as they watch you walk by.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett

So, faithful readers and comrades, when have you failed and how did you handle it? Did you rise, and if so how awesome did it feel?

Weight: 183.4

Photo Credit: Mykl Roventine

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  1. Cherie says

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! My friends and family took me out for a “Congrats for getting into grad school” celebratory meal and I totally botched my diet and exercise plan for a couple days. Now I’m totally psyched for getting back on track!! You’re a total inspiration!

  2. Andrew says


    I have been waiting for you to blog about your current progress (or lack thereof) so that I could check in, as I promised to do so.

    Just finished a two-week diet break myself and am ready to get back at it. I finished my first six weeks of dieting down six lbs (214 lbs – 208 lbs) and am coming back from my diet break at 208 lbs. Not too bad.

    Decided to do a two-week semi-PSMF to drop some bodyfat quickly as this slow and moderate stuff is boring the hell out of me. I will do a two-day refeed after the two weeks and then head back into a more moderate deficit for the next couple months.

    I will check in here with my progress whenever you do.

    • says

      Good work, Andrew. Yeah, slow and moderate gets under my skin too, so I tend to hit it pretty hard, back off for a little bit, and then hit it hard again until I’m done. I’ve actually found with this recent update that I’m actually as lean as I want to be and don’t really have any desire to push it any lower. Funny how goals evolve over time.

  3. says

    As far as binges go, I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than anyone. And after that, I find it really hard to get back on the horse.

    I’d have a good feast at a birthday dinner – nothing to fanciful, only about 3000 to 4000kcal – and then the next day I’d eat as soon as I’d woken up, feed on all kinds of junk food and consume more calories than planned.

    Only after an average of 2 post-binge days will I be able to clamp down again. That’s why I don’t usually add refeeds in when dieting. I have to be strict as hell.

    And for what it’s worth, water, glycogen and food volume might have contributed to the 7lbs. Wait out a day and hopefully it’ll be fine!

    • says

      Thanks for sharing, Clement. Have you found it easier to get back on track post-binge as time has gone on, or is it pretty much just as hard now as its always been?

  4. Joakim says

    I keep up with my progress ( workouts, career, diet, anything ) by the use of checkpoints.

    6 checkpoints in each given year spread out across 2 month intervals.

    Yesterday ( 28/2 ) for example was 2011 checkpoint numero uno.

    Workouts all good, Check.

    Diet all good. Check.

    Work, some super duper failures here.

    Funny thing is that the most exciting part is the failures because they make you want to go past them.They make you want to try harder.

    Failure builds character.

    Honestly, I find it hard to start talking about my successes, but I remember my biggest failures very vividly.

    Looking back at my failures always brings a smile on my face, I really don’t know why, I go like, what the hell were you thinking man? 🙂

    • says

      Yessir! Failure is the best teacher there is, and it forces you to get better otherwise you’ll keep running into it over and over and over again.

  5. Noooooor says

    Not workout related, but I have been loving this writing class I have this semester and the professor is great. He’s very open and against censorship, so I have free reign in creativity.

    Plus he’s super easy, but I took advantage of that one day. Instead of taking my last class assignment seriously, I just wrote it to have something to turn in, and hated myself for it.

    School to me should be an experience and not work, but that’s what I turned it into for this assignment. So the next week, I wrote another paper for the same topic and turned it in, asked him to read it and comment but that it not need be graded because I cared more for his constructive criticism than the letter grade.

    But he accepted it regardless of the late turn-in and I got a better score for it anyway.

    I definitely slacked, but turned it around with a little harder work, and it totally paid off.

    • says

      That’s supremely dope, and I wholeheartedly agree. If you’re going to school just for the grade and getting nothing else out of it (personal growth, exploring new ideas, etc), then you’re missing out on the biggest part of it at all. Nice turn around there, Noor!

  6. says

    Looking great, Rog! Great job. How tall are you?

    “The horror of failure isn’t in the act of falling, but staying there.”

    So true. As you know, I’m currently on a 7+ month plateau that began as a 2 week “diet break,” so I know all about staying there. We all make mistakes, and we have to learn to minimize the damage of those mistakes, rather than letting it snowball into something that is so much worse than the original mistake.

    Although I will say that whenever I get back on track, I doubt I’ll be taking any more diet breaks, re-feeds, cheat meals, etc. At least not on purpose! I know myself well enough to know that I would be flirting with disaster with those strategies. I need to stay “on point” the vast majority of the time. But if a big meal comes along, I’ll just have to learn to get back on track the following morning/ meal.

    • says

      Thanks, Jordan! I’m 6′

      So true man – the sooner you minimize the mistake, the less of an issue it becomes. It’s only when you let it snowball like you said that it really takes on a life of its own, and THAT’S when it becomes hardest to get back on track.

      Get back on the train Jordan, because once you’re on you’ll be so much better because of it.

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