in which i publicly admit defeat

Okay. Not defeat exactly.

Today I am driving. By the time you read this, I'll be on the road or already at my destination, to celebrate a darling cousin's wedding. It's a good thing I had some time to think beforehand, which is why I can now submit to you the following:

I have seen and tasted of my Fall Wellness Challenge for about ten days now and I am stating this: I made too many goals.

And I even followed all the rules about making goals! They are concise, they are challenging, they are all measurable... but in this particular time of my life, I cannot remember to measure them all and I have at least twice found myself literally rolling out of bed, onto the floor at 10:30 at night to plank, so I can check it off my list.

It turns out I bit off more than I could chew right now.

So I am back to the drawing board, in which I modify my goals to something I can handle a little better as a wife, mom, writer, ministry partner, and home administrator queen person.

Fall Wellness Challenge || sarah writes || sarahsandel.comI am going to keep tracking my food journal and logging my workouts there, as best I can. I am going to finish my 5k training to run the Turkey Trot! I may or may not plank. Depends on if I remember. If I plank, bonus! I am going to keep guzzling water - but I may or may not write it down. I am working to affirm my husband daily, but some days are more like "I love you, you're great", rather than creating something from scratch like this. And I am going to find time for solitude most days. And you know what? I just don't know if I can write 30 notes right now. So I'm gonna shoot for 15.

So, here I am. Only mildly embarrassed and ever-hopeful that re-structuring will be helpful. I want to care for my body and my spirit and it turns out that being the mama of a one year old just doesn't give me the space to set all of those goals with all of those measurements and to be as legalistic as I'd hoped. Turns out my husband was right: legalism gets you nowhere.

In the spirit of maintaining my pursuit of contentment, I overloaded myself a bit. It's no secret that women tend to be more discontent with their physical appearance and I'm no exception. I see everyone else's best days and compare my worst to them. Like right now, I am sitting in a cami & leggings, my hair doing all manner of wild things, and I have already assumed that other blogger friends up at 6am are cuter and more put together than I am. It's not a poison to my heart in these days, though at times comparison has been, but my self-esteem can nonetheless take a little beating when I turn my thoughts inward so much that my appearance is all I see. Vanity, vanity...

I want to be content with & appreciative of my body (see the One Dress Project for more thoughts on this, specifically this post), but I don't believe it's a matter of's a matter of content - what's inside. I believe in setting healthy standards and goals, but I also know that if I met each of them with flying colors and lost 3 dress sizes and suddenly never had bad hair days (changing the 'context')...I could still be discontent if my heart isn't settled on Jesus (because discontent in the 'content' of my heart). One of the things the One Dress Project taught me is that I spend far too much time thinking of my own self. And the truth is that looking good on the outside only goes so far anyway.

My reality for this wellness challenge is that I'm going to strive for the goals above because they are healthy and smart. Not because I'm hoping something will dramatically change that will make me feel perfectly content with my physical appearance. Because sometimes, we just do what's right because it's right, not to get something out of it. And when our hearts are contented in Christ Jesus and we're convinced He's enough, we're freed up to do just that.

So cheers, friends! Here's to good health and a happy weekend of caring for ourselves with intentionality and grace, believing that in our lack, He is enough!