Maybe it was my sister, critiquing my pull-ups and calling me out on the soft bend in my elbows at the bottom of each rep. Or maybe it was my week of assessments with clients, some of who surprised me with their complete sincerity about goals and how they feel about their bodies. I’m not 100 percent sure of my reason, but I’ve decided I need to get honest.

Sure, I’m pretty honest about my workouts. I count my reps, and my form is decent. But I know that if I do a set of pushups, the first rep and the last rep are not the same.

I’m mostly honest about my goals. But I’ve been scared to be completely honest. I want to run fast, not just at a leisurely pace, tiptoeing around the possibility of injury. I was OK with some post-baby sag for the first six months, but I want to have a flat stomach by the time bikini season comes around.  I want to actually discover what it feels like to lift heavy—in the 3-5-rep range—and not worry about hurting myself.

What I’m realizing is that my lack of honesty is actually keeping me from achieving more.  Rather than trying to impress myself (because really, who else am I impressing?), I am going to embrace regression, failure and imperfection.

Sounds yucky. But what it really means is that I won’t act like I’m too badass to throw in a set of clamshells when my IT band sends me a message that it’s working too hard. It means that I’ll admit that maybe I really can only do one pull-up instead of three (thanks, Natalie), but that now I’m even more determined to perfect my form.  It means that I’ll stop telling myself I just had a baby when I know that June 16, 2014 has nothing to do with the fact that I have wine and chocolate every night after the kids are in bed.

I’m going to be more honest with my clients, too.  And while I recognize that they might not like everything I have to say, I think they deserve to hear the truth.

Honesty. It ain’t always easy, but it’s the best policy.